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Glass and Ceramics at Sunderland

Discover glass and ceramics at the University of Sunderland. Learn about Sunderland's glassmaking heritage and our National Glass Centre. Meet our community of artists, designers and makers. Challenge your perception of making techniques. Make your moment and join us today.

Our courses

We've been teaching Glass and Ceramics for nearly 40 years, with courses including BA (Hons) Artist Designer Maker: Glass and Ceramics (which has 100% Overall Satisfaction (National Student Survey 2021)) and MA Visual Practice (Glass and Ceramics routes available).

You'll learn both traditional and modern making techniques and can work in digital crafts and media, wood, metal and plastic, as well as glass and ceramics.

Develop confidence in your artistic voice and learn about making for diverse contexts, as well as for exhibition. Our courses will begin your journey as a creative professional to become an artist, designer, maker.

National Glass Centre

As a Glass and Ceramics student, you’ll study at the National Glass Centre, a nationally recognised glass production and exhibition centre with world-class production facilities and a programme of international exhibitions and creative projects.

You’ll be allocated your own workspace, in our open plan working areas which facilitates the learning community and allows students to learn and share knowledge freely.

National Glass Centre is also home to the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, which has a long history of showing cutting edge contemporary art.

National Glass Centre

Colin Rennie, Senior Lecturer and Deputy Programme Leader of BA (Hons) Artist Designer Maker: Glass and Ceramics, takes us for a look around the teaching facilities in the National Glass Centre...

Our community

Meet some of our creative community of Artists, Designers and Makers. See profiles of academic staff, students and graduates, some of whom are professional artists working in the field of glass, ceramics and making.

Our history

Sunderland's glass-making heritage can be traced back over 13 centuries, when Anglo-Saxon abbot, Saint Benedict Biscop, and his team of glaziers produced stained glass windows at Bishopwearmouth Monastery.

Commercial glassware factories, such as Pyrex and Hartley Wood and Company, are part of Sunderland's more recent industrial history. The last commercial glassware factory to exist in the city closed in 2007, bringing to an end commercial glassmaking in Sunderland.

However, glassmaking still lives on in the city; National Glass Centre (NGC) opened in 1998 and in 2010, the University of Sunderland took over the running of the centre. It is now managed by Sunderland Culture and offers exhibition opportunities for established and emerging artists, as well as a programme of activities for the public to get involved with.

Not just glass blowing

There's more to making than glass blowing. At the University of Sunderland you'll get the opportunity to experiment with, and develop skills in, various traditional and modern making techniques. These include: lampwork and flamework; mould-making; wheel throwing; casting; sculpture; painting; print; digital; film and video. You'll develop your practice in your own individual studio space and work on projects that allow you to push the boundaries of your creativity.

Watch to find out more:

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