Inspired by... De Morgan

This September, the De Morgan Foundation will be welcoming the Teepee Glass whose works will be adorning our temporary exhibition space for two months. Teepee are a glass collective of eight artists who first met at the British Glass Biennale in 2006 and have been creating and exhibiting their distinctive glass pieces together since.

Their work ranges from glass vessels and jewellery to stained glass windows and installations which dazzlingly display their diverse glass skills and artistry. The group exhibits expertise in a range of glass and decorative techniques including gilding, fusing, slumping, engraving, sandblasting and lead and stained glass, and their exhibition at the De Morgan Centre this autumn promises to be diverse.

Several of the members of Teepee are glass tutors at local adult education centres, and as part of the exhibition, Teepee and the De Morgan Foundation arranged a creative competition. Students of the glass courses from Brent Adult Education, Community Education Lewisham and Merton Adult Education College were invited to visit the gallery and gather inspiration to create their own glass piece. The resulting pieces were judged our curator, Claire Longworth, and four winners were chosen. Each winner received prizes kindly donated by Warm Glass, Lead & Light, Creative Glass and  Juno Glass and the first place winner will have their piece exhibited alongside Teepee’s work this autumn.


                                               'Animal Tiles in Blue', and a selection of entries

There were a staggering 43 entrants, and the finished pieces exhibited techniques as diverse as those used by Teepee – kiln formed, fused, slumped, stained glass leading, copperfoiling and mosaic applique, bonding and painting. We were so impressed with the quality and level of craftsmanship the students displayed, and narrowing it down to just a few winners was a challenging task.

It was absolutely fascinating to see De Morgan’s work reimagined in so many different ways, and it has encouraged us to see our collections through new eyes. Our thanks go to all the students who participated, and to Maria Fagan from Teepee for coordinating the competition.


                                                                    The winning piece - 'No Escape'

The winning entry was created by Cynthia Hatcher from Merton Adult Education College, whose colourful piece entitled ‘No Escape’ showed a real grasp of De Morgan’s penchant for quirky creatures, and successfully combined inspiration from two of De Morgan’s designs to create a wonderful unique piece. Cynthia’s piece will be exhibited at the Centre from September, so be sure to come by and see it alongside our wonderful glass exhibition.

The full list of winners:

1st place: ‘No Escape’ by Cynthia Hatcher from Merton Adult Education College

2nd place: ‘Animal Tiles in Blue’ by Lucy Cooper from Community Education Lewisham

3rd place: ‘Iznik’ by Jennifer Donovan from Community College Lewisham

4th place: ‘Small Flowers’ by Maria Ribeiro from Brent Adult Education

Emma Coleman, Museum Officer