Tyne & Wear

Northumberland exhibition shows 150 glass ships in bottles

Glass ships in bottles Image copyright Laura Rothwell/Crystallised
Image caption Some of the glass ships in bottles were created by using reclaimed pieces

A collection of 150 glass ships in bottles has been - carefully - placed around an old stately home chapel as part of an exhibition.

They are part of a project by glass artist and researcher Dr Ayako Tani.

Vessels of Memory aims to document the skills and experience of glassworkers. Dr Tani said is was "vitally important" to preserve the tradition.

The bottles are among a number of pieces on show at Cheeseburn Sculpture Gardens in Northumberland.

Image copyright Colin Davison/Rosella Studios
Image caption Dr Ayako Tani is trying to preserve the glass ship in bottle tradition

Sunderland has a glass-making tradition dating back to Anglo-Saxon monks making stained-glass windows.

As heavy industry declined in the 1970s, redundant scientific or industrial glassblowers turned increasingly to making ships in bottles.

Image copyright Laura Rothwell/Crystallised
Image caption Glass ships in bottles have been made in Sunderland for decades

By the 1990s tens of thousands of these were being made and exported.

Dr Tani has learned how to make glass ships in bottles herself, in order to preserve the skills and create a new series of artworks, she said.

Image copyright Laura Rothwell/Crystallised
Image caption A torch is used to melt the glass which, once molten, is formed by blowing and shaping with tools

Other pieces on show include work by young artists bidding to become the Gillian Dickinson North East Young Sculptor of the Year.

The winning artist will receive mentoring and £6,500 to produce their idea, which will be installed at Cheeseburn next year.

Image copyright Colin Davison/Rosella Studios
Image caption Brigitte Jurack's Scavengers is among the work by young artists displayed at Cheeseburn
Image copyright Colin Davison/Rosella Studios
Image caption Olivia Turner and Pavandeep Kaur Rai have submitted Power of Body and Mind

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