British Glass Biennale Return to homepage...
Gillian Hobson, Shaping Light No.3 - British Glass Biennale 2015
Photo: Joolze Dymond


The UK’s major selling exhibition of contemporary glass, a highlight of the International Festival of Glass.

This is the UK’s top contemporary glass showcase and will feature over 100 pieces by the country’s leading glass artists. Typically eight prizes are awarded, in association with the Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers of London, Art in Action and crafts&design Magazine, worth over £17,500. This is a rare opportunity to see a huge variety of work in a selling exhibition, from finely crafted vessels to bold sculptural works and installations. The 6th British Glass Biennale will open to the public on 28 May 2015.


Ruskin Glass Centre

The Ruskin Glass Centre is situated in Stourbridge’s historic glass quarter; located within the industrial heartland of the West Midlands; on the site of the former Webb Corbett/Royal Doulton glass factory. It is also the site where the British Glass Biennale exhibition and the International Glass Festival are hosted.

The Ruskin Glass Centre Ltd is a subsidiary of the Ruskin Mill Land Trust, a charity pioneering in specialist education for young people with learning difficulties. The Trust promotes culture, arts and special needs education within the context of social regeneration and is inspired by the ideas of John Ruskin, William Morris and Rudolf Steiner.


Why the British Glass Biennale was initiated

In the early days of planning the International Festival of Glass, it was recognised that there was an urgent need for an exhibition that would expose the state of affairs in the UK based glass world. As most artists work within the confines of their own studios, it is often hard to know what is going on outside of that environment, or even how many makers there are throughout the country. The exhibition would be an opportunity to demonstrate a regular snapshot or ‘slice of now’.

Biritsh Glass Biennale Space

The British Glass Biennale was set up to be a part of the inaugural International Festival of Glass in 2004. Prior to this show, there had been no major review of the British glass scene since the 1993 Crafts Council touring exhibition ‘The Glass Show’ (a retrospective of 30 years of studio art glass) (– see Andrew Brewerton essay in 2004 catalogue.) The British Glass Biennale was to show ‘the pulse of recent achievement in contemporary British glass, and to display this wide range of creativity‘


In 2008 the Student Section was included to showcase the work of talented students and recent graduates, offering them a platform to exhibit alongside their more established peers.


Each British Glass Biennale is a landmark juried exhibition of contemporary glass by artists working and living in the UK and working in glass. Since the inaugural 2004 exhibition over 700 glass works have been showcased by the British Glass Biennale to thousands of visitors. 

Artists submit work for selection that has been made in the last two years and is available to purchase. Makers have to be living and working the UK for the last two years – i.e. showing a commitment to being based in Britain. Each jury consists of five panel members selected from a range of backgrounds. Each British Glass Biennale features a completely new jury. The juries view all the images anonymously, judging each piece on its own merit. The objective is to give each contributing artist an equal opportunity to have work selected and create as level a playing field for all artists as possible.

The Biennale does not aim to establish an historical survey but to take the pulse of the current British glass scene; to observe, reflect and catalogue trends and influences emerging each year. It also aims to put makers in the UK on an international platform, and celebrate what is being achieved in this country with glass.



  • Call for Entries Deadline :
    20 February 2017
  • Awards Ceremony:
    24 August 2017
  • Exhibition Opens:
    25 August 2017
  • Winners Announced:
    24 August 2017
  • Exhibition Ends:
    9 September 2017
  • British Glass Biennale:
    Stourbridge, West Midlands
    Open Daily: 10am – 5pm