Tiree Glass is a small island business run by Frances Woodhead. I aim to create a welcoming and inspiring destination for visitors to Tiree and to create beautiful things that people value using 100% recycled materials.
Tiree Glass combines my work experience in environmental management with my passion for glass. I combine bottle glass with float glass to create both playful and functional items within a familiar natural palette. Using recycled glass provides technical limitations that help to shape and inspire the work. Other influences are the natural world and time spent living in the pacific.
I spent 12 years living in New Zealand and set up Nelson Glasshouse there, a studio on New Zealand’s South Island. In 2003 I was employed to create a social enterprise in Liverpool developing new glass recycling techniques alongside community arts programmes. In 2009 I packed my kiln and moved to Tiree to be with the man I love, although part of my life remains in New Zealand. Tiree Glass was established in April 2011.
Although I make glass all year round my year is very seasonal. Everything happens in the summer, and the winter is a time of retreat and renewal, developing new ideas and making for the season ahead. In the winter I experiment with new techniques and spend hours on the beaches whenever there is a break in the weather.
In 2013 I completed a module in Art and Social Practice by video conference with the University of the Highlands and Islands in their Shetland College. Led by Roxane Permar the course covered latest developments and best practice in this area as well as inspiring and guiding hands on practical experience - all by video conference! I hope to find ways to practise this way of working, perhaps through collaborative projects with others.
We practised initiating and holding conversations to begin the process of engaging with others. A course requirement was documenting progress in a weblog, entries from which feature below.