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New Tutor for Glass School

13 April 2012

Kathryn Wightman, a successful glass artist from the United Kingdom, has accepted the permanent full time position of Glass Tutor at Whanganui UCOL – Quay School of the Arts.


Kathryn will teach at the Whanganui Glass School when she arrives next term.  Whanganui UCOL Head of Creative Programmes Sally Jane deSalazar is looking forward to having Kathryn on board, and said Kathryn is a dedicated hot glass and kiln glass artist in her own right, and well qualified for the role.  The three year glass diploma taught at Whanganui’s Glass School is an internationally recognised programme and is not taught anywhere else in New Zealand.


Whanganui Mayor Annette said “Glass art is an important part of what makes Whanganui different.  Our Glass School graduates are successful as artists both nationally and internationally. Glass art gives us a special and exciting point of difference and attracts visitors, as well as glass students and artists, to our district. The students and their work add to the vibrancy of our community. The status of the Whanganui Glass School is reflected in our ability to attract an overseas tutor of this calibre to Whanganui. We look forward to welcoming Kathryn to our community.”


Kathryn received a BA (First) in Glass and Ceramics in 2004, followed by an MA in Glass (Distinction) in 2005.   In 2005 she was awarded a two year Next Move placement from the Crafts Council in conjunction with the University of Sunderland.  This enabled her to establish her thriving business.  Whilst working with glass she has developed innovative techniques based on the layering of screen printed transfers and sandblasted patterns and also flocked detailing which creates a luxurious velveteen texture.


In 2007 she began a three year PhD research project at the University of Sunderland funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council to investigate the areas of hot glass and print.  Over the last four years she has received grants from Arts Council (North East), Creativitiworks and Cohesion Glass Network.   In 2007 she won best 'newcomer' in the Journal Cultural Awards.   She was a North East finalist in the Shell Young Entrepreneur of the Year Competition and won the Creative Industries Category in the Sunderland Blue Print Competition.


In addition to studying and running her extremely successful business, Kathryn also undertakes adult education teaching for both Newcastle and Gateshead Council.   As well as working extremely hard she is a keen Irish dancer, competing to World Championship standard.  Kathryn’s passion for Irish dancing and the colourful costumes are apparent in the bold and vibrant colour palette she favours and have a profound and exhilarating effect.    Kathryn’s web site is www.kathrynwightmanglass.co.uk.


Kathryn fills a vacancy left by the retirement of Lionel Teer.   The interview panel was a representative group from the Wanganui District Council, Whanganui UCOL, and local glass artist, Katie Brown.  The Whanganui Glass School is a partnership between UCOL and the Wanganui District Council.


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