At a summer school in BildWerk Frauenau back in 2012, a small group of glass artists was bewailing the sad decline of glass engraving in the schools and colleges of Europe. We decided to try to stop this by organising glass engravers into a self-help group – and by our own efforts to show the world that glass engraving is still relevant, still an eloquent, magical and inspiring art form, adopting new techniques and tools along the way and by no means ready to surrender.
The Glass Engraving Network was the result. Open to all artists who use engraving on glass in their practice, GEN is now an informal network of around 100 individuals – mostly but not exclusively in Europe, meeting via social networks and the GEN website, and organising physical and now digital exhibitions.
Most recently a group of 45 members showed their work in the Suomen Lasimuseo (The Finnish Glass Museum) at Riihimäki, Finland, in late 2019, before the exhibition was transported to the European Museum of Modern Glass at Rosenau, Rödental, Germany, where it was on show during 2020.
The work of these artists represents the wide diversity of contemporary European glass engraving, both artistically and technically, ranging from cutting edge experimental to the best of traditional, some bridging the gap between glass engraving and glass cutting. The engravers come from Sweden, Finland, Germany, Estonia, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Austria, Romania, Belgium and, of course, the Czech Republic.
The principal aim of the Glass Engraving Network exhibitions, both online and in-person, is not only to show the possibilities of excellent contemporary glass engraving to collectors, curators, gallerists and other studio glass makers. The GEN exhibitions also aim to inspire young students, whose worlds are now sadly mostly devoid of inspiring teaching of both glass cutting and engraving. Meetings, workshops and presentations are therefore scheduled alongside the physical exhibitions at all locations.
There are plans to tour again in person, including an early 2023 exhibition in Vienna alongside the 250th anniversary of J & L Lobmeyr. If you’d like to be kept informed of progress with this exhibition and future online shows, please click here to join our mailing list – we guarantee to send no spam and we guarantee that your details will not be shared with any other organisation.
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