28 Apr 2016 23:00
Tags antondoroszenko exhibits markhill michaelrayner openingevent ronwheeler talks timharris
The museum opening event on 19th March was a great success. About sixty people were in attendance and by all accounts they thoroughly enjoyed the day.
After welcoming the guests, the museum director Anton Doroszenko made some brief introductory comments about how the museum came to be. This was followed by observations from the managing director of Isle of Wight Studio Glass, Richard Harris.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony by Timothy Harris, representing his father Michael who founded Isle of Wight Studio Glass, and Michael Rayner, founder of Island Glass and Alum Bay Glass, concluded the morning programme.
A buffet lunch provided by the museum was followed by a series of talks by prominent names in the glass world.
Mark Hill who literally wrote the book on Mdina and Isle of Wight Studio Glass started the afternoon talks on the subject of taking risks in new ventures. He highlighted the risks that the early proponents of the studio glass movement took by establishing studios on the Isle of Wight and elsewhere. He made the comparison to the courage needed to start a new glass museum on the Island. After all, it has been many decades since a similar glass museum was founded.
Michael Rayner followed Mark with a fascinating talk on how he established his first glass studio in the early 1970s by cobbling together all sorts of secondhand equipment and a tiny furnace to produce his first pieces. Michael has generously loaned many of his very earliest pieces to the museum for visitors to see. They tell a story of experimentation and creative use of anything to hand. Come to the museum to see for yourself.
Timothy Harris then gave a brief talk on the glass maker's perspective of the museum. He made the wry comment that museums usually feature the work of artists long gone, but he is very much alive! It was a bit strange to see so much of his work on display, he said.
Ron Wheeler concluded the formal presentations with his observations based on over 35 years in marketing studio glass, especially in his role as secondary market specialist for Isle of Wight Studio Glass. He generously said that the museum was a fitting tribute to the glass makers on the Island and beyond.
The event concluded with a final group picture. From left to right they are Timothy Harris, Mark Hill, Ron Wheeler, Bernadette Connolly, Michael Rayner, Anton Doroszenko, and Tina Gormer.
Visitors then took the opportunity to wander around the museum exhibits and a good time was had by all!