Glass Reflections
Cambridge 7th to 9th September

Presenting Author:
Cate Watkinson

article posted 22 Mar 2015

Cate Watkinson

Dr Cate Watkinson has over 20 years' experience as an architectural glass artist, designing and fabricating architectural glass for a wide variety of applications. She trained in the traditional skills of stained glass making including, glass cutting and leading. Over the years she has developed the skills and knowledge gained from working in the traditional methods to bring a fresh slant and new techniques and ideas to her contemporary work. She has been instrumental in developing the potential of glass in the public realm. Projects range from decorative glass panels for public and private buildings to street furniture and sculptural public art pieces. Cate has built up a wide range of innovative techniques and has gained significant knowledge and experience working with glass on a large scale in the public realm, not only in aesthetic terms but also in design of structure and durability of materials used.

From stained glass to solar; designing public artwork with glass and light.
Cate Watkinson
Senior Lecturer and Subject Leader in Architectural Glass,
Glass and Ceramics Department, University of Sunderland,
National Glass Centre, Liberty Way, Sunderland SR6 0LG,
Tel: 0191 5153090,

This lecture by glass artist/designer Dr Cate Watkinson, presents a portfolio of selected commissioned works developed from 1990 to the present day. Cate's glass designs have made a unique contribution to the field of architectural glass.

This has been evidenced through the integration of art glass and public spaces, a challenging arena given negative preconceptions of glass as a material for public art. Through example, Cate will demonstrate how research and advances in glass technology have influenced her work and how this has contributed to the increasing potential of the use of glass in the built environment, this will map a development from an early evolution of 2D work in stained glass, towards more contemporary 3D approaches located within the realm of public art.

From a memorial stained glass window for Newcastle Cathedral to solar powered public seating, this lecture demonstrates the use of new techniques, which have been applied in innovative and creative ways.

These new practices include the exploration of innovative qualities of material, the integration of text, imagery and light, juxtaposed with the placement of works within an environment where glass is still perceived by the public as presenting some risk.

This presentation will also offer an overview of innovations in public art glass in the UK presenting case studies of the use of new technologies. It will describe the making of large scale public art sculpture, through some of Cate's previous commissions. It will describe the positives and negatives of working with new technologies and demonstrate the successes of well-designed projects, achieved through the application of innovation and determination.