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ROMAN GLASSMAKERSsimple piece taking only 10 minutesinstead of four hours, and was thereforeavailable to a wider audience. TheRomans took advantage of the artisticpossibilities, employing many methodsto decorate the vessels they weremaking. Incredibly, within the next fewhundred years glass blowers developedall the major decorative techniques usedby today's glass artists.One key invention was mould-blowing:glass is blown into a mould of two ormore sections, allowing virtually identicalthin-walled items to be produced overand over again. Many beakers weremade like this, often depicting scenesfrom gladiatorial battles or myths.The techniques used by Mark andDavid provide a valuable insight intoancient working practices, and arehighly regarded by museums andcollectors. Their work has been featuredon TV programmes such as Time Team,Far left: Markdemonstratesglassmaking in the ProjectWorkshops studioLeft: Thesculpture gardenat ProjectWorkshopsfeaturing a pieceby Judy Boytwhose work iscast at ProjectWorkshops'foundryWhat the Romans Did For Usand Meetthe Ancestors, and, of course, films. Theglasses from the aforementionedGladiatorscene are their Almond Knobbeakers, just a fraction of the 100 or sovessels made for the film. They have alsomade items for other Ridley Scott films -Kingdom of Heaven(about the crusades)and the upcoming Robin Hood. Mark says: "Reproducing Romanvessels is both fascinating andexasperating - the methods that workbest are usually the simplest and mostobvious! Although we use moderntechnology in the studio, most of ourglass is made using the same ancient,basic tools like wooden sticks, pincersand shears - they're still the best."In 2005, Mark and David temporarilygave up their propane-fired furnace infavour of an authentic, wood-firedRoman version, as part of a major,continuing archaeological experimentfunded by English Heritage. With theexpansion of Project Workshops theywill move into a new studio, which willallow more space for their populardemonstrations and seminars."We're really looking forward tofiring up the furnace in the newhotshop," says David. "ProjectWorkshops is a fantastic locationfor our work, I can't imagine workinganywhere else - it's marvellous." Mark and David offer glassblowinglessons and group demonstrationsVisit www.romanglassmakers.co.uk orcall 01264 889688for detailswww.nadfas.org.ukNADFAS REVIEW / SPRING 2010 FOSTERING CREATIVITY: PROJECT WORKSHOPSProject Workshops is the brainchild of husband and wife teamRichard and Mandy Atkinson-Willes. It was set up in 1992 nearQuarley, Andover, as a centre dedicated to the visual arts. Witha focus on demonstrations and educational projects, Richardsays he hopes it will become a great destination for membersof the public interested in seeing real craftspeople at work.Richard and Mandy met at art college - Richard trained as asculptor at Central St Martins in London and then went on towork in arts administration. It was this experience that madehim want to create his own arts centre. "I realised that whatartists needed was a place to get on and do their thing in anarts environment." Project Workshops is housed in Edwardian farm buildings soldoff by a farmer and Richard and Mandy have continuallyrefurbished and improved the site. Existing tenants include theRoman Glassmakers, sculptors, stonemasons, a knife maker, afurniture maker and ceramic artists. Richard and Mandy havesince bought more of the farm and are about to unveil the mostexciting development yet: six new workshops, a coveredexhibition space and a new 4,000sq ft sculpture foundry. Thismeans there will be space for up to 20 arts businesses -making it one of the biggest commercial centres for visual artsin the south of England.Central to this scheme is the huge multi-function exhibitionspace. To build it, the old grain store was demolished, but thecouncil wanted to keep the agricultural heritage of the site alive.So a rather unique compromise was reached. The new timberframed barn, with its Dutch gabled roof and modern cedarcladding, high ceilings and fabulous light will be a grain storefrom harvest until February, and for the rest of the year will beused for exhibitions and possibly even weddings. "It's either anextremely smart grain store or a very large gallery, dependingon how you look at it," says Richard. For more information visit www.project-workshop.co.uk orcall 01264 889889

34NADFAS REVIEW / SPRING 2010www.nadfas.org.ukAWARD RECIPIENTBelow:Joshbraves theJanuary snows to perfect histechnique atKnuston Hall Up on the roofThatching, declares Northants-based master thatcher NickSurridge, is one of the oldestcrafts known to man. "As soon aspeople learned to build shelters they putvegetation on top to provide cover."How wonderful, then, that Nick, andothers like him, are continuing thetradition in this age of modern, andoften rather colourless building materialsand techniques. Better still is that thereis apparently so much interest in thecraft from a new generation ofthatchers. "Young people are veryenthusiastic about the trade," Nick says."Every year the college course fills up atKnuston Hall (the local thatching college)and we are always getting enquiriesabout apprenticeships."One of Nick's current apprentices is18-year-old Josh Sharman. Josh hasbeen learning the ropes with Nick foralmost three years, assisted by agenerous bursary of £5,000 from thePatricia Fay Memorial Fund. The fundsare being used to cover Josh's trainingfees at Knuston Hall. Situated among 40acres of undulating parkland in EastNorthamptonshire, Knuston Hall is anThanks to a Patricia Fay Memorial Fundbursary, apprentice thatcher Josh Sharmanis on his way to mastering this ancient craft