A glass artist from Sunderland has designed the perfect gin and tonic glass, helped make stained-glass windows and picked up a prestigious national award – all while still a student. 

Anne Selway, 26, is currently finishing off her degree in glass and ceramics at the University of Sunderland. For her degree show, she has produced a collection called Synergy, inspired by her watching the movements of the River Wear from her student flat. 

Anne said, “The theme of my work is colour, line and light, looking at reflected light from the River Wear and capturing that in glass.”

“It’s not just about natural light, but light from lampposts, ships, the light from the docks. I wanted to try to capture the subtle sense of movement you get from a river, that calming, continuous sense of life and movement.” 

Anne Selway, originally from Cardiff, became interested in glass after helping her mum make glass jewellery. This inspired her to apply for her glass and ceramics degree at the University of Sunderland.

Anne said, “Sunderland has some world-class equipment, such as the glass water jet cutter, which really increases the scope of what I can do as an artist. I want to push my work and develop it as far as I can.” 

During her first year at Sunderland, Anne was commissioned by the Durham Distillery to design the perfect gin and tonic glass. 

While studying, Anne was awarded the Brian Thomas Memorial Prize at the Stevens Glass Artist of the Year Awards for an archway she designed for the School of Glass at the University of Wales Trinity St David in Swansea. Her design, based on Welsh tapestry patterns, celebrates craftsmanship, skills and heritage.

Anne also worked as an intern for architectural glass artist Rachel Wellford, helping to make windows for Bede’s Bakehouse in St Peter’s Church in Sunderland.  

Last winter, Anne took part in the Enchanted Parks project in Saltwell Park. She said, “My work was glass love hearts suspended in the trees. I was really proud to be a part of that.”

“I love the whole idea of art telling a story and that’s definitely an avenue I’d like to pursue in my work in the future.”                                                                                                                                         

Synergy will form part of the Creative City Degree Show, which will be on at the National Glass Centre until June 18th. The show will then be housed in the University of Sunderland’s CitySpace building until June 22nd.

The Creative City Degree Show, which will feature a series of exhibitions showcasing the work of the university’s art and design students, has been named in honour of Sunderland’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2021.

(Featured image courtesy of Anthony, from Flickr Creative Commons)

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