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From his studio overlooking the river in Taunton, Will Shakspeare (yes, really) blows glass. These are exquisite, individual works of art. Jewel-like bowls, rich, intricately coloured goblets and vibrant vases adorn the gallery. With names like Zephyr, Nougat, Confetti, Opal, Agate and Storm, his designs are unique and elegant.

“Every piece I create is idiosyncratic and has its own distinctive character” says Shakspeare. “I am inspired by everything I see, from rock-pools, lichens and cloud formations to the bizarre contrast of two coloured cars parked next to each-other.”

Will Shakspeare has been blowing glass for 14 years, one of only and handful of professional glassblowers in Britain. In that time, he has built up an indomitable reputation as one of the most creative and innovative contemporary craftsmen. His pieces are chunky, exuberant and full of character and colour – rather like the man himself, with his spirited individuality and blue beard! They feel solid and comfortable to use, yet look luxurious and sumptuous. Drinking from a Shakspeare glass makes you feel like a medieval nobleman with limitless power and wealth – a singularly opulent experience.

The range is wide and includes goblets, tumblers,vases, perfume bottles, coasters, plates bowls of all shapes and sizes, jugs and pitchers. Each piece is hand blown and will differ from any other piece within the range. It is the extra-ordinary richness and depth of colour that is so striking. Bold swirls of bright, luminescent hues, delicate threads of pastel confetti, and glossy, vivid chunks of brilliance characterize Shakspeare Glass.

Different finishes lend an extra dimension; some are opaque, sandblasted or highly polished, whilst others have a myriad of tiny bubbles erupting within the glass – a trick with bicarbonate of soda. Then there is the jewellery - exquisite droplets of vibrant colour, strung on a leather thong or a silver thread – earrings and cufflinks like boiled sweets.

He also creates the most extraordinary murals. Cast glass on a huge scale that can look like an eviscerated torso, a wild flower meadow or a swirling constellation of stars. These are fantastic, bold, shocking, beautiful and unique – a living glass Picasso…

Will only uses recycled glass, undertakes commissions for items as diverse as church altars, chandeliers or “installations” and travels as far afield as Bolivia advising on glassblowing techniques.

All that is required to make glass is a little sand, a little soda, a little lime and a lot of heat. Legend tells us that Roman sailors, preparing to cook their evening meal on a beach, set their pots on top of stones and natron – a soda used for embalming the dead. As the cooking fire heated both the stones and the sand below, a strange liquid began to flow. This was the origin of man-made glass.

So, Will Shakspeare endures the tremendous heat of his furnaces to coax exquisite forms from the fire using nothing but his breath, his skill and a few simple tools.

“What I do isn’t going to change anyone’s life – I’m not a great surgeon or physician,” says Shakspeare. At the end of the day, people buy my glass because they enjoy using it, handling it and living with it.”

Jewellery prices start from £9.50
Goblet prices start from £22.50


For more information, contact
Claire Foster-01460 281529 / 077745 76009

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