CRT takes centre stage at Glass Centre

Recycling Lives has helped glass artist Hannah Kippax to turn old television and computer screens into a beautiful work of art at the Ruskin Glass Centre in Stourbridge. 

Ruskin Glass Centre, based on the Stourbridge site that was once home to stalwarts of the glass trade such as Royal Doulton and Webb Corbett, has been redeveloped using £1.4 million funds from Advantage West Midlands and is now home to a wide variety of glass crafts including live glassblowing, glass artists, engravers and decorators, as well as other crafts such as furniture design, handmade soap, textiles, photography, printing and publishing.

Over the past five years, Hannah has been working with a number of other designers on the development of a unique water feature to be situated in a pond in the grounds of the centre. The real hard work began in earnest at the end of last year, with third-year students from the Glasshouse College offering invaluable support on every aspect of the project. The launch of the installation was linked in to the 10th anniversary celebrations of the College, an education centre which is also based at the Stourbridge site and offers young people with special learning needs to explore their own potential through commercial and artistic courses.

Working together with the Ruskin Glass Centre, Glasshouse College has established a range of high quality craft workshops, which allow students to follow individual learning programmes and develop their own potential, with the possibility of undertaking GCSE, NVQs and equivalent qualifications.

All of the glass used to create the feature is from recycled CRT and has been donated to Hannah by Recycling Lives.

Over the five years of research and development involved in Hannah’s project, we have supplied her with a large number of screens, even delivering some to water jet cutting specialists in Sheffield! As there are many kinds of CRT front screen designs in existence, Hannah has experimented with them all in order to achieve the perfect result for her artwork.

Unprocessed CRT screens can be hazardous to human health and the environment, as they contain a number of phosphors as well as various metals and foreign materials. All of the CRT screens that Recycling Lives receives undergo a stringent cleansing process to remove these materials and ensure that they are disposed of responsibly and in accordance with all relevant environmental legislation. The screens that we donated to Hannah were no different – all potentially hazardous coatings were removed and processed to ensure that the remaining product was suitable to be used in Hannah’s artwork.

After five years of research and six months of hard work on the part of Hannah, her fellow designers and the third year students of Glasshouse College, the water feature was finally put on display on the 17th June this year. The official opening of the installation attracted an audience of around 200 people and gave visitors the opportunity to enjoy the artwork in its proper setting for the first time.

 Thanks to the design team’s hard work and dedication, the CRT screen water feature has been a huge success. The artwork will be seen by visitors to the centre and college and shows the true potential of recycled materials. Recycling Lives is now in discussions with furniture maker Lloyd Stacey, whose company, Lloydesign – Concept and Creation, is based at the Ruskin Glass Centre, with a view to establishing a partnership that will design, manufacture and install replicas of the artwork in other locations. All recycled materials would be provided by Recycling Lives, with Hannah taking on a consultancy role in the project.

David Allen, Strategic Development Manager at Recycling Lives commented:

“It’s fantastic to see the result of five years of hard work come to fruition. I’ve watched Hannah as she developed the project and have seen the frustrations and issues she has encountered. It is so good to finally see the finished article, which I have to say is every bit as impressive as we knew it would be!”

 Speaking about the project, Hannah said:

“We’re so pleased that the water feature is up and running at the Ruskin Glass Centre now. The piece is the result of five years of research and six months of intense activity on the part of myself, other designers and literally all of the third year students at the Glasshouse College!

 “It’s been such a great help, having the students involved in every aspect of the installation’s development – you can see them wading around in the pond with me in the photos, which goes to show just how dedicated they were!

“The project has brought a real sense of achievement to the whole team and we’d like to thank Recycling Lives for the donation of CRT – what a great use for recycled materials!”