FOR people interested in making a career out of stained glass, rather than pursuing it just as a hobby, in- depth, four-year courses are offered at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU).
The university is currently the only tertiary institution in South Africa that offers a full course in stained glass along with exciting programmes in kiln-formed glass and glass restoration.
NMMU has a fully equipped studio facility that supports a wide range of glass applications and experimentation to equip young developing artists with technical and formal skills enabling them to successfully operate in a diverse and competitive art world.
During the introductory year students will explore traditional stained glass materials and techniques such as glass cutting, leading, acid etching, oxide painting, glass staining, sandblasting and engraving. Because stained glass links the creative demands of the fine artist with elements relating to pure design great emphasis is placed on the design process.
If freed from the rigorous architectural limitations, a new approach opens exciting possibilities for creativity in this medium.
In the third and fourth year of study students are expected to motivate their own direction and should include details of approach to both the technical, formal and conceptual aspects of their proposed direction. It is also expected at this level that they begin to experiment with contemporary approaches to glass design and do thorough investigation into processes such as fusing, slumping and glass casting.
By re-evaluating established techniques in a contemporary manner they keep abreast of new developments in an ever-changing art environment. By continuously investigating new technology and products they encourage students to explore the limitless potential inherent in the medium itself.
The courses encourage a marriage of tradition, innovation, sound fabrication and research and provide training to students with a career-focused education in mind to prepare them with the necessary skills and expertise.
For more information visit http://stainedglass.nmmu.ac.za