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The Benefield Spencer Glass studio was established in 2010 by Scott Benefield and Andrea Spencer and operated from an old farm property on the rugged north Antrim coast just outside the beautiful village of Ballintoy.
The couple met during a residency at North Lands Creative Glass in Lybster, Scotland, and now run the only artisanal glassblowing studio in Northern Ireland. Individually and collectively, they produce an annual line of functional hand-blown glass marketed throughout the UK and Ireland, alongside commissioned work that varies from public art to architectural treatments and from bespoke lighting to props for television and film productions.
All the glass is made by hand, without moulds or machinery, using traditional offhand glassblowing techniques and formed entirely at temperatures exceeding 700C.
Venetian glass blowers invented their technique of embedding patterns directly into the glass on the island of Murano in the early 16th century, and they learned this ancient skill from Lino Tagliapietra, a Muranese master glassblower who represents an unbroken lineage of over 900 years of glassblowing in the Venetian lagoon.