The potential of glass opens up new lessons in craft

By Sujata Burman

Atelier Vidrio is about much more than just glass-making. Founder, Elisabeth Adriel, set up the family-run studio in 2018, inspired by the nature of glass itself and her love of workshops. Adriel’s love for Spain also plays its part. “Vidrio is Spanish for glass,” she explains. “I always had a very deep connection with Spain, a few of my closest friends are from Spain and I love the country.”

Here, she shares more about the myriad potential of glass and why teaching others to work with it is central to her studio.

Why did you set up Atelier Vidrio?

I always felt attracted to glass work – stained glass, glass fusing and so forth. The colours and the transparency of the material are interesting to me. Slowly, I learned more about what glass can do. I had a friend who worked with stained glass, and took a few workshops with her. This led to me opening Atelier Vidrio. Over the last few years, I have gained more experience and started to experiment with what glass can do.

What inspires you about glass craft?

The colours, the transparency and the fine balance between vulnerability and hardness is what inspires me to make pieces out of glass. It is a fight in itself – such contrasts, but when they are evenly balanced, they can create something magical.

Although glass can sometimes be a bit stubborn and has its own will, there are many techniques you can use to work with it. Each technique has its own challenges and story to tell. Glass is not an easy material; the aesthetic result sometimes comes out differently than you might have planned – but this is also the beauty of glass. Each piece I make is a co-operation of me, the glass and the kiln.

Why do you want to teach others about glass craft?

I want to share my knowledge and encourage people to create their own pieces. Glass is beautiful to work with, albeit not the easiest material. It can create masterpieces, but the techniques are not learned in a single day. It took me years and a lot of patience to become more skilled. I want other people to tell their stories in glass works –each one is always unique.