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The Warm Glass Team

Our Story

From a garden shed to the foremost supplier of fusing glass in Europe. The history of Warm Glass.

2000

Simon, a graduate of the Royal College of Art, started making glass tiles in his garden shed in Wrington, Somerset in 2000.  Trading as Fifth Element Design, Simon exhibited at the Birmingham NEC in 2001 and the shed soon became too small and the business needed to move.
Fifth Element Design
 

2002

Simon moved his fledgling business to a small industrial unit in Wrington and started importing glass directly from Bullseye and CBS in the States. "I just couldn't get all the glass I needed from the UK suppliers so I had to import it myself". Selling glass to local artists as a side line, Simon began looking into whether the new internet thing had any potential.
Dichroic Glass
 

2003

Simon and Pippa met when Pippa was running Creative Glass Guild in Bristol. They got chatting about dichroic glass and Pippa subsequently visited dichroic-glass.co.uk to buy some glass. They agreed to work together one day a week to see if there was a business in selling glass on the internet – the rest is history...
Simonpippa 
 

2004

Going online: Pippa and Simon launched a static one page website (as the internet was just starting up) called dichroicglass.co.uk and took a tiny advert in Craft magazine offering free samples of dichroic glass.

They weighed out every order that they received as well as allowing visitors to come and choose and weigh their own selection. They sent an invoice with every order and a stamped addressed envelope for customers to send us a cheque by return and they never had any bad debt!

Pippa recalls "we had one computer that was covered with plastic bag as the roof leaked when it rained, and our largest box at the time was small enough to fit through someones letterbox!"
 
Two local 15 year olds Megan and Ellie both joined the team, coming in part time after school to fulfil orders. Megan was paid in glass which she used to create her own jewellery. She has gone on to become the Education Co-ordinator and teacher, while Ellie is now head of Finance at Warm Glass.  Megan's mum, Veronica, also helped out and is now Head of Customer Service and the friendly voice at the end of the phone.
Pippa picking Dichroic glass orders
 

2005

Warm Glass was born! The small team moved to a former veg shop in Wrington and Warm Glass became a limited company selling Bullseye Glass.
Old VG Store Wrington
 

2006

The Glass Prize was launched, our prestigious annual glass artist award open to artists across the world. An early winner was Chris Edgar with a beautiful piece, full of movement, called 'The Great Escape'. The Glass Prize now offers prizes in three different categories each year. It has it's own dedicated website: www.theglassprize.co.uk

Warm Glass moved to 5 Havyatt Business Park in Wrington. Pippa and Simon chose the site off plan, while standing in muddy field surrounded by sheep. They chose the unit for the view, which students of our classes get to enjoy to this day!
history of Warm Glass'The Great Escape' - Chris Edgar
 

2007

The first fully functioning Warm Glass website was launched. Now customers could actually buy glass and pay directly from the website!
Warm Glass old logo
 

2008

A 2nd floor was added to the warehouse to create more space for a studio and resource centre. Simon went to Bullseye to complete their education course.
Warm Glass Studio
 

2009

Inspired by the Bullseye education experience, we introduced our own education programme in the UK using the newly created studio space. The first masterclass was with the amazing Catherine Newell. We were lucky enough to have Nathan Sandberg, Silvia Levenson and Jeremy Lepisto teach in the same year.

We continue to provide a full timetable of classes throughout the year, bookable through our website. A fill list of the artists who have taught in the Warm Glass UK studio can be found on our 'meet the teachers' page.
Early Warm Glass Classes
 

2010

Our website was redeveloped to provide a better shopping experience. But much more importantly, this was the year our furry Warm Glass mascot Muttley was born!
Muttley
 

2012

Megan (now our studio co-ordinator) taught her very first glass class in our studio, 'Fusing for Fun', having completed her degree in Creative Art Practices at Sheffield University and returned to Warm Glass the year before.
 
We began making our own DIY recycled packaging in 2012 by installing an industrial cardboard shredder. It was so successful that today we collect waste cardboard from all the businesses around us and turn it into about 2 cubic metres of packaging every day.
Megan and shredding
 

2014

We began donating our Bullseye crates to the fantastic Incredible Edible project in Bristol, who repurposed them as planters in the local community
Incredible Edible Bristol Crates
 

2015

We began supporting our local primary school pupils. The children loved experimenting with glass and created beautiful collaborative pieces based on the theme 'Our Solar System'. They were also given a tour of the warehouse and taught about what we do here.
 
Our website was also relaunched in 2015, this time making it much more mobile-friendly, in response to the changing way our customers like to shop. We also expanded our popular Knowledge Base to provide even more free advice to new and established glass artists.
Wrington Youth Week visit
 

2017

Our sister site, Hot Clay was launched: www.hot-clay.com, supplying pottery kilns, clay and tools to ceramic artists across the UK and Europe.
Hot Clay
 

2018

We reduced our use of packing plastics by 95% and increased our use of sustainable packaging. This means that your orders contain no unnecessary packaging but still arrive intact, environmentally friendly and just as exciting. We also continue to reuse and recycle packaging we receive from our suppliers where possible. Here's our Environmental Policy.
Warm Glass Plastic reduction
 

 

© Warm Glass UK, 2015-2018
Registered office: 5 Havyat Park, Wrington, Bristol, BS40 5PA, UK
Company Reg No. 5365166. VAT No. 791350132