Our Story

From a garden shed to the largest supplier in Europe. The history of Warm Glass.



Simon, a graduate of the Royal College of Art, started making glass tiles in his garden shed in Wrington, Somerset.

Trading as Fifth Element Design, Simon exhibited at the Birmingham NEC in 2001 and the shed soon became too small... the business needed to move.



Simon moved his fledgling business to a small industrial unit and started importing glass directly from Bullseye Glass Co. and CBS Dichroic 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 this new 'internet thing' had any potential..



Pippa, who has a BA(Hons) degree in Business Studies and an MBA, had been working overseas for several years for a large international drinks company. When she returned to the UK, she was running Creative Glass Guild in Bristol when she met Simon.

They both 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...



Going online: Pippa and Simon launched a static one page website (the internet was just starting up!) called dichroic-glass.co.uk and took a tiny advert in Craft magazine offering free samples of dichroic glass. Every order they recieved was weighed and posted, as well as allowing visitors to come and choose their own selection. They sent an invoice with every order and a stamped addressed envelope for customers to send a cheque by return and they never had any bad debt!

Pippa recalls, "We had one computer that was covered with a cardboard box as the roof leaked when it rained, and our largest box at the time was small enough to fit through someone's letterbox!" Two local 15 year olds, Megan and Ellie, both joined the team, coming in part time after school to help 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 Finance Director at Warm Glass. Megan's mum, Veronica, also helped out and is now Customer Services Manager and the friendly voice at the end of the phone.



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.

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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 a muddy field surrounded by sheep. They chose the unit for the view, which students of our classes also enjoyed!

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



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; setting a precedent as we try to send at least one member of the team to Portland, Oregon to learn new skills every two years!

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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 Live Online Masterclasses throughout the year, bookable through the Glass School. A list of all artists who have taught in the Warm Glass UK studio can be found on our 'meet the teachers' page.

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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!

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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.

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

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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.



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.



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.



Several members of our team ran in the Bristol 10K and raised over £3000 for our chosen charity, the Mekong Wheelchair Project in Cambodia.

Most of us were not natural runners, but it was a fantastic day and were grateful to everyone who sponsored us. See how we got on in our video.



Where do we start with 2020! Our office team spent much of the year working remotely, and our amazing warehouse team adapted to their new Safe Distance Workstations.

We worked incredibly hard to support our community through the pandemic, to keep everyone safe and creative.

Our studio classes were put on hold, but we decided to bring the teaching to you. We launched our incredibly popular Live Online Masterclasses, with more class spaces and teachers than ever before. Meet our internationally renowned teachers here.

Image credit: Bob Leatherbarrow



We officially became Employee Owned! Our team has always been the driving force that brings fresh, creative ideas which inspire our work and community, and together own the majority of the business.

With a focus on trust and recognition, the voice of every co-owner is treated with respect and the team have significant input in decision-making and share equally in the profit of the company.



Warm Glass, as part of Creative Revolution Group, proudly became a B Corp company on Earth Day 2022 with a certifying score of 97.3! Becoming a B Corp in 2022 was a big step forward for us.

To be certified as a B Corp, every aspect of the business is analysed and verified to make sure that the business meets the highest standards of environmental and social performance.



We celebrated the retirement of our founders Simon and Pippa, looking back with gratitude, and forward with excitement for the chapters yet to unfold. 

The reigns were handed over to our strong team of employees, who continue to build on the values and foundations they laid - creating a future as bright and colourful as the glass art world!

From a shed in Somerset to an international supplier and educator, Pippa and Simon's legacy will live on, etched into history.