Our Denis proves that glass blowing is not just a lot of hot air!

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GLASS artistry is not just a lot of hot air — as former Dispatch chief reporter Denis Robinson has discovered.

He had a go at glass blowing during an outing for a group of 11 people from Hucknall Men’s Probus Club, of which he is a member.

Denis found that exceptional skill is involved in producing the gorgeous glass sculptures to be seen at the Hot Glass Studio in Thoresby, north Nottinghamshire.

Former Hucknall woman Ingrid Pears, who runs the studio, gave a demonstration of the skills which have brought her amazing success as an international, award-winning glass-artist.

Her clients include the British High Commission in Mumbai and Delhi, India, and she has even created a piece for Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

Ingrid, who now lives in Mansfield, is the daughter of Keith and Yvonne Pears, who had a general goods and off-licence corner shop on Washdyke Lane, Hucknall until they retired last year.

A former pupil of Annie Holgate Comprehensive School, Hucknall, Ingrid (35) studied art and design at West Notts College in Mansfield.

She then progressed to Middlesex University to study 3D design, specialising in glass, and this led to a post-graduate qualification from the International Glass Centre in the West Midlands.

Ingrid has since travelled the world on trade missions and has acquired a passion for India, a country that now accounts for 40% of her turnover. During a visit to India, she was commissioned to create pieces for the Bollywood film awards.

An exhibition of her work at the British Council in New Delhi was attended by the coalition government’s business secretary, Vince Cable. Her experiences have also included a visit to the Himalayas and an invitation for tea with the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

As part of her demonstration to the Probus group, in which she was assisted by Joyce Dickinson, Ingrid showed how various colours are incorporated into her glass pieces.

She said: “I fell in love with glass and my whole life is dedicated to glass. I am really lucky it has enabled me to travel the world and meet many nice people.”

OUR PHOTO shows Denis trying his hand at glass blowing, with help from Ingrid. (PHOTO BY: Tony Bucknall).