A CULTURAL hot-spot proved fit for a duchess.
The Duchess of Northumberland took part in a glass blowing session at the National Glass Centre (NGC) to launch a collaboration with the St Peter’s venue.
She created a bauble which will be the first piece of a major new glass artwork to be installed at The Alnwick Garden, in the grounds of her home in Alnwick Castle.
The NGC has teamed up with the famous pleasure garden for Glass in the Garden, which will open in October.
They are looking for 1,000 participants to blow the 1,000 baubles required to create a striking giant glass Christmas tree.
Speaking about how the collaboration came about, Lady Percy said: “I was walking through the pavilion at Alnwick Garden where we hang a variety of things at different times of year, such as cherry blossom, and I thought it would make sense to have some kind of collaboration with the National Glass Centre.
“I hadn’t realised until today that the glass centre began at the same time as the garden and they are two attractions that have managed to survive in our region.
“The glass centre is a great facility and I think the way it collaborates with the university is genius.
“It’s a beautiful building, I love its contemporary design and feeling of space and light. I also love that it looks onto the river, it mixes history with the twenty-first century really well.”
For £15 per person, each participant will be taught by the centre’s skilled glass makers how to form and shape the material, apply colour and pattern and then blow into a bauble.
The sessions will take place between July 21 and August 31.
All baubles will then be gathered together to create the installation for public view at The Alnwick Garden from October half-term.
Lady Percy added: “This was my first time glass-blowing, I don’t think I was particularly good and it was difficult to do it in front of all the cameras, but it was fascinating to learn about the process.”
Every contributor to this new project, which is aimed at 12s and over, will receive two free tickets to The Alnwick Garden (worth £27.50) to see the result of their work when it is installed.
•To take part in Glass in the Garden book at National Glass Centre, Tel. 515 5555 (Option 9)