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Feather from the Swallows: C.21A-F-2014

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© Amanda Simmons. Photograph copyright © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

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Object information


Feather from the Swallows


Simmons, Amanda (Glass maker)


Six kiln-formed glass vessels in shades of white, grey, blue and lavender-blue.

Legal notes

Given by Nicholas and Judith Goodison through The Art Fund

Place(s) associated

  • Corsock ⪼ Dumfries and Galloway ⪼ Scotland

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (2014-07-14) by Goodison, Nicholas and Judith


Early 21st Century
Elizabeth II
Production date: AD 2014


Amanda Simmons graduated from Central St Martin’s School of Art & Design in London, achieving a distinction in the Postgraduate Certificate in Glass & Architecture, before re-locating to Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland in 2005. Her kilnformed glass vessels play with gravity in the kiln. Manipulating mass, heat, colour and time, she seeks to create complex, elusive work that has intense colour and pattern and which reacts to the light it is placed in. She uses opaque glass powders to construct her work because of their varying translucency as the form elongates in the kiln. She finishes the kiln fired pieces using various coldworking processes to shape and mark the glass including sandblasting, hand lapping and diamond point and wheel engraving. She explains her 'Feather from the Swallows' range as 'a gift from my wee visitors who share my workshop for 5-6 months of the year. In early spring they arrive back from overseas and start re-building and repairing the previous years nests. Grass and mud first litters the workshop but then come the feathers brought in to line the nests. One day whilst struggling with a white concept piece a feather fluttered down onto my work bench and inspired these curled detailed drawings of a feather'. Other forms in the series include a bowl and a platter.

Text from object entry in A. Game (2016) ‘Contemporary British Crafts: The Goodison Gift to the Fitzwilliam Museum’. London: Philip Wilson Publishers: Amanda Simmons originally trained as a clinical scientist at King’s College, London before shifting career to the study of glass following an introduction to the material at adult education classes at the Institute of London and Westminster College. She subsequently obtained a postgraduate diploma in Glass and Architecture at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and established her independent studio in South West Scotland in 2005. She undertook further study through the renowned masterclass programme at North Lands Creative Glass in Caithness in 2008 and 2011. Simmons’ work fuses opaque glass powders in the kiln to create vessels which reflect her interest in living structures and in particular the forms and migratory patterns of birds. Amanda Simmons: ‘The Feather from the Swallows series was a gift from the visitors who share my workshop for five to six months of the year. As they build their nests, grass and mud first litter the workshop but then feathers, brought in to line the nest. One day I was struggling with a white glass form and a feather fluttered down onto my work bench and inspired these curled detailed drawings of a feather.’

Components of the work

B Height 7.6 cm Width 5.8 cm
E Height 8.2 cm Width Rim 5.3 cm
C Height 8.4 cm Width Rim 5.9 cm
F Height 8 cm Width Rim 6.7 cm
D Height 9.2 cm Width Rim 6.2 cm
A Height 9.8 cm Width Rim 6.5 cm

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Kiln forming

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.21A-F-2014
Primary reference Number: 199700
Entry form number: 1094
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Tuesday 12 August 2014 Updated: Friday 6 August 2021 Last processed: Monday 9 August 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Feather from the Swallows" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-07-07 06:35:03

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