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Nucleus: C.4-1999

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Object information

Current Location: In storage




Glassmaker: Hough, Catherine




Pebble-shaped form. Thick, clear glass, blown, cut, sandblasted and polished. Hollow pebble-shaped object with flattened underside, cut across one end, and the thickness of the wall polished to provide a smooth frame for the aperture. The exterior is frosted, and apart from an oval area on one side, and part of the base, is engraved with flowing lines, resembling weeds flowing in water or grasses blown by the wind.


History note: Purchased by the donors from the maker at the Chelsea Craft Fair where exhibited 13th-18th October 1998

Legal notes

Given by Sir Nicholas and Lady Goodison through the National Art Collections Fund

Measurements and weight

Height: 13.5 cm
Length: 19 cm

Relative size of this object

19 cm13.5 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Place(s) associated

  • London ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1999-01-18) by Goodison, Nicholas and Judith


Late 20th Century
Elizabeth II
Production date: AD 1998


Text from object entry in A. Game (2016) ‘Contemporary British Crafts: The Goodison Gift to the Fitzwilliam Museum’. London: Philip Wilson Publishers: Catherine Hough was first introduced to glass in the 1970s through enrolling on a short course at the Glasshouse in London. The Glasshouse was a well equipped glass studio that had been established in 1969 in Neal Street by American artist Sam Herman (b.1936), with the support of Graham Hughes, in order to provide a workshop that would act as a halfway house between college and the real world for young graduates. Graham Hughes (1926–2010) was an influential voice in British art and design both as Art Director of the Goldsmiths’ Company (1951–81) and Chair of the British Crafts Centre from 1965. Hough subsequently gained a BA in Glass at Stourbridge College of Art and spent two years as artist-in-residence at Royal Brierley Crystal. She returned to the Glasshouse before establishing a new business, Glassworks, in 1985, and creating an independent studio in 1998. Pebbles and rock formations often influence the shape and surfaces of her works, but it is the qualities of glass as a transparent medium that give full expression to each piece. Catherine Hough: ‘Nucleus represented an important step in my development of asymmetrical free-blown forms using a mass of clear glass suspending a small inner bubble. Techniques such as carving, cutting and texturing with diamond and carborundum wheels, grinding and polishing, sandblasting and brushing are used to manipulate the outer surface into abstract patterns which create shifting reflections of the inner space.’

School or Style

studio glass
Contemporary Craft

Components of the work

Parts composed of glass

Techniques used in production

Blowing : Thick, clear glass, blown, cut, polished, frosted (sandblasted) and engraved

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.4-1999
Primary reference Number: 27242
Entry form number: 104
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 8 December 2020 Last processed: Wednesday 31 March 2021

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Nucleus" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-06-09 12:15:34

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{{cite web|url= |title=Nucleus |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-06-09 12:15:34|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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