Centenary of the Department of Glass Technology

Professor WES Turner2015 marks the centenary of the founding of the Department of Glass Technology at the University of Sheffield.

On Thursday 12 November the Department of Materials Science and Engineering hosted the 18th Turner Memorial lecture; the first of a series of events to celebrate Professor WES Turner founding both the Department of Glass Technology, and the Society of Glass Technology, in 1916.

Held at the newly completed Diamond building, Dr Charles Hajdamach presented the lecture, “British Glass Designers & Artists, The Genius Years 1875-1939”, to coincide with the years in which Professor Turner himself was most active in research. 

He discussed Fred Carder of the UK and later Steuben Glass in the USA, with Carder much admired by Professor Turner, for each had similar tenacity in problem solving on the journey to perfection. 

Dr Hajdamach concluded the evening by extolling the design skills of Helen Munro Turner, Professor Turner’s second wife, whose glass fibre wedding dress is still on display in the Museum. 

Attendees included members of the Turner family, artist Joe Scarborough and Professor Russell Hand, President of the Society of Glass Technology.

Dr Hajdamach spoke in depth and with great enthusiasm of the many inventive and imaginative designers that pursued their trade in the chosen period. We were first introduced to John Northwood and his creation of a copy of the Portland Vase, followed by examples of cameo ware with up to 5 different coloured layers that now sell for fabulous sums.

PROFESSOR JOHN PARKER/CURATOR OF THE TURNER MUSEUM OF GLASS