Glass designers use their creative skills to design and produce glass products such as glassware, windows and windscreens, sculptures, wall panels, lighting, jewellery and beads, mirrors and tiles, food and drink packaging and fibreglass screens and cables.
Glass designers work in independent studios or at large scale manufacturers, creating designs by using drawings or computer aided design software, then raw materials or recycled glass are used to mould, shape and blow glass, using heat and kilns other components and metals are added to gild and colour to the required design.
Cutting and grinding tools may be used to process, cut and decorate products, while following rigorous quality and safety procedures.
Duties may include:
- attending design meetings
- creating new designs and ranges using drawings or 2 or 3-D design technology
- supporting the installation or repair of glass products
- working with clients to discuss their requirements and budgets
- researching trends and analysing competitors
- liaising with clients, suppliers, manufacturers and retailers
- producing progress reports
- working to project deadlines
Personal Qualities and Skills
Key skills for glass designers
- creative, with ability to interpret ideas
- strong design skills and attention to detail
- excellent IT skills, including computer aided design (CAD) software and Illustrator
- ability to operate tools and machinery
- customer focused
- good team player
- ability to communicate confidently and effectively
- highly organised, with the ability to manage deadlines and costs
Pay And Opportunities
Typical employers of glass designers
- design studios and galleries
- architectural glass designers
- building companies
- interior designers
- glass and packaging designers and manufacturers
- glaziers and glass/ windscreen repairers
- glass recyclers
- automotive, aerospace, electrical and electronic manufacturers
- colleges and universities
England and Wales
Qualifications and training provided
Creative skills are essential. Glazing technician and design apprenticeships may be offered by glass retailers, repairers and studios, which may require 5 GCSEs (grades A*-c/ 9-5), A Levels or BTEC for entry.
Level 2 or 3 courses and/ or foundation/ Higher National Diploma (HND)/ degree/ masters in art and design based subjects, design engineering, product design, ceramics or specialist glass design may be required for some job roles. Strong design software skills, especially in Adobe Illustrator, Solidworks and Creo (computer-aided 3-D design) are required for some roles.
In Scotland, Gray's School of Art at Robert Gordon University offers a degree course in Three Dimensional Design with a specialism in glass. Entry requirements are 3 Highers at BBC including English and Art & Design. City of Glasgow College has an HND course in Glass Design. Entry requirements are Higher Art & Design and two relevant subjects at National 5.