Glass Design by Ronald Stennett-Wilson

ALISON CROOSE Fermoy Gallery, King's Lynn Arts Centre


From the gallery entrance the view is of a stunning rainbow of glass which celebrates the achievements of a Norfolk entrepreneur and represents an important piece of King's Lynn's industrial history.

Some 200 items on show are the majority of designs by Ronald Stennett-Willson who established a glass-making tradition at Lynn in 1967.

The retrospective results from the dedicated enthusiasm of Dr Graham Cooley of Cambridge who can enjoy seeing his collection on show for the first time.

Mr Stennett-Willson, in his late 80s and living in North Norfolk, is recognised as a leading designer of post-war glass. He worked with Dr Cooley in planning the exhibition which traces his work over 26 years.

The distinctive candlesticks, which are a memorable tribute to the achievements of King's Lynn Glass at Hardwick industrial estate, were ahead of their time.

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The intriguing paperweights, the easily stackable vases made especially for SS Canberra, and the sleek drinking glasses and decanters are all practical and elegant.

Stennett-Willson's innovative use of a spectrum of vibrant colours gives his designs dramatic impact enhanced by the excellent way they have been displayed to form a fascinating exhibition.