The art organization transartists visited the studio, and watched a glassblowing demonstration. This is my first press in Dutch! Here is the English translation, courtesy of the author, Erik Hagoort:
Glass Power! Vrij Glas, Zaandam
After passing a garish row of furniture shops in Zaandam, the bus swerves onto a rather swampy dike. Next to us flows the Noordzeekanaal (North Sea Canal). Having passed a wide checkpoint, the bus stops on the Hembrug terrein, an area of land which could well do service as the set for a Cold War film. Not so very long ago, this area was full with bombs and grenades. Now however, this former munitions depot has become the workshop of Stichting Vrij Glas.
Visual artist and initiative-taker at Vrij Glas Anna Carlgren lead us around, immediately confronting us with the two most important challenges faced by Vrij Glas: “How do you finance a ‘grass-roots’ initiative such as ours? And how can you keep to the ideal of international hospitality in the jungle of restrictive regulations for residence permits?” Join forces, was Carlgren’s immediate answer. Much is within reach with the necessary staying power, or better said with the necessary fighting spirit.
These days it is impossible to think of the Dutch artist-in-residence sector without Vrij Glas. Carlgren is building on close relationships with academies and cultural centres in the Netherlands and further afield, since Vrij Glas is firmly established in the international glass-working network. However, most important of all is day to day practice. During our visit, the glass ovens roared and artist Anne Gant lead the visitors in glass-blowing.