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A huge thank you to everyone who took part in our crowdfund to build a new studio in March and April of 2016. We were able to create a new glassblowing space in Bridge of Allan to enable the training of the future generation of Scottish glassblowers and to allow us to keep up with demand for our unique, handcrafted gifts. Here is the latest news on this amazing project:
Our new glassmaking studio was officially opened by a special guest – Scotland’s leading whisky expert and author Charles MacLean. He cut the ribbon on the state-of-the-art facility which will allow us to increase production of our lovely glass gifts and train a new generation of glassblowers to continue our glassmaking legacy.
Mr MacLean said: “I’m so pleased to have been invited here today to open the studio - this is already a terrific company and this new venture will move it even further forward.
During the event, Mr MacLean and other guests – including local dignitaries and business clients – had the chance to watch our talented glassmaker Bee Hardy demonstrate her skills in the new studio.
The studio was funded thanks to money contributed by supporters of last year’s Crowdfund campaign - which raised £11,000 - and the Scottish Microfinance Fund.
The studio, which is not currently open to the public, means we have been able to move production from our co-founder Tom Young’s home workshop - which is too small to keep up with rising demand - to our headquarters. Tom, who has been making glass by hand using traditional methods for 60 years, said: “Having a new studio with more space for staff to work in means a lot to me.
“It will be a great advantage when it comes to passing glassblowing skills onto a new generation of young glassmakers and making sure we keep the tradition alive.”
We are currently waiting on a second round of funding from STEP Stirling Investment Fund. There has been an extremely precise set of criteria that we have had to meet but we are hopeful that's all now been met and look forward to receiving news of our application very soon. This funding will allow us to purchase the remaining equipment required and make the renovations to the unit compliant with H&S regulations.
Our building warrant has finally been approved. This process took much longer than anticipated, however, so it is now likely that the build on our studio will be pushed back to the start of 2017. We are approaching our busiest time for production and therefore it is unlikely we would be able to move our studio before the end of the year.
Our first piece of new equipment has been purchased, thanks to our crowdfund contributions. We now have a polishing machine, which will allow us to smooth rough edges of glassware, especially our Whisky Bottle Scented Candles when they are cut.
We have enlisted the help of a local architecture firm to draw up plans for our new studio project. We are pleased that things are moving forward and excited to see our dream start to become a reality.
Our crowdfund ended on £11,010! A massive thank you to everyone who supported us; we are extremely grateful to all of you. We'll begin the process of planning as soon as possible and look forward to giving you updates as we work through this exciting project.