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Eduard Ruane | University of Sunderland

Glass and Ceramics BA (Hons)

  • Name: Eduard Ruane
  • Age: 23
  • Studying: Glass and Ceramics BA (Hons)
  • Hometown: Dublin, Ireland
  • Ambitions: To travel, take on several artist residencies and working towards teaching ceramics and glass at university level.

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June 12th, 2014

Visiting artist Martin Janecky Glassblowing at the National Glass Center

World class glass artist Martin Janecky demonstrated his  virtuoso glass making skills at the National Glass Centre. demonstrating to students and staff from the glass and ceramics course, it was a very is rare and special opportunity to see one of the top glass artists in the world making his work.

“Martin Janecky (born 1980) began working with glass at the age of 13 at his father’s factory in the Czech Republic at the age of 13. His secondary school training concentrated on the creation of glass art in Novy Bor and introduced him to artists and designers from around the world that hired him to execute their ideas.  In 2003 Martin made his first trip to the United States. While working for other artists he was able to add to his already well-developed skill set and knowledge of the material.  Martin Janecky is considered to be one of the best glass sculptors working today. He is represented by the Habatat Gallery in Detroit MI, and has exhibited his work in galleries and museums all over the world.”

Here are two video snapshots of his immense skill sculpting glass as if it were clay.

Video Snapshot

Full video

May 31st, 2014

Why aren’t you applying for Livesonline ?

So with the application for Livesonline now “Live” here’s why you should apply !

all details can be found here scroll down for livesonline

Do something extraordinary !

May 28th, 2014

Iron man mask Water Jet Project, faculty of Glass and cearmics

So this was iron man ! rhino is a great opportunity to learn for 3d modelling representation,  a new visualisation tool for me coupled with the waterjet, check it out for yourself !


This was my final render, took days to finish on my slow computer ! well worth it when material and visualisation come together, especially if drawing and interpretation skills are lacking, rhino offers everyone with a basic skill-set the opportunity to realise their ideas before the next stages of prototyping !




May 14th, 2014

Student Living, delicious food – Vegeterian shepards pie

So I don’t normally cook vegetarian dishes but I gave this a go  last weekend and I must say, I’ll be cooking more like this !

The ingredients set me back just under 8 pounds, enough food for four or  two days by yourself (one if you’re feeling hearty!)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, halved and sliced
  • 2 large carrots (500g/1lb 2oz in total), cut into sugar-cube size pieces
  • 2 tbsp thyme chopped
  • 200ml red wine
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • 410g can green lentils
  • 950g sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 25g butter
  • 85g vegetarian mature cheddar, grated


Start off  with heating the oil in the frying pan, then fry the sliced onion until golden, adding the carrots and everything else but a pinch of thyme . Pour all that tasty red wine in, 150ml of water crumbling in the stock cubes and let it simmer for 10 mins ( low heat ). Next up tip in the can of lentils, including the water/juices covering and let it simmer for another 10 mins till the carrots are still a little crunchy and lentils are pulpy.

So while you’ve prepared the upper part,  boil the sweet potatoes ( make sure the chunks are small otherwise it’ll take ages to cook ! ) for 15 mins until tender, drain well, then mash with the butter and season to taste.  Then Pile the lentil mixture into a pie dish, spoon the mash on top, then sprinkle over the cheese and remaining thyme.

Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5, Cook for 20 mins until golden/crispy top and hot all the way through.

I served it with broccoli and steak but a meal by itself its just tasty as !

Let me know how you guys get on !


Shepards pie take 1



May 14th, 2014

London Campus Canary Wharf visit

Seeing as I was already in London for career development and the collect fair at Saatchi, before heading back up to Sunderland i went to visit the  University of Sunderland London Campus. Located in the heart of canary wharf, its actually quite an amazing place, impressive architecture

Its quite a close knit community being based in one building, was actually quite impressed by the IT and Library facilities available for the students most of which are international.

I’d say the local environment with the high rise buildings and streets flooded in suits and business attire while attaining a globally recognised degree ! seems perfect to me and its not actually that far out from London considering the DLR is close by about two minutes i think. William showed me around the building, seeing as it was enrollment day new courses were soon to begin. Definite sociable atmosphere with the common rooms and pool tables !

University of Sunderland have a great Introduction video to the London Campus, check it out here !



May 13th, 2014

Collect art fair, Saatchi gallery, London

Collect at Saatchi was a great  experience here’s a point of view tour of some of the highlights at Collect for me.

Especially seeing glass-work from china, foam that converts under heat and chemical application to glass ! Their attention to skill and intricacy always surprises me at Saatchi, bespoke items and hand crafted pieces still stand in the forefront of glass and ceramic art.

May 5th, 2014

7am Roker kayaking and Rhino 3d modelling progress !

I pretty much enjoy heading out at 6 am to catch the waves that seem to be present on the Sunderland Roker webcam in the mornings> 

(saves me from running down to the beach to find nothing !

but always once heading down to the beach they either seem to dissipate to small one footers! its all about chance nowadays 

My rhino project is going great, 3d modelling a iron man style mask to be waterjet has been a challenge im constantly learning more and more about this new visualisation tool and its a skill set that you have to learn if youre willing to move towards the design, rapid prototyping art market.

Using the render function on rhino makes it possible to explain your projected ideas in their final material form ( anything from glass to ceramics to carbon-fiber and wood)  before making them, I wouldn’t consider myself excellent at drawing but rhino definitely helps me to design and research my ideas before those final stages of making

April 22nd, 2014

Ireland update, Easter break, professional development and research

Flying home to Dublin for Easter break was a great way to catch up with friends and family but also set up my home studio and ceramic kiln, ready for post graduation work and exhibitions. Experimenting with throwing ceramic pots and progression of my own technique while enjoying the benefits of home cooking has definitely put me into gear for upcoming degree show work !

April 4th, 2014

Glass and Ceramics insights !

Quick lunch break so i thought why not a better  time to blog, I’m off to Dublin today for the 3 week Easter break, eventually time to catch up with family and set up ceramic studio equipment. I figured  I would write a brief intro to the Glass and Ceramics course here at University of Sunderland.

The time split between glass and ceramics in your first year depends how your group gets split up..usually alphabetically,glass in the first say 10 and ceramics on the rest, you’ll have  either your ceramic module for the first term and then rotate to glass after christmas or  vice versa, When you’ve completed both glass-being split up between hot glass (glass blowing) architectural ( stained glass, gluing, fusing) and cast glass ( lost-wax, pate de verre and core casting) and ceramic ( throwing, slab building, slip casting, introduction to glazing and raku firings ) you’ll be given the choice to decide what area youll take your final first year assessment in to be honest its still quite open even for myself being in my final year its really down to you what area or what medium works best with your “idea”

There are no tutors as such, course lecturers take students under their wing and if anything  it’s like family, each one is approchable to talk to.

Colin Rennie the BA course leader is excellent hes so damn understanding, has world acclaim is excellent  in the field of water jet blown glass work and very modest about it.

James Maskrey is the hotshop teacher/technician he’s also wonderful and will sit with you till you figure out how to blow glass, with years of glassblowing behind him hes a master in his own element, also has work in the Victoria and albert museum permanent collection in london.

Jeffrey Sarmiento is the MA course leader he’s recently had his solo show at the national glass centre ( if you want to learn all about screen printing and layering glass, hes the go to guy ) , have you been to visit yet ? he’ll take you in first year for your intermidiate blown glass class  or a mould blowing (creating plaster negative two part moulds and blowing glass into them to create a hollow positive) im not actually sure if it’s been dropped or changed to someting similar- I’ll get back to you guys on that one.

Cate Watkinson takes the Architectural glass group and is final year course leader, shes quite demanding and will only help you when she realises that youre actually putting the work in, great teacher to have around if your looking to go into architectural site specific design or stained glass, there really is so much  opportunity here youve just got to apply yourself to everything 🙂 If you do come to Sunderland especially at the glass centre it is very integrated.

Kevin Petrie is head of the faculty and the glass PHD course leader, very experienced in printing on ceramics he’s written a few books, you wont see him much but if youre stuck with something he has quite simple solutions to everything, he also teaches the professional development module.

so thats glass covered i think..

Ceramics wise there is

Andrew Livingston, he leads the MA ceramics students and is a specific ceramic tutor, go to guy for slip casting and contemporary ceramic design.

Robert Winter is the ceramic technician, great guy always organising trips to vietnam india anywhere involving fair trade ( if you look into the sunderland futures fund theres a way to have these trips paid for if you make a successful applicaiton! ) he teaches first year basics, throwing, glazing, programming kiln firings etc. ceramics doesn’t really function without him being there he’s also in most days till late ( 9pm)

and of course there’s Tim – glass technican- he knows everything ( everything ! ) if you’re wanting the best knowledge on cold working glass hes the best guy around knows so much, great guy.

I hope thats summed up lecturers/tutors/technicians.

How we get assessed it doesnt really differ throughout years one to three, its by a viva sometimes with your year group sometimes alone, sure its stressfull if youre not prepared, youll always need to have dialogue for your work if it just looks cool or you liked the idea you wont get far, visual research is important too ive really got to work on my sketches visual and supporting  work ( technical notebooks)  as its usually anywhere between 10 – 20% of your grade

Having alot to do depends on how complicated your idea gets, if you find a way to make something simple but have a way of supporting your work visually youre set !  the studio is open monday to thursday 9-9 and friday 9-5 once you get signed off in the glassblowing studio you can work in 2’s unsupervised ! I just like the idea that my lecturers cant see my epic failures haha

Accommodation wise, the accomodaitons closest to the Glass centre are panns bank/scotia quay its about 76 pounds a week ( dont quote me on that though ) but its part of the experience ! I waited to long to book accommodation, ended up at the forge which is  about a 40 min walk from the glass centre its nearby to clanny house quite the trek,  I rented a house in second year and  now i’m renting a 5 bed house with students in my year it works out marginally cheaper than halls, but then halls is the place to be especially in first year to have all those mad shennanigans/ society banter/ great friends. So if you’re looking for somewhere close to the Glass Centre defiantly panns bank, youre right across the river looking at st peters campus.

Sunderland so far is great, joining societys was a great decision  ( freshers fayre mid september ) youll meet so much more people, seeing as glass and ceramic students seem to get quite close knit its nice to get out with different people, the student nights here are great quite cheap, different nights, rock night thursday is a favourite..Newcastle is excellent aswell, get the metro out there its about half an hour and a minibus back with 5-6 people sets you back under 5 pounds.

Its also cycling friendly here ! they’ve recently introduced this scratch bikes scheme  with the rentable bikes, except the first 30 mins are free, alot of time to cycle between both city space and st. peters campus.

Hope I’ve  given a brief introduction, If I think of anything else I’ll add it to future posts.




April 2nd, 2014

Sunrise Kayaking at 5.30am !

Figured that I would shoot a proper time-lapse, here’s how I spend my mornings ! who need coffee anyhow ! enjoy !


(720p quality and full screen gives you the best view..)