Makers > Emma Woffenden
Emma Woffenden: Sample work

Emma Woffenden

Swollen, 1996
Glass, lead crystal
Free-blown glass bubble, kiln-cast claw, ground, UV bonded
Crafts Council Collection: G84; Photo: Nick Moss

Within Woffenden’s Swollen, the bent bubble has come to represent the figure in an early or embryonic stage. In the glassblowing process it also represents the stage before the material is gathered over and reformed. The claw, another signature element of her work, represents the hand and fingers or suggests whole limbs. Woffenden’s exquisitely beautiful work possesses a powerful capacity to unsettle.

Swollen simultaneously evokes giving birth and being born. The sculpture is freed in such a way as to dispense with the need to create any link to function.


Born in England in 1967, Emma is an RCA graduate with studios in France near Lyon and London. Within her field she is best known for her experimental mixed media installation and sculpture, but also for Transglass (established 1997) a joint design venture with her partner Tord Boontje. Her work is internationally represented in museums and private collections including The Victoria and Albert Museum and MOMA.

Emma’s exquisitely beautiful work possesses a (contrastingly) powerful capacity to unsettle and has received extensive media coverage including Art Review, The Independent, Crafts Magazine and The Sunday Telegraph.

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For more information about the exhibition and the makers featured download the gallery guide.

Upcoming tour dates

  • Callendar House

    May 7th – July 2nd, 2011

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  • DLI Museum and Durham Art Gallery

    July 9th – August 29th, 2011

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