GLASS-MAKING TRADITION AND TWINNING
The history of glass-making in Biot began in 1956, through the tenacity of Éloi Monod, an engineer who graduated top of his year from the National School of Ceramics in Sèvres and who, contrary to all advice, decided to set up a small production facility for mouth-blown glass. The construction of the studio began in January 1956. It would finish in April that same year. Following a difficult start, the three-man team (Fidel Lopez, Raymond Winnovski and of course Éloi Monod) soon found they could not keep pace with the glass-making production capacity required to meet demand, such was their success. So, Éloi Monod decided to take on some “kids”. Éloi Monod’s business thus breathed life into the creative dynamism of an entire generation: Jean Claude Novaro, Alain and Marisa Begou, Robert Pierini, Michèle Luzoro, Claude and Isabelle Monod, and Ada Loumani. These young apprentice Biot glassmakers from the 1960s to 1980s trained with master glass artists and handed down their passion to the following and current generations who, in turn, make their living from glass work.
Some of them preserve the traditions, selling functional glassware and tableware in their studio shops, whilst others convey their imagination through glass, creating real works of art.
In October 2012, the respective municipal councils of Biot and Tacoma (Washington State, USA), officially ratified their wish for the two towns to twin with each other, notably on the basis of a shared passion: glass work. Since then, numerous lasting exchanges have been organised and will continue between glass artists in Biot and at the Tacoma Museum of Glass. This has included three dual-location events held as part of the Kids Design Glass™ programme (two in 2014 and one in 2017) in a collaboration between the two glass-making towns.
BIOT INTERNATIONAL GLASS FESTIVAL
Promoting arts and crafts is a central theme of the Biot municipal team’s plan. The town supports artisans and encourages the rise and development of new artists through numerous activities, begun in 2014, such as setting up an arts and crafts showcase at the tourist information office, participating in the Créative association and in European Artistic Crafts Days (Journées Européennes des Métiers d’Art), organising a Kids Design Glass™ event, taking part in the Révélations international art and fine crafts festival in Paris etc.
So, Biot would like to create a large-scale event to promote artistic glass work. This event, the Biot International Glass Festival, is being held in close collaboration with the glass artists and artisans of Biot. Their knowledge of the arts and crafts environment and especially of glass, their involvement in specialist networks and their participation in similar national and international events make their collaboration a major asset.
This celebratory event will take place in Biot from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd September 2018. The aim of this very first Biot International Glass Festival will be to bring together professionals, artists and artisans, focused on a single passion, in order to highlight to the general public the artistry and craftsmanship present in Biot, especially in glass.
Several events will be scheduled throughout the three days. A combined Show & Sale of work will be held in the Paul Gilardi hall, bringing together around thirty glass artist stands. A retrospective exhibition, highlighting glass-making expertise in Biot will be on display at the Biot Museum of History and Ceramics. Workshops and demonstrations will be offered in the village to introduce children and adults to the art of glass-making. There will be film screenings and conferences for glass enthusiasts and experts to enhance the programme still further. In addition, every Biot artist will open up their studio for demonstrations and will be included in visitor routes. Lastly, Glass Art Cooking™ will allow the public to discover an extraordinary culinary and artistic experience.
Finally, throughout the Festival and up until the end of the year, there will be a free International Exhibition held in the Municipal Exhibition Halls. It will include works by French and European glass artists, selected by a panel of judges, and works by some international guest artists for this first Biot International Glass Festival.
The Paul Gilardi hall, housing the Show & Sale, is a recently built large, 400m² hall with wooden floor, located close to the village. The hall will be able to accommodate around thirty stands and will be laid out with high-quality partitions to demarcate the different spaces. The hall meets all standards regarding accessibility.
The Municipal Exhibition Halls will house the International Exhibition in the heart of the village of Biot. They were recently restructured to accommodate high-quality exhibitions on three floors within the same building. There is also access for people with limited mobility.
Activities, events, demonstrations, conferences and screenings will take place in the historic centre of Biot.
These three sites are connected to each other, served by free shuttle buses and are close to large free parking facilities.
Town of Biot
BIOT INTERNATIONAL GLASS FESTIVAL
+33 4 22 10 57 50
06410 Biot, France