Class in a Glass

A long weekend.

So it rains.

Heavily.

J and I had planned a stroll along the seaside, maybe with a spot of kite-flying too to pander to our competitive instincts, and when we were ready to go it was still bright and dry.

When we parked our car it was still bright and dry.

But then we reached the coast, and the heavens opened.  Ever optimistic we stopped for a coffee to allow the clouds to pass, which they did… to make way for larger and even more generous clouds.  Just as well I’d forgotten the kite!

But what to do?  The National Glass Centre has undergone a bit of recycling since I last visited, and Jane has never been so a solution was at hand, and a dry one at that.

Of course we couldn’t take shelter immediately; the signs on the roof request that you “Please walk on the glass”, which means a stroll on the roof to test the mettle of anyone with vertigo, for amongst the more traditionally made panels are sections of reinforced glass that offer views of the restaurant below and reflections of the sky above.

The highest point affords some shelter so we stopped to take in the river view before exploring the interior.

A new gallery offered the chance to view the work of three artists working in glass, though it was Mexican brothers Jamex and Einar de la Torre who were the most memorable, though not in a good way!  That’s not a criticism of their craft, but their subject matter is curiously disturbing; the butterflies that we spotted on entering the building were revealed to be patterned with human eyes upon their wings and bodies formed from identical Crucifixions.  Nevertheless the degree of detail was inevitably absorbing.untitled-2

Of course there was light relief at hand too; the rippling backdrop to some of the displays provide a chance for a bit of Hall of Mirrors type distortion.

Down to the ground floor and you have the inevitable shop and restaurant offering, but also the chance to see some artists at work.  The work of glass blowing and large-scale sculpture might feature here later in the year, but a craftsman producing miniatures of the Angel of the North at fairly high-speed attracted several spectators.

 

X-Men: First Class
X-Men: First Class (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So a worthwhile afternoon after all, but that shiny roof still had possibilities.  Having seen the latest X-Men film only days before, J’s blue outfit and red hair were always going to be reminiscent of Mystique, so here is our take on the X-Men First Class poster!

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