Originally trained in Biomedical Sciences (Pharmacology) and Clinical Sciences, Amanda became interested in glass in 2002 after a stained glass course with Ray Bradley and then pursued a postgraduate in Glass and Architecture from Central St Martins College of Art and Design, London, in 2004.
Amanda currently works from her studio in Dumfries and Galloway. Following a recent two-week residency at Lyth Arts Centre in Caithness, Amanda’s work explores the continuing research of the Flow Country and its massive capacity to store carbon in the many layers of peat. Working from watercolour prints inspired by the patterns and colours of the land and sky, Amanda has made some of her largest gravity formed glassworks to date for her exhibition in July 2017 – Outer Spaces.
Public Collections include: National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh; Ernsting-Stiftung Glass Museum, Germany; The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; Perth Museum and Art Gallery, Scotland
Amanda Simmons presented a new collection in the exhibition Two Hemispheres in February 2021.
‘My journey with willow began almost 40 years ago. Despite having virtually lived and breathed willow for many of those years there has always been more ideas to try out and forms to explore.’ Lise Bech
Originally from Denmark, Lise Bech lived and worked in the Southern Uplands of Scotland for many years drawing inspiration from the landscape. She has since made a new home and studio in the heart of Fife. Living close to the earth through gardening, she grows her own willows and cares deeply for the planet. Co-operation, collaboration and community continue to be the touchstones which inform her life and practice as a basket-maker.
‘My journey with willow began almost 40 years ago. Despite having virtually lived and breathed willow for many of those years there has always been more ideas to try out and forms to explore. With less pressure in my later years, I have had time to play and experiment and indeed go deeper in those that had lasting appeal. The introduction of twisted twigs from my garden as handles and gold leaf on a ’shopper’ is a playful tongue in cheek juxtaposition which may raise questions… What is it for? Is it a shopper? Do we need shoppers these days?’ – Lise Bech