Howse, Mel

Mel Howse, design for a Lord Olivier Window for the National Theatre (1991).
Photo: Mel Howse
Mel Howse, sample panel for a Lord Olivier Window for the National Theatre (1991).
Photo: Peter Hildebrand

Mel Howse (b.1968) is a British glass artist and graduate of the Swansea School. As a student, and throughout her career, she has won numerous awards for her work as contemporary designer, maker, and for the contribution her art has made to heritage.

Her versatile and ambitious portfolio includes stained glass, vitreous enamels on steel, and progressive industrial pieces using toughened glass, in her quest for individual and inspiring aesthetics.

She continually re-evaluates the opportunities presented by glass as a creative architectural medium, within installed commissions for public art.

Mel’s work focuses on the nature of a piece, aiming for completeness of vision, and spirit of place, with every commission its own world in terms of innovation, purpose, symbolism or form.

Source: Mel Howse website


Mel Howse and the Worshipful Company of Glaziers

The Worshipful Company of Glaziers first appears in written records in 1364-65 during the reign of Edward III, when the emphasis was on the protection of the personal economic welfare of Glaziers. However, in recent times the focus has shifted to the preservation of the heritage of stained glass and to the support of education in architectural glass art, design and conservation.

In 1932 the Company launched an annual competition for young artists, which from 1972 operated under the banner of the Stevens Competition. The competition provided an opportunity for aspiring architectural glass artists, designers, and craftsmen to compete in a format which simulated the process typically undertaken in order to obtain a commercial commission.

Mel Howse won first prize in 1991 with a design for a Lord Olivier Window for the National Theatre. This was a theoretical location, so no window was actually made. The winning design is shown above, along with an image of the sample panel that accompanied the entry.

Mel Howse subsequently went on to act as a Stevens Competition judge.