Netflix Blown Away series winner Elliot Walker to auction two glass spools for the NHS
- Credit: Supplied by Nathan Rous PR
A Hertfordshire-based Netflix star and glass sculpture artist is to auction two artworks for the 73rd anniversary of the NHS.
He stunned audiences around the world when he won the second series of Netflix's reality series Blown Away – and now global glassblowing icon Elliot Walker is auctioning off his work to raise money for the NHS.
To thank healthcare workers for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic, the 32-year-old artist has created two large glass spools which, with the help of London Glassblowing, will go under the hammer to raise funds for the Healthcare Workers’ Foundation.
The two pieces, titled The Threads Connecting Us, measure approximately 40cm in height and 15cm in width – and 50 per cent of the funds raised from their sale at auction will be donated to the charity. They each come with a separate needle.
The spools design was initially thought up when London Glassblowing – set up by the UK's oldest glassblower Peter Layton back in 1976 – made a call-out for ideas for a live demonstration in which others could take part to celebrate the easing of lockdown restrictions and keep the excitement alive following Elliot’s success on Blown Away.
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After completing his MA degree in Applied Arts, Elliot worked at London Glassblowing for eight years after being spotted by the studio while doing a demonstration with a friend at Waterperry Gardens in Oxford.
“They wanted to do something which other people could be involved in to bring everyone together and to mark the human response to the pandemic,” said Elliot.
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“So I came up with the idea of the spools, where people could help apply the threads, with the separate needle on each representing the vaccine.”
Elliot's workshop Blowfish Glass is based in Hertford.
Elliot says his inspiration behind wanting to help came from his mum, Alison Innes, who came out of retirement during the pandemic to aid with the vaccine rollout, and to help with community outreach programmes at places of worship around the Midlands.
“My mum worked for the NHS for 25 years as an administrator at a GP surgery,” explained Elliot.
“She came out of retirement to help with the emergency. Her husband was in an at-risk category, so she was very pleased to be a part of it.
“The pandemic and lockdown was very hard for everybody. For me, we were quite lucky because my partner Beth and I work together, so we were able to continue working.
"And I was lucky to have the show. It was very hard for everybody to get any work or make money as the studios were closed.”
The two large spools will go under the hammer on Monday, July 5 to coincide with the 73rd anniversary of the NHS.
A small number of limited edition spools in three colours are also available to purchase exclusively from London Glassblowing as part of their summer show, which is currently running and ends on July 17. Visit www.londonglassblowing.co.uk for more.
The summer show this year coincides with 45 years of the Bermondsey Street studio – and the 84th birthday of its founder, grandmaster of glass Peter Layton, which takes place on June 21.
The London Glassblowing Summer Show will take place at the Bermondsey Street gallery, with pieces also available to view and buy via an online catalogue at https://londonglassblowing.co.uk