Matt Reed runs one of the largest Facebook groups for Glass Artists, at the time of writing it has 14,320 members. I thought that it would be a good idea to find out a little more about the Group and the man himself.
When did you start your Facebook group, and why did you create it?
I inherited the group about five years ago when it had about 200 members. I had been chatting with the admin who asked if I would like to take it over as she didn't have the time. We now have over 14000 members and continue to grow.
What do you feel makes your community special?
I think it's the sheer diversity of work that people are making and it's great to see so many different techniques and styles being used. It's also really nice to see people swapping tips and helping each other out. If you're stuck with something then you're likely to find someone who can give you the answer.
If you could magically give all of your community members one thing in this world, what would it be, and why?
Unlimited materials. Wouldn't it be great to have whatever you needed at your fingertips. I'd sure like that.
If you could ask your group members one thing and get an answer from all of them, what would that question be?
What do you consider the most important tool in your artistic library and why? From inspiration to technical endeavors to literature, the glass art world has so much to offer.
The range of answers such a question should elicit would provide a microcosm of the glass world that would prove both instructional and fascinating.
Feel free to give a shout-out to some of your power-users or most active members. Does anyone come to mind, and what do you like most about them?
I'd like to give a shout out to our member Catherine Hamilton. Catherine joined fairly recently but instantly became a key member and now co-admins the group. Her work is really beautiful, she's very talented.
What are some of the hot topics that seem to always be discussed within the group?
As a group with a focus on glass art, a picture speaks a thousand words. All members enjoy sharing their own work and seeing the works of others. The membership is very supportive, answering technical questions, complementing quality art, and encouraging each other.
Friendships are made within the group. Because glass art is a broad subject, encompassing cold, warm, and hot glass techniques, the posts are equally varied.
For someone new to this community, how do they get the most out of it?
Show us your work. Whether you're a hobbyist or professional, show the world what you are doing. Also, take advantage of the great wealth of experience that the group's membership has to offer.
Has anything surprised you about owning a forum about Glass Art?
To be honest it's been the amount of spammers who persistently try to pollute the group with their rubbish. No we don't want to buy any sunglasses! We've got pretty good at spotting them now and have a zero tolerance policy.
About Matt Reed
Matt Reed is from London, England. He has a Bachelor's degree in Fine Art Intermedia from Kingston University and a postgraduate certificate in Glass and Architecture from Central St Martins.
He had originally been working in film and television but took an apprenticeship in leaded glass at a studio in London in 2003 and went from there. He now specialises in modern designs for architectural spaces and produces stained glass lightboxes. He is particularly interested in mixing traditional and modern techniques and materials.
Matt's work can be seen at www.curascuro.com
Thanks Matt for the interview, if anyone would like to join Matt's group and learn from the great wealth of experience of others then you can do so here