Road Hogs - An Installation of New Glass Sculpture

by Rachel Elliott

Help fund production of 100s of glass hedgehogs invading Manchester Craft & Design Centre

Art Edinburgh, United Kingdom
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My name is Rachel and I'm a glass artist, not the blowing kind or the church window variety (although they are cool too!) but the kiln-forming type.  This basically means I cut, paint, stack, poke, beg the glass into position or in molds inside a kiln before closing the lid and hoping that it turns out how I envisage after the program of heating and cooling finishes. 

Mostly it does, sometimes is doesn't, which can also be interesting too!


In Spring 2012, Craft Scotland and Manchester Craft and Design Centre called for applications from innovative makers creating work at the ‘forefront of craft practice.’ They wanted to hear from makers in Scotland who utilised new technologies, pushed a traditional technique to its limits, and explored new areas of their own practice.

The four makers from Scotland selected form the exhibition ‘FourFront’, which will open at Manchester Craft and Design Centre on 24 November 2012, and will run until 09 March 2013. Working in glass, textiles, paper and metal, the inventive makers push the boundaries of their craft and embrace new methods, technologies and materials to create work.


I proposed to install a group of my new glass sculptures which are made by cutting flat glass using a water-jet and then screen-printing them by hand with kiln fired enamels.  I had an idea in my head that the centre might want 30 or so of these for the space but the idea has quickly grown into a larger gathering that will involve much more cutting, printing and wrangling of creatures down from my studio in Scotland to Manchester!

I learnt how to water-jet cut glass from an expert in the field in 2010 specifically with a project in mind to do a large panel for an exhibition.  The result was a 2m tall glass hare, who is boxing and printed with black and white photographs (as seen in the images above).  At the same time, the baby hares or leverets came along which are small at 10cms tall and free-stand due to the thick glass they are cut from.  They proved so popular that I carried on making them, adding foxes and oak trees to the range, as well as scaling up in size a little bit too.


I've always loved hedgehogs, since seeing my first ones as a child noisily snuffling across the garden and dragging them indoors to feed them dog food and coax them to unroll.  We rescued quite a few as well, mainly ones that were underweight in the winter or babies that we found in random places.  This was in leafy Surrey and since moving to Edinburgh a decade ago; firstly to study my degree in glass, before staying and building my studio, I've not seen a hedgehog.  Well, I say that, at least not a live non-pan caked one.  For it seems no matter how many decades roads have been around and vehicles have been whizzing along them, the poor hedgehog has not learned to avoid them.

So I wanted to pay tribute to the hogs I've known (and hopefully will know again), appeal to other people's love of this creature, as well as throwing a bit of fun into the mix!


Well this is the fun part, I need some help raising the initial money to get the glass cut into a few hundred of these hedgehogs and back to the studio for me to finish off by screen-printing, firing and polishing.  I've designed some rewards that you can buy to help me do this and you get something, no matter what the amount you pledge, as well as your name printed on the Wall of Thanks which will be attached to the plinth the hedgehogs will be installed on at the centre.

This is my first time doing anything like this so please let me know if you have any questions, want to know more about any aspect of the project or want to suggest a reward you think I’ve missed!

I will also be updating this regularly with more photos of the hog designs as they are prototyped, as well as news about the exhibition and anything else that might be of interest!

For more information about the exhibition, please see -

The Manchester Craft and Design Centre website can be found here -

Visit project website




Promised of our £2,000 target


Days left

This project missed its target on Wednesday Sep 26th, 23:00
Promise £5.00 + Token of Thanks!

When each glass hog is cut, it also creates a wooden brother or sister from the supporting plywood underneath.
For your pledge you will get one of these with our thanks along with your name on the Wall of Thanks!
Includes International shipping!

44 rewards, 44 remaining
Promise £25.00 + Clearly Worth It!

Finally some glass for you to get your hands on! This pledge gets you one of the Road Hogs themselves, in their naked form and undecorated!
Each hog comes boxed and also gets your name on the Wall of Thanks!
Includes International shipping!

50 rewards, 50 remaining
Promise £35.00 + Hogs of Many Colours!

The Road Hogs are starting to get a lick of paint and this pledge gives you your choice from a number of designs.
Each hog comes boxed and also gets your name on the Wall of Thanks!
Includes International shipping

40 rewards, 40 remaining
Promise £45.00 + Design Your Own Hog!

Can't decide which Hog to go for or simply have a great idea for your own unique piece, this pledge allows you to design a 1 colour print for your hedgehog!
I will email details of what I need to print your Hog, then it will be custom made for you!
Each hog comes boxed and also gets your name on the Wall of Thanks!
Includes International shipping

25 rewards, 25 remaining
Promise £150.00 + Hog The Studio!

Want to try your hand at screen-printing on glass? This pledge is for a 1 day class at my studio in Edinburgh to come and print your own images onto glass! Includes all materials and tool use during the class.
Dates are available 7 days a week, subject to availability.
Transport to studio & accommodation not included.
You will also get your name on the Wall of Thanks!

5 rewards, 5 remaining
Promise £200.00 + Not a Hog!

I've already done hares, foxes and now hedgehogs, but this pledge allows you to request your own animal, or maybe something else, cut in flat glass!
Finished article can be up to 20cm x 15cm in size and may need discussing to achieve an outline that can be cut successfully.
Includes International shipping.
You will also get your name on the Wall of Thanks, probably near the top and in sparkly letters!

4 rewards, 4 remaining
Meet the owner
Rachel Elliott Edinburgh, United kingdom Ask Rachel a question?