About us

About Vrij Glass, an artists-run hot glass facility.
Glass, that endlessly intriguing material, remains virtually undiscovered as a medium for artistic expression despite the millions of euros lavished on its manufacture and development, each year. To return glass to the individual artist, to develop a technology for working alone, and to demonstrate the possibilities of artist-produced glass have been our preoccupation for the past 15 years.

An intimate working knowledge of many materials is characteristic of the modern artist. Graduates of todays art schools are often equally at home working with wood, steel, bronze, plastics, canvas and paper, hand and power tools; and the search for new materials and techniques is not only a part of the scene, but may be one of its driving forces. The adventurous spirit of the artists today have led many of us to tackle and master such new technologies, heretofore thought to be wholly within the province of industry. Glass, with its unique hot working properties, and its depth and brilliant color and optical effects is naturally such an intriguing challenge.

There is a great deal of confusion today about terminology in the arts. Crafts, Fine Arts, Applied Arts, Decorative Arts, craftsmanship, artistry etc. - these are some of the terms used to categorize and identify the activity of the artists involved. However, we feel that such debates are without real purpose as we are all working within the broad context of art, as artists, differing mainly in media and dimension. It is our purpose to suggest the dimensions of glass as a medium for artists, rather than define its properties, or to set rules and limits for its formation.

Our studios
VRIJ GLAS is an internationally renowned glass making facility based in the harbour of the creative Dutch capital, Amsterdam - Zaanstad region. Together with our talented team of glass experts we realize exciting projects for outstanding artists, designers and architects around the globe.

The VRIJ GLAS studios are divided over two industrial hangars of 1000 m2 in total and are equipped with three pot furnaces, several gloryholes, annealers, kilns and other related equipment and mold making, steel fabricating. Besides providing a wide group of established artists with knowledge and infrastructure VRIJ GLAS educates a broad audience, teaches historical glass making techniques, restores (old) architectural glass, and develops new uses for glass in visual arts, design and architecture. VRIJ GLAS is also a valued advisor and supplier of know-how including equipment for glass industry, research institutes, academies, museums, and individual glass studios on six continents.

Our thriving, inspiring hot glass facility is located by the North Sea Canal, our mission is to 'live with passion and make the most exciting glass dreams come true'.

Sounds like the kind of place where you'd love to make glass? Contact Durk Valkema, studio@vrijglas.nl for everything you always wanted to know about glass.

Our hot glass facility can be rented on a daily basis.
For beginners, and those interested in special techniques, we teach classes.