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25/10/2019 - 29/11/2019

Aoife is an Irish glass artist currently living and working in Denmark. Her work combines two intertwined approaches embedded in the traditional methods of glassmaking. She creates both functional and sculptural glass work.

Aoife designs and makes functional glassware in which the optical qualities of glass are accented by subtle colour and carefully created design elements. Aoife aims to create glass pieces which encourage the viewer to touch, look closer or engage with the pieces and explores this idea through experimentation with a range of techniques. This includes the inclusion of internal and external rings, crackling of external glass, inclusion such as silver and gold and specific application of colour. Having been heavily influenced by her time in Scandinavia she works with clean lines and simple forms. Her colour pallet draws from her time growing up in the tropical areas of Australia and Papua New Guniea. Aoife is constantly inspired by glass as a material and the glassblowers ability to transform this material as it transitions from a liquid to a solid state.

Aoife’s artistic glass work explores the interrelationships of mind and body with a focus on the dysfunction of specific body organs, caused by anxiety and stress. The symptomatic damage caused to our body organs through stress and anxiety is hidden but can lead to the eventual collapse of proper bodily functions. As a visual artists Aoife is drawn to the body organ aesthetic and creates sculptural pieces in which the body organs are shown with some degree of damage or deterioration. Her approach to the organs is to have an artistically interpreted shape drawn from medical diagrams and from the organs themselves. In creating this artistic work I adopt a more sculptural approach to glass as a material and work to push the boundaries of the material.

These two approaches feed into one another, specific skills, techniques and precision are necessary in creating functional work, and new techniques and approaches explored in her artistic work become the basis for new functional designs. These approaches feed Aoife’s desire to constant push herself, her processes and her understanding of glass as a material forward.

Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally in Ireland, Denmark, China and Bulgaria. In 2018 Aoife was the recipient of the Design and Craft Council of Ireland’s, Future Makers Overall Emerging Maker Award.

Aoife Soden

Aoife Soden was born in Cavan Ireland in 1975. As a child she moved to Australia and Papua New Guniea where her childhood was spent exploring the outdoors. After returning to Brisbane Australia and completing her schooling Aoife trained as a primary teacher. She received a Bachelor of Education (1996) from The Australian Catholic University and a Bachelor of Education (2001) from Queensland University of Technology. Having gained these qualifications Aoife spent thirteen years teaching in Australia and Ireland and travelling before returning to her first passion, art.

Aoife completed a Bachelor of Glass Design and History of Art and Design at The National College of Art and Design graduating with honours in 2012. As part of her studies at NCAD Aoife completed an International Student Exchange at Southern Illinois University in 2011. Upon completing her degree Aoife travelled to Denmark on a Leonardo work placement Scholarship to work with Nyholm Cantrell Glass. Having been heavily influenced by Scandinavian style and with a strong desire to continue her practice with hot glass Aoife remained in Denmark. She has worked for a number of small studios in Denmark, Germany and more recently Sweden. In the period from 2013 - 2018 Aoife worked at Ebeltoft Glass Museum in the museum’s hot glassstudio. Initially working as the assistant Aoife moved up to manage the studio from 2015 - 2018. She is now self employed establishing her brand Aoife Soden Glass designing and making contemporary glass. She remains nomadic in her quest to continue working with glass renting workshops in Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Ireland to make her functional and sculptural glass.

Aoife has exhibited nationally in Ireland and Denmark and internationally in the USA, China and Bulgaria. She has won numerous awards including the Design and Crafts council of Ireland Future Makers Award, a Leonardo travel scholarship and The Finn Lynggaard Fond.

Past Residencies


Landscape, Ecology & Environment Research Residencies