Traditional approaches to the craft of glass enriched by the innovative ideas of art students.

Four young design students were given free rein at Waterford Crystal and the opportunity to produce their work with the help of the skilled craftsmen. 

This was an experiment that challenged the ideas of the students and the traditional skills honed by master craftsmen over years of practice. 

The students didn't disappoint. The factory floor had never encountered anything like the designs they produced.

The students steered away from the traditional rose bowls in favour of, 

Real art at the outer edge of the practical workability of molten crystal.

Out of seventy students who entered the competition, four students from the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) won the opportunity to work with the craftsmen producing five design pieces each. 

Ruth Shortt produced a glass pyramid which she describes as glass representing nature within a closed and structured environment of the pyramids. 

The work of Niamh Lawlor included a water tower. Deirdre Rogers produced 'Fragmented Unity' in glass and slate, and Elaine Griffin produced 'Moon Reflector'.

For the students, it was a learning experience combining the freedom of design with real life practical working parameters. 

A lot of the designs were kind of impossible to make in glass and there was a lot of limitations that we weren't aware of.

Fred Curtis, Head of Sculpture at Waterford Crystal, talks about the possibility of Waterford Crystal venturing into the area of high-end one off art pieces.

This episode of 'Nationwide' was broadcast on 27 February 1994. The presenter is Michael Ryan.