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29 November 2016

Outgoing British Glass President, Davia Walmsley, on her two years in office

british glass manufacturers confederation logoThe British Glass Manufacturers Confederation (British Glass) is a trade association for the UK glass industry. It currently consists of 81 members and works to communicate the value and interests of the glass sector on a national and international stage. This ensures that glass remains a competitive and innovative material and is not unnecessarily or disproportionately hindered by new regulation, standards or legislative changes.

Two years ago, Davia Walmsley (Daedalian Glass Studios’ Founder and Creative Director) had the honour of being elected as the President of British Glass. This was especially significant as Davia became the first female President in over 100 years of the glass confederation’s history.

As the title of President is passed on every two years, the British Glass AGM last week was the final one that Davia will attend in her role as President.  She is back in the studio this week and we caught up with her for a quick chat to reflect on the last two years working with British Glass:

Hi Davia, thanks for letting me have a chat whilst you work. Out of interest, what is it you are working on?

I am fettling this wax model of a dragonfish ready for lost-wax casting. Interestingly, I found this dragonfish as a damaged remnant of a stone fountain. It looked to have potential – and a client has seen the potential too – so I am altering the shape of the tail and working on the scale detailing.

Okay, so down to the main topic, could you please tell me about your role as the President of the British Glass, and the responsibilities of the position?

The purpose of my role was to be a representative of the association’s members within its board. My responsibility was to sit with the board, viewing and commenting on British Glass activities on behalf of its members.

And what did you most enjoy about the role?

At Daedalian Glass Studios, we operate in a niche area of the glass industry, creating hand-made, bespoke, architectural and decorative glass for high-end projects.  As the President of British Glass, I was able to gain an insight across the wide spectrum of the glass industry in the UK and the issues and challenges faced in other sectors. I found the container glass industry particularly interesting.

Were there any aspects that you would say you enjoyed less?

I can honestly say there is nothing that I did not enjoy about this opportunity.

And to the future, what do you hope that your legacy might be from your time as President of British Glass?

I hope the legacy of the first female President will encourage the continued integration of women in business at boardroom level. I’ve seen a very positive change within British Glass, which has moved the whole team forward during the past two years. The processes now in place have directly enhanced the working practice of all members of staff.

Sustained implementation has also resulted in significantly enhanced financial results, setting the way for the future. With all the team using their collective best practice procedures, the support and service they provide to members can only go from strength to strength.

Do you plan to continue working with British Glass in a new role?

Yes, I have been invited to join the board as a voting member once my Presidency has ended. I am really enthused by the work of British Glass and will continue to work with the organisation in whatever role is made available to me.

Finally, is there anything else that you would like to address that was not covered in our conversation thus far?

I would just like to thank the members of British Glass for having me as their President for the past two years – it has been a pleasure to have had the opportunity to gain such an insight into the industry. I would also like to congratulate the President-Elect, Adrian Curry of Encirc Glass.