This film is part of Free

Portrait of a Glass Worker

A young art student captures the artistry and skill of a glass worker.

Documentary 1962 13 mins


An art student observes a glass worker as he creates household items at Whitefriars factory. The student watches as he creates the items, exquisitely manipulating shapes that cool into familiar glassware such as thermometers and jugs, and produces a portrait which appreciates his skill, in the same way the film does. The student also learns about the threat of increased mechanisation in the industry.

The writing shown at the beginning of the film is Hindi, as this was one of several versions of the film created to show the work of glass workers in Britain. English, Persian, West African, and Arabic versions were also created with Brazilian/Portuguese and Latin American/Spanish versions slated to be created in 1963. A commentary was recorded over the shots of the glass worker at work, which is unavailable on the film, but can be seen in a script in The National Archives document INF 6/860.