Over the September Bank Holiday 1999, we were asked by Channel 4's Time Team to take part in their ambitious live programme from York. The task was to blow a reproduction of a typical Roman glass jug, using a replica of a Roman wood-fired furnace. The furnace was built using modern materials for the sake of convenience and speed, under the supervision of Beryl Hines, a potter specialising in ancient kilns, and reached a temperature of over 1100°C, which was maintained day and night throughout the weekend.
By Sunday afternoon the glass was in a fit state to be blown, and Mark successfully blew several vessels for the cameras. These six live programmes were edited down into one hour-long documentary, (featuring the glassblowing sequence), which was broadcast at the end of the 2000 series of Time Team. The experiment provided fascinating insights into the way a Roman glassmaking team would have worked, and the co-operation necessary for making glass this way.
We were also seen in BBC2's Meet the Ancestors ('The Princess in the City'), where Mark was filmed attempting reproductions of the two glass vessels (originals shown here) found with the Roman burial at Spitalfields, London, shown as part of the 2000 series. The glassblowing sequences were re-edited as an expanded version of this programme for the Discovery Channel.
Other television filming in 1999 included a costumed re-enactment of glassmaking for a new video installation at the new National Glass Centre in Sunderland, and a special feature for the 2000 series of Countryways.
In a slight departure from Roman glassmaking, Mark can also be seen in a sequence recorded for an Open University programme about champagne, making 17th and 18th century wine bottles!
In September 2003, we were again filmed making Roman window glass, this time as part of the Butser Roman Villa Project. The work in preparation for this allowed us to refine our 'cast' glass window pane-making technique, and this is summarised at the end of our 'No Pane, No Gain' article.
In June 2004, we once again worked for an Adam Hart Davis series: Ancient Civilisations, due to be screened in February 2005. We were filmed making Eighteenth Dynasty core formed glass for the programme on Egypt, and mould blown circus beakers for the Roman programme.
In 2010, we were filmed for Neil Oliver's History Of Ancient Britain' - Series 2: Age Of Romans. Once again, window glass was requested, this time along with mould-blowing a small vessel.
We have made glass for use in several films, beginning with Ridley Scott's Gladiator in 1998. The almond knob beaker (left) is our Gladiator Beaker !
Early in 2003, we supplied a film company with glass for a film set in the time of Christ, and later on in the same year, we produced vessels for the film King Arthur.
In 2004 and early 2005, we were commissioned to make glass vessels for Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven, a few of which are pictured below, and many of which can be seen in the final film. Even more can be seen in the 4 DVD Special Edition set! (Note - we did not make the large, anachronistic Roman jug which appears in the film!)
In 2009 we followed this with glasss for Robin Hood, again directed by Ridley Scott.
More recently, we have made glass for Snow White And The Huntsman, The Hobbit, the second Thor movie: Thor - The Dark World and Maleficent, a film re-telling the Sleeping Beauty story.
In addition, our glass may be seen in The Libertine, Conan The Barbarian and in the television series Hornblower.