Emma Bourke PancerasWithImmortelle_SpleenBracletWithHoneySuckle Compressed

Panceras with Immortelle and Spleen Braclet with Honey Suckle

Description: Ethnobotany is the scientific study of the relationships which exsist between peoples and plants.These pieces are free blown glass organs with coloured glass flowers inside.
Techniques: Lampworked Borosilicate Glass with Silver Elements
Materials: Borosilicate Glass and Silver
Year Made: 2016
Dimensions: 6.5cm x 3.2cm x 3.2cm and 6cm x 5cm x 3.5cm
Photographer Credit: Sylvain Deleu

Emma Bourke - Kidneys Portfolio

Kidney Cufflinks with Herb Robert inside

Description: Ethnobotany is the scientific study of the relationships which exsist between peoples and plants. This piece is free blown kidneys with coloured glass flowers inside. Herb Robert has healing properties which have a strong connection to kidneys.
Techniques: Lampworked Borosilicate Glass with Silver Elements
Materials: Borosilicate Glass and Silver
Year Made: 2016
Dimensions: 6cm x 5cm x 3.5cm each
Photographer Credit: Sylvain Deleu


Lung Locket with Hemlock

Glass and Silver, 8 x 9 x 2.5cm, 2014
Photographer: Sylvain Deleu



Glass and Silver, 10x8x8cm, 8x7x12cm, 11x7x4cm, 2014
Photographer: Sylvain Deleu


Liver Broach with Scarlet Pimpernel

Glass and Silver, 11x7x4cm, 2014
Photographer: Sylvain Deleu


Emma Bourke

Selected for PORTFOLIO: Critical Selection 2019-2020

An awareness of our heritage is essential for the development of identity and the contextualisation of our cultures. My research into botanical
mythology assists me in understanding my personal identity and enables me to
construct a sense of place within increasingly international systems of
communication and visual information.

Storytelling is the most common method of passing on knowledge through
generations. Ethnobotany, which is the scientific study of the relationships
that exist between people and plants within our culture, forms a large part
of the narratives of these stories handed down through the ages. Phrases,
sayings and customs are an inherent part of community life, but in contemporary society, certain ethnographic aspects of daily life are regularly taken for granted. As an active response to this, my research and work in glass intentionally draws upon the stories and legends about plants as my main resource.

Recreating the physical form of the plants in another material is a further method of investigation. The process of flameworking a foxglove in glass means I am scrutinising the physicality, scale and fragility of the organic object. To do this, I employ a role that is situated between that of the artist and that of the scientist. The element of silver in each piece creates a connection between the viewer and our inherited botanical knowledge.

Emma graduated from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin in  2009 with a BDes Honours in Craft Design: Glass. She went on to receive a Masters in Fine Art: Glass from the University of Sunderland, UK In 2013. She is based in Westport, Co. Mayo.


Mayo County Council Collection
Museum of Ireland Collection
Corning Museum of Glass

Selected Awards

Jewellery Designer of the Year, Irish Fashion Innovation  
Boris Bally Residency, REclaim/Repurpose, Culture Craft, Northern Ireland 
Future Makers Practitioner Award, Design & Crafts Council of Ireland 
Golden Fleece Award, Merit Prize 
Futures Fund, University of Sunderland, UK 
John & Elsie Burton Flamework Scholarship, Pilchuck Glass School, USA 
Future Makers Award, Design & Crafts Council of Ireland

Selected Exhibitions

Solo Exhibitions 
Elucidation, Westport Arts Festival, Co. Mayo 
Flora Lucida, Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar, Co. Mayo 
Glass Flowers, Ards Arts Center, Newtownards, Co. Down 
Glass Flowers, Customs House Studios, Westport, Co. Mayo 
Solo Glass Exhibition, Signal Arts Centre, Bray, Co. Wicklow 
Solo Glass Exhibition, Alley Arts & Conference Centre, Strabane, Co. Tyrone 
Group Exhibitions and Fairs 
Surface Matters, Dublin Castle; Artesania Catalunya CCAM, Barcelona, Spain and National Design & Craft Gallery, Kilkenny 
Ipseity, Westival Gallery, Westport, Co. Mayo 
Ireland Glass Biennale, NCAD Gallery, Dublin 
RDS Craft Awards, Dublin 
PORTFOLIO @ Solomon: Glass, Solomon Gallery, Dublin 
The Ireland Newfoundland Trail: A Journey of Plants and People, Crafts Council of Newfoundland and Labrador Gallery, Newfoundland, USA 
Sociolect, MA Exhibition, The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle, UK 
Idiolect, Bede’s World Museum, Jarrow, UK 
21 Century Icons, National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny; Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin; Galway Museum; Dublin Castle. 
Sculpture in Context, National Botanic Gardens, Dublin 
Engaging With Glass, Solstice Arts Centre, Navan, Co. Meath 
Spring Showcase, National Glass Centre, Sunderland, UK 
Possibilities, Garter Lane Arts Centre, Waterford 
Future Makers, Craft Council of Ireland, Kilkenny

Contact Details:

Emma Bourke

E. ekbourke@gmail.com