Michael James Hunter 'Twist Glass' Collect17
Glass Art by Michael James Hunter 'Twist Glass' Collect17
Michael James Hunter earned his title of master glass maker from a traditional style apprenticeship served at Wedgwood glass, working in teams he has ascended from the most basic job in the hot house to a master chairing his own team over an 11 year period. Michael feels that he received some of the best training available in the UK at the time, and is proud of his background which makes him unique in the UK to have successfully made the cross over into contemporary studio glass.
”What is exciting about glass is I never stop learning, the more techniques I master the more creative and challenging designing becomes it just continues to intensify the passion I have for this medium”.
Michael founded his own studio in1998 with his wife Sue.He made national headlines when he collaborated with Asprey and designed and made candleholders in elegant filigree twists for the New York store in the first months of founding Twists glass studio. His first acknowledged demonstration was in 1999 at the Broadfield House Glass Museum. He was honoured with the title Scottish Artisan of the year in 2002 by Balvenie, since which time he has been awarded three other design awards for best collectible and best design to be sold in a museum or a gallery in the UK.
Michael James Hunter has exhibited his work extensively in the UK including solo and group exhibitions which include the Guild Hall London and the V&A after twice being in the distinguished final three of the British Glass technology award. In 2006 he gave a presentation at Wheaton paperweight fest on the making of his Murrine clown face canes, during the summer of 2006 he was successful in gaining a place and a bursary to study a master class with Richard Marquis at Northlands Creative Glass centre in Scotland.
Since studying with Richard Marquis he feels that the introduction to the pastorale technique has advanced his efforts to be more innovative and has helped him demonstrate investigation of process and critical enquiry. Michael’s demonstration during the paperweight fest in 2008 investigated the boundaries of "what is a paperweight" using the pastorale technique Mike produced a blown zanfirico Union Jack then flame-worked two lizards onto the top, each body of the lizards contained over 250 small murrine clown faces to represent scales, these had been pre-formed on the pastorale plate prior to the demonstration. A piece entitled "what is a paperweight" is at the Bergstrom Mahler Museum, this has the British & American flag combined with two lizards on the top and is a part of their permanent collection.
2010 saw Mike and Sue back in the USA, and at the auction following their demonstration they raised $925 for Wheatons Arts, a trip to the GAS Conference at Louisville was followed by another trip to Wheaton Village as Mike was participating in the Pino Signoretto course, afterward Mike said " watching Pino work was the high point of the year, it was as if time slowed down for the Maestro".
Michaels work incorporates complex cane work much of which has been self taught by investigation since 1981 when Mike first started to learn the complexities of the English 18th Century drinking glasses, " I am possibly the first person to commercially produce this type of stemware since the Victorian era". As a result of this "trial and error" style of working he has become proficient in both Venetian blown and French paperweight cane-making techniques, which he combines to produce a style of his own, Mike continues to investigate and explore the relationship he shares with glass, Mike often tells collectors, " It takes about three lifetimes to master glass as the more you know the less you know".
Since 1981 I have been investigating cane working techniques, an inquiry into process that has been a worthwhile and necessary journey of what some might call “trial and error”. The experience and knowledge gained during this learning curve was essential for my personal development as an artist working within the disciplines of cane making.
Now some 30 years later and working from my own studio I have developed my own unique style of abstract art combining Venetian and French cane working techniques within my preferred canvas of self-expression a blown vessel or blown sculpture.
It is my belief that the true artistry behind any creation is the participation and understanding of the journey through transformation as each piece undergoes its own unique choreography, which is often sadly missed by the collector who possesses only the conclusion.
Cane making requires organisation and discipline that few have truly mastered, most cane work artists have studied with a Murano maestro, I am possibly unique having been self- taught, which I believe allows greater freedom to think outside the box, obviously the past juxtaposes with the present and to move forwards into contemporary sometimes it is necessary to look backwards.
Michael James Hunter.
1958 Born King’s Lynn, Norfolk.
Education and Experiance.
2011 Presentation for PCC Cologne, Germany.
2010 Pino Signoretto Masterclass U.S.A.
2010 Michael Schunke Masterclass U.S.A.
2010 Demonstrations at Edinburgh College of Art, 400 years of Scottish Glass.
2010 Demonstration at the National Glass Festival Dial Glassworks.
2010 Presentation and demonstration at Wheaton Arts Millville NJ.
2008 Demonstration at the CGCA. Wheaton Arts, Millville NJ.
2006 Richard Marquis Masterclass, Northlands Creative Glass Scotland.
2006 Presentation at CGCA, Wheaton Arts Millville NJ.
1999 Demonstration Broadfields Glass Museum Stourbridge England.
1998 Founded Twists Glass Studio.
1989 Employed as Master at Lindean Mill Studio Glass.
1986 Earned title Master Glass Maker Welsh Royal Crystal.
1974 Apprenticeship at Wedgwood Glass King’s Lynn, studied under Ronald Stennet-Wilson, former head of industrial glass design Royal College of Arts.
2010 Scottish Arts Council award for Professional Development.
2010Scotish Arts Council/Cabin Award for exploration into contemporary cane working.
2010 Award for International Trade (finalist)
2009 Award for Excellence BCTF (winner)
2006 Northlands bursary (Scottish Arts Council) for Richard Marquis Masterclass.
2005 G.A. Winner. Best British Design to be sold in a Gallery or Museum.
2004 G.A. Winner. Best British Design to be sold in a Gallery or Museum.
2002 Vibes Award Care for the Environment Winner.
2002 G.A. Winner, Best U.K. Collectable.
2002 Balvenie Scottish Artisan of the Year Winner.
2001 Finalist for The Worshipfull Company of Glass Sellers Award.
1999 Finalist Best Business Start Up SBA
1994 Finalist for The Worshipfull Company of Glass Sellers Award.
Selected and Solo Exhibitions.
2011-Present various mixed artist exhibitions in U.K.
2010 Solo exhibition Sheila Fleet Gallery Edinburgh.
2010 Festival of Glass Plowden & Thompson Stourbridge.
2010 Bergstrom_Mahler Museum U.S.A.
2008-2009 Bergstrom-Mahler Museum U.S.A.
2008 St Josephs Gallery Holland.
2008 Strathearn Gallery Scotland.
2007 Queens Gallery Scotland.
2007Strathearn Gallery Scotland.
2007 Gateshead Museum And Arts Centre, England.
2006 Queens Gallery Scotland.
2006 Strathearn Gallery Scotland.
2006 Solo Cicilia Colman Gallery London.
2005 Strathearn Gallery Scotland.
2005 Collins Gallery Scotland.
2004 The Wallace collection London.
2004 Rothschilds Waddingstone Manor England.
2004 Strathearn Gallery Scotland.
2004 Scottish Glass Society Scotland.
2004 Queens Gallery Scotland.
2003 Scottish Glass society Scotland.
2003 Queens Gallery Scotland.
2003 Strathearn Gallery Scotland.
2003 Harley Gallery England.
2003 Solo exhibition Primavera gallery England.
2002 Strathearn Gallery Scotland.
2002 Scottish Glass Society Scotland.
2002 St Andrews Art Centre Scotland.
2001 Queens Gallery Scotland.
2001 Strathearn Gallery Scotland.
2000 Scottish Glass Society Scotland.
2000 British Collection British Luxury Council England.
1999 V&A Museum London.
1999 St Andrews Art Centre Scotland.
1999 Strathearn Gallery Scotland.
1999 Scottish Glass Society Scotland.
1998 Scottish Glass Society Scotland.
1997 Scottish Glass Society Scotland.
1994 Guildhall London
Commissions and Public Collections.
Paxton House Scotland, public collection.
Nazeing Glass Museum England, public collection.
Bergstrom-Mahler Museum USA. public collection.
Sidney Sussex College Cambridge, public collection.
Duchess of Bedford, Woban Abbey.
Intelligent Finance Halifax Bank.
Mammoth Film Studios for Austin Productions.
Hunterian Museum Scotland.
Don Davis, Digi Graphica Palm Springs USA.
Scottish Borders Enterprise.
Scottish Borders Council.
Church of Scotland.
North of England P&I.
Duchess of Roxburgh.
The Queens Canon Dr James Woodward Windsor Castle.
Many of our private and corporate collectors do not wish to be disclosed and we respect their privacy.
PCA Bulletin 2007, Nancy Alfano.
Dictionary of Signiture Canes, Andrew Dohan.
Front Cover PCA Bulletin 2009.
400 Years of Scottish Glass, Shiona Airlie & Brian J.R.Blench.
Scotland on Sunday.
The Financial Times.
The Herald on Sunday.