Our Artists

BOB CROOKS
 
Bob Crooks is one of Britain's most highly recognised glassmakers. Renowned for the high quality, skilfully executed dynamic forms, he has been producing glass for the past 19 years. Bob benefited enormously from working with Ronnie Wilkinson at the Glasshouse in London in 1987 during a year out from his degree course at West Surrey College of Art & Design.
 
He took the bold step of setting up his own business in 1990, later moving to Devon where he converted farm buildings into a state of the art workshop and gallery for 'First Glass'. 
 
All work is designed, handmade and finished by Bob Crooks himself. His pieces are inspired by geometry, architecture, the natural and man-made worlds we live in as well as the qualities and capabilities of the glass itself. Bob exploits the many properties of the material through refraction or reflection; sharpness or softness, transparency or opacity, working with its fluidity and 'freezing' it as the desired form is realised.
 
Bob Crooks's glass has been exhibited internationally as well as in the UK. He has won numerous awards and commissions and his work is held in a number of public and commercial collections, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Crafts Council Collection, London and the Sainsbury Collection, London.
GRAEME HAWES


Graeme found his passion for hot glass at Sunderland University where he studied Ceramics and Glass. After working for a year as a Glassmakers Assistant he went on to complete his Master of Arts at the Royal College of Art.

 

With a passion for authenticity, provenance and craftsmanship each of Graeme’s glass pieces are blown and finished by using traditional, contemporary and innovative glass making processes. The work Graeme has produced ranges from drinking vessels for Grolsch and Black Bush Whisky, a glass Mangrove Swamp for Hermes, Basel, Switzerland, 18th century gin bottles for Care in the Community, and The Place Prize for Channel Four which was sponsored by Bloomsburg.

 

"I became captivated by the hostile environment of a glassblowing workshop from my first day at Sunderland University. There is heat oozing from every aperture. There is a deafening noise from the compressors and burners. There is broken glass strewn across the concrete floor and yet there is the facility to create something quite beautiful and delicate.

 

Since successfully completing my masters at the Royal College of Art, I have spent my professional life combining freelance glass making and Teaching with my own glass making practice".

JONATHAN ROGERS

 

Jonathan started blowing glass when he became an apprentice at the age of 16. Following the completion of his degree in Glass Design at the Edinburgh College of Art, he was awarded the prestigious Broadfield House scholarship studio. In 2013, he launched his own independent glass blowing studio in Clavering, Essex.


"My work is fully hand made using traditional blowing and finishing techniques.  Much of the work features multiple overlays of colour and clear glass, which are revealed through the cold-working process. Techniques such as cutting, grinding and sandblasting add refinement with a clean finish, as well as combining the use of texture. Although the process of crafting each piece is often highly complex, the end results appear effortlessly stunning.

 

I strive to capture the unique ability of glass to carry both light and colour.  It is these two basic qualities, which drive every new design from sketchbook to final polish.  Other themes running through my work include the exploration of texture, pattern and layering distinctive combinations of colour to add a sense of intrigue.  Forms are modern, understated, fluid and elegant"

ELLIOT WALKER

Elliot Walker has been working with glass for 5 years and has recently graduated with a Masters in Applied Arts. As well as working with Peter Layton at London Glassblowing, Elliot is also part of a glassblowing demo team, The Bandits of Glass, who perform regularly at events around the UK.
 

Elliot was trained as a glassblower in the historic Glass Quarter of Stourbridge but is one of a select group of glassmakers who specialise in hot glass sculpture. The technique of sculpting molten glass requires dexterity, speed & precise temperature control & is a rare & dynamic process to witness.


In his brand new series, Elliot references the historic use of glass in Still Life painting. The series also comments on function and how we perceive beauty. Whilst the vessels are true to their perceived functions, the rough texture and sombre colouring serve to create an ironic backdrop for the inedible fruits.

ALLISTER MALCOLM
 
Allister Malcolm graduated from the University of Wolverhampton in 1997 with a BA Honors in Three Dimensional Design, specializing in glass sculpture. The occupancy of  the studio scholarship at Broadfield House Glass Museum enabled a continual launch of the artist's profile.
 
With attention to detail, Allister Malcolm produces dynamic, sculptural forms with a functional twist. Drawing inspiration from the natural world, particularly marine life, he constantly amazes and intrigues. Allisters use of colour entices the viewer and his use of Platinum, Gold and Silver to accent his work add a unique sparkle to bring the piece to life.
 
Allister's first commission was by Tony Blair. He was asked to produce presentation pieces for the heads of state and world leaders attending the Asia & European Summit. He also annually produces commissioned pieces for the Open Mic Awards for the Edinburgh Festival sponsored by the Daily Telegraph. Allister Malcolm's art is available at select galleries worldwide and A Heart of Glass are proud to showcase his work.
MADELEINE HUGHES
 
Born in Brighton , Madeleine grew up in Newport, South Wales and displayed an inclination for art at a very young age. By the time she left secondary school her focus was on fine art and whilst studying for a foundation diploma in art at the Arts University, Bournemouth she discovered a love for three-dimensional work.
 
Intrigued by the versatility of glass and particularly by the enormous range of colours that can be achieved by the interplay with light and reflections, Madeleine completed a course at the Creative Glass Guild in Bristol which left her hungry for more experience with the medium.
Shortly afterwards, she attended a taster session in glass blowing at London Glassblowers under the tuition of Louis Thompson and was immediately hooked by the mesmerising qualities of molten glass.
 
"My work, therefore, is often led by process and technique as I like to spend most of my time in the hot shop, learning to master new skills and techniques, which I ultimately incorporate into my own designs.The aesthetics of a piece are very important to me and I like to take time to achieve a quality of finish which enhances my design".
DARREN WEED
  

The blown glassware of Darren Weed is rooted with a deep respect of traditional methods and processes, driven further by the desire to keep developing technically through design, ideas and execution.

 

Darren has always appreciated Art in which the craft of its production can be seen and strives to raise the standard of his own practice with every piece made.

 

“Working with glass is a demanding experience, often unforgiving but ultimately rewarding. The preparation and attention required throughout making is a motivating force in the creative process. I try not to take inspiration from the material itself but rather try to understand ideas through the process and perceived limitations of glass blowing.”

IAN BAMFORTH
  

Ian was born in Kingston Upon Hull in 1955. Having worked in a variety of jobs here and abroad, he was captivated by glass after enrolling on a “Hot Glass” evening class at Buckinghamshire College in 2000. It was ‘love at first blow’ and he was smitten.

 

His enthusiasm and passion for Hot Glass soon prompted a career change, which resulted in him attending the world renowned “International Glass Centre”, Brierley Hill, where he gained an “OCNWM in Glass Techniques and Technology” and an “Advanced Diploma in Glass Design”.

 

Ian specialises in producing hand blown glass pieces. Utilising both form and colour married with traditional techniques to explore transparency, translucence, reflection and refraction.

 

Ian’s influences range from nature and the oceans flora and fauna to the cosmos. The latter being the influence for his most recent ‘ORBIT’ series.

 

STEPHEN FOSTER
 

Stephen Foster completed his study at the prestigious International Glass Centre in 2000 and for a short period, worked for the internationally renowned Richard Golding (Ockra Glass).  In January 2001, he was awarded the Broadfield House Glass Museum scholarship glass blowing making him the first applicant to be awarded an extended 2nd year. It is here that he perfected his trademark surface techniques.

 

Since 2002 Stephen has worked at the International Glass Centre, Dudley College as a technician / tutor where within his own work has relentlessly explored and experimented with many traditional glass making techniques including cane work, murrine, rollups and reticello alongside  a myriad of hot worked surface techniques, all of which comes together in his present work.

 

“All my work has a truth to the material, exploring and exploiting the inherent qualities of glass. Trying to draw the on-lookers into my work to examine the changing shifts of perspective that occurs as light reflects and refracts across its surface and through its inner world where secrets are revealed”

RICHIE ALLI

 

Richie was born in 1985 and began his journey as a glass maker in 2006 when he enrolled into an Applied Arts course at Plymouth College of Art. He was instantly mesmerised by the material and the endless possibilities it offered to a developing artist.

 

In 2009 he graduated and began employment at Loco Glass.It is here that he started to develop his designs and realise his love of glass sculpture.

 

Richie has always had a fascination with the optical and translucent qualities of glass, using a combination of hot and cold glass sculpting techniques each piece is hand shaped and blown from a ball of molten glass.  After the piece has cooled, a mixture of cold-working techniques, including diamond wheel carving, sandblasting and brush polishing are used.  The finished sculpture is unique, intricate, tactile and optically intriguing.

PAVEL HAVELKA

 

Czech born Pavel Havelka studied glass at the School of Applied Arts in Zelezny Brod and upon leaving in 1987, joined the renowned Beranek glassworks in Skrdlovice. Throughout his seven years with Beranek, Havelka produced pieces to others original designs whilst experimenting with various techniques to compile his own body of work.

 

In 1994 he moved to the Svoboda glassworks where he became their resident glass artist. Some five years later, Havelka joined the Princ Glassworks as the 'Master of Production' gaining recognition for his artistically inspired designs and use of 'cold work' cutting.

In 2011 Havelka established his own glass studio where he now produces one-off and limited production decorative pieces.

MATS JONASSON

 

Mats Jonasson left school at the tender age of 14 & began his career as an apprentice engraver at the Maleras Glassworks. Throughout his early career, he worked with many of Sweden's leading and most talented contemporary glass artists, learning his craft and developing his confidence, abilities and ideas. He left briefly to work as an apprentice at Kosta but returned to his roots in 1975.

Jonasson's pieces are inspired by the natural world. His works commonly feature intricate etchings of animals in Lead crystal. His more recent works have experimented with colour, used to define the captivating features of his 'Masq' series of sculptures.

FAY MILLER

 

American artist Fay Miller began her career as a graphic designer but soon turned her attentions to glass and her need to express her creativity through 3- dimensional objects.

 

 “Interpreting and refining the multitude of stimuli that bombard my brain every day is what my work is about. Every day I see things I want to recreate - leaves blowing in the wind, animal horns at the zoo, buildings rising in the city, political debates on television, seasons changing the landscape and people gathered in joyous celebration. I incorporate elements of whimsy wildness and intense colour. The beauty, geometry and harshness of the natural world drive my creative process”

 

We are pleased to represent Fay exclusively in the UK.



GEORGE PONZINI

 

George Ponzini was born in New York in 1952. He was first introduced to glass while studying at the Franklin Pierce College, thereafter concentrating on glass and furniture at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. He has studied glass at Pilchuck Glass School and has been honoured as a Fellowship Recipient from the Vermont Council of the Arts and the Grodin Award for Excellence in Design and Craftsmanship.

Ponzini creates glass objects and sculptures that are engaging and elegant.

 

His designs are architecturally influenced, capturing the feeling of art deco with stunning composites of blown and constructed glass elements. .A piece is typically designed hands-on, using an inventory of glass parts instead of drawings. These parts consist of glass rods & tubes, textured glass, structural glass, wire safety glass, marbles and beads. The glass is either cut on a saw or with a carbide tip glass cutter. Then the parts are ground on a diamond impregnated grinding wheel or on discs of varying grit. The etched patterns are sandblasted. The parts are then glued with a silicone adhesive thus completing the piece. Ponzini has been working in his current style since the mid 1980's. His glass career has spanned 3 decades.

 

We are very proud to say that A Heart of Glass are sole UK stockists!

MICHAEL TRIMPOL



Born in Philadelphia, Michael Trimpol was first introduced to glass working during a high school stained glass course in Stowe VT. He pursued a career in stained glass while attending Concordia University in Montreal designing and creating many residential commissions as well as several public installations.

 

Frustrated with the limitations of the two dimensional process, he enrolled at Sheridan College School of Craft & Design in Mississauga Ontario to learn the art of glassblowing. Upon graduation in 1985, he was accepted for a residency at Harbourfront Craft Studios, one of Toronto's most popular tourist destinations. Shortly after he left Harbourfront in 1989, he established his own company Hotglass Inc. in Mississauga, for which he designed and created a full line of blown glass products. In 1995, Michael relocated to Stowe Vermont and founded Little River Hotglass Studio. He currently designs and manufactures a diverse body of product in addition to overseeing the operations of the studio.

 

We are delighted to be sole UK stockists of Michael Trimpol's Vases & Bowls.

MILAN MACHACEK

 

Born in 1957 in a small town in the Czech Republic, Milan Machacek has had a long and established career in glassmaking. He began his training at the Bohemia School of Art and then moved to the Academy of Applied Arts, which specializes in glass artistry and glass technology. Machacek has taken residency in many glassworks across the Czech Republic including Svoboda and Hut Princ. With a desire to push the boundaries of glass design, Machacek has developed a specialism in cold-work, using the methods of sandblasting, cutting, grinding and polishing to create pure geometric forms.

 

"What is removed from the piece is just as important as what is left"

ALES VALNER

 

Ales Valner was born in 1962 in Brno, Czech Republic. Having designed for a number of glassworks in his early career including Glass Art Princ, he went on to establish his own glassworks in 2004.

Working alongside 4 other artists, Valner's focus is on quality rather than quantity- producing colourful, free blown pieces that are highly decorative and usually sculptural in form. The limited production capacity of his small glassworks means many pieces are unique, usually specially commissioned for exhibitions across Germany & America or for private collections.

 

LUCA VIDAL
 
Gianluca Vidal was born in Venice on July 1, 1976. At the young age of 14 he started to work with glass at the Studio Vetreria DP, on the Island of Murano. Here he studied under the Glass Maestro Imperio Rossi. After two years he decided to move to the studio of Effetre International. As the youngest glass worker in the studio and under the tutelage of the masters at Effetre, Gianluca began to learn the most difficult glass techniques and his talent as a glass maker began to emerge.

Gianluca has worked over the years with many of the most important Glass Maestros on Murano such as Afro Celotto, Silvano Molin, Luciano Pavanello, Giancarlo Tagliapietra and Dino Vio. It is in this period that his colleagues give him the nickname “Crema”, due to his natural ability to gracefully shape glass as a “cream”.

In 2000, while working at the Artistic Glass Factory Schiavon, he once again had the opportunity to work with  Afro Celotto and one year later having learned the techniques of filigrana, mosaics and tessere murrines, he opened a new studio with Afro Celotto and CarloTagliapietra.

GIANCARLO TAGLIAPIETRA
 
Working alongside accomplished masters Afro Celotto and Luca Vidal, Tagliapietra specialises in two of the oldest glass making techniques. 'Filigrana' involves long glass rods (transparent or coloured) which are superimposed, intertwined and fused together. The rod is wrapped around a glass cylinder and blown into shape then formed with glass-making tools. 'Murrini' involves fusing coloured glass canes together to form one multi-coloured rod which is then cut into small discs. These discs are then fused together to create 'mosaic' effects.
Tagliapietra finishes his pieces by carving and engraving the blow glass using a study of the alteration of opacity and transparency to create depth and texture creating examples which perfectly combine his technical ability and artistic expression.
FABIO ROSSETTO
 
Venetian glass artist Fabio Rossetto works alongside his father in the glassworks they founded together back in 1979 on the Island of Murano.

Previously focusing on the production of Venetian chandeliers, Fabio is now expressing his own cretaivity in the form of glasses, sculptural vases and bowls.

He specialises in two of the oldest glass making techniques: ‘Filigrana’ involving long glass rods which are superimposed, intertwined and fused together then wrapped around a glass cylinder and blown into shape and ‘Murrini’ which involves fusing coloured glass canes together to form one multi-coloured rod which is then cut into small discs. These discs are then fused together to create ‘mosaic’ effects.

 

His lovely vibrant pieces are ground and cut to create striking colour combinations and textured finishes.

MONICA BACKSTROM



Swedish glass artist Monica Backstrom has worked for Kosta Boda since 1965 and is one of their chief designers with her own studio. Backstrom takes her inspiration from nature and the environment.

 

Her more recent works including the "Moonlanding" series (retired from production in 2003) were designed to reflect her study of astronomy and space- The textured surface depicting that of the surface of the moon. Backstrom is married to Erik Hoglund, himself a well known glass artist and their daughter Erika Hoglund is now designing and producing her own pieces in collaboration with Mats Jonasson at the Maleras glassworks in Sweden.

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