Michael James Hunter.Mike and Sue demonstrating in the hot shop at the Chrysler Museum of Glass in Norfolk VA.
Since 1981 I have been fascinated by glass in cane form. Originally this fascination stemmed from an antique filigree marble I won as a 9 year old playing in the school playground.
As an apprentice at Wedgwood Glass I became hooked on the creative journey this medium had to offer, every break I could be found trying to make my ideas real, some worked some did not, but I was learning.
In an old crate of glass left by a glass worker I found a single piece of millefiori, which I included into one of my “studio” pieces. About that time I purchased a book containing pictures of 16th Century Venetian glass and became spellbound by the intricacies of filigree cane work (reminiscent of the marble), I had found my direction.
Forty plus years on I am a (self-taught) master of cane working techniques, not an easy journey, one more of trial and error, but satisfying to my inquisitive nature. This mind set of enquiry gave me the drive to overcome problems and to perfect these techniques to the highest standards. One gallery owner in Chicago said I was unique as all the other artists working in this way had been taught on Murano or by people who had been trained there. Since 1981 I have concentrated on cane working techniques, whilst the rest of Britain worked in Swedish and Victorian British styles, I was making Venetian filigree, now most of the studios in Britain are dabbling in cane work, a trend that I had set many decades earlier!
Like many of the professional artists around the world I am proud of the strong foundations that I have worked hard for, and the 44 + years of experience working in both industry and studio has given my work a very distinctive look, stylish, classy and each piece made to museum quality.
One other thing that is noticeable in my art is the steady progression as the learning process evolved, this can be clearly seen with my one of one pieces, usually these start with a “what if” idea and are often sold without being exhibited. I am a regular visitor to the USA where I exhibit, demonstrate and give presentations of my experience within this magical world.