Glass art creator shares secrets at Bute gallery

This stunning piece of wave-form glasswork by Graham Muir forms part of the new 'Seeing Through Colour' exhibition at the Castle Gallery in Rothesay.
This stunning piece of wave-form glasswork by Graham Muir forms part of the new 'Seeing Through Colour' exhibition at the Castle Gallery in Rothesay.

The creator of a selection of stunning wave-form glass artworks on show at a Rothesay art gallery has spoken to The Buteman about the development of, and the processes behind, his work.

Graham Muir’s pieces sit alongside watercolour paintings by Bryan Evans and Ann Russell in ‘Seeing Through Colour’, a new exhibition which opened at the Castle Gallery on November 22.

Speaking at the opening of the exhibition, Graham, who set up his own studio in 1999 after nine years teaching hot glass at Sunderland University, told us: “I started painting as a kid, and I went to art college in Edinburgh to be a painter. But during your foundation course at art school you try a little bit of everything, and I had a go at engraving and glass-blowing.

“I was a very technical drawer, and I found engraving did wonders for the look of my drawing. But I also found visiting people doing glass-blowing to be quite addictive - I got really caught up in it, and by the end of my degree show I was doing predominantly glass-blowing and engraving.

At first what I was looking to do was trap images inside the glass itself. But eventually I decided I wanted to move on from simple bowls and to make more intricate sculptural forms, and that was when I found that if the shapes were more interesting, the image became unnecessary, so I moved on to working more on the forms themselves.”

Graham’s pieces are created using a combination of hot glass-blowing and cold-working techniques: he halts the glass-blowing process halfway through before cooling the glass to room temperature. Then he makes whatever cuts or marks he wants on the glass before putting it back into the heat to polish up the cuts and marks.

“As far as I know, I’m the only person using this process,” he continued. “Creating a piece is a two or three week process, and the cutting and marking can take two or three days, although I’ll be doing other things during that time.”

For more from the exhibition opening - including the thoughts of Bryan Evans and Ann Russell - see this week’s issue of The Buteman, on sale from Thursday, November 27.Seeing Through Colour is at the Castle Gallery in Rothesay’s High Street from 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday (10am-1pm on Wednesdays). For more on Graham Muir’s work see www.grahammuir.co.uk.