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 aucton 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".
All these weights are one of a kind creations, boxed with signed certificates, and aprox 2 5/8+ inches in diameter.