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Featured Artist Archive
Paperweight Collectors Association Inc.

Featured Artist Archive > April, 2011


Michael Hunter Paperweight
Michael Hunter
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Michael Hunter began training in glass as a teenager in 1976 at Wedgwood Glass Kings Lynn, under the directorship of Ronald Stennett Willson. He earned the title of master glass artist at Welsh Royal Crystal in 1986. After a short period at Perthshire Paperweights in 1989, he was employed at the Lindean Mill glass studio of David Kaplan and Annica Sandrom in Scotland. Eventually in 1998, Michael founded his own contemporary glass studio near Selkirk in Scotland, naming it Twists Glass Studio. He had earned his position as a master glass artist through on-the-job experience with the glass; and he successfully made the cross over into the world of contemporary studio glass via intensive self-education, an accomplishment that Michael is proud of.

He wrote "The concept of my work significantly promotes discussion by exploring cane working in glass, and how the past juxtaposes not only with the present but also with the future, concluding in individual and contemporary blown vessel or paperweight of elaborate adornment. As cane working involves discipline, the challenge is to make each piece with meticulous precision and execute control in every movement so that the final result of the finished piece leaves no doubt in the mind of the enquirer that no random unintentional movements have been made during its making period with a pleasing form, allowing the artistry of cane work a greater aesthetic impact at its presentation. Being self-taught in the most difficult of disciplines, this enquiry into process has been a necessary and worthwhile journey that some would call 'trial and error' but the experience and knowledge gained during this learning curve is in my view essential and necessary to be an artist in glass."

Michael was fascinated by Venetian and French techniques of incorporating cane work into the stems and bodies of glass vessels as well as their use in paperweights. He studied these techniques intensively over many years and today he has his own unique contribution to make, as a result of that self-imposed learning process. The paperweight shown here incorporates some superb rose canes in which Mike has captured the natural way in which a rose opens and moves with each petal unfolding and folding itself around the next.

Michael has won many awards including Scottish Artisan of the year 2002, the award for best UK collectible in 2002 with his lizard paperweight, and was a recipient of the Scottish Arts Council Creative Scotland Award to study a master class at the Creative Glass Centre of America with Pino Signoretto in 2010. His paperweights are held in private collections and public museums around the world including the Bergstrom Mahler Museum, Nazeing Glass museum, and Paxton House.

Collectors are welcome to visit his studio in Selkirk, nestled in the beautiful hills of the Scottish Lowlands. Contact the studio via email at

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