MICHAEL HUNTER, TWIST GLASS STUDIO
Twists Glass Studio designer, glass blower and founder, Michael James Hunter took seven years of his life and dedicated them to rediscover and successfully reintroduce the near lost techniques of embedding coloured glass canes into the stems of glass tableware and giftware.
Dating back to the 18th century, these traditional skills have not been utilized commercially since the Victorian era. Each handcrafted glass is mouth blown with hands guiding the process at the furnace, to the extent that no more than 20 stems can be made on any day. Hand finishing allows for the distinctive characteristics to each individual glass, from the pontil mark on the base where an iron has been attached to allow the bowl to be hand opened and finished at the furnace to the opening rings visible when the glass is held up to light. Each glass is signed and dated by Michael by using a diamond-engraving pen.
Michael's work has been at the forefront of the glass industry since 1998 when Twists Glass Studio was founded in the Scottish Borders. He has made for private collectors and designed and supplied candleholders for one of the Queen's Royal Warrant Holders.
Michael has received nine accolades in just 6 years for his outstanding work.
1999 Most Enterprising Start-up, Scottish Business Women of the Year Awards
Scottish Gift of the Year, Highly Commended by Made in Scotland 2000, 2001, 2002
2000 Winner Royal Mail Scottish Marketing Awards
2002 Winner, Gift of the Year, Best UK Collectable
2004 Winner, Gift of the Year, Best UK Gallery product
2002 Winner, The Balvenie Scottish Artisan of the Year
The Vibes Award for Scotland 2004 Winner, South of Scotland (Commended in 2003) (Vision in Business for the Environment of Scotland, Vibes is presented to companies demonstrating exceptional environmental performance.)
Twice a finalist for the Glass Technology Award 1994 and 2001
Also short-listed for the Queen Elizabeth II Scholarship as offered by the Queen's Royal WarraHolder