Another local gallery I love to visit whenever I’m in Merrickville is Gray Art Glass. This gallery typically brings the outdoors indoors.
Established in 1985, Gray Art Glass has become a leading institution in the North American Glass art scene. The gallery creates beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces of art. Gray Art Glass is currently carried by over 250 galleries and shops across North America. Gray Art Glass is famous for their Witch Balls but is equally well known for producing unique sculptures, custom installations, lighting, and awards.
Michael Gray, the second-generation glass artist, and owner has been working with glass for 14 years. He started working in the studio by his father’s side at a young age, learning the family business and developing skills in glass art. Michael studied at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, and has succeeded in developing his sculpting and blowing skills.
In 2012 Kevin Robert Gray, founder of Gray Art Glass, passed away after a courageous fight with cancer. It was difficult but with the help of James Wardhaugh and Carley Newman, Michael was able to continue Kevin Robert Gray’s legacy through Gray Art Glass. As the owner and operator of Gray Art Glass Michael continues to bring the studio to a new level of craftsmanship, creativity and excellence.
The team gives the gallery a well-rounded approach to the creation of glass art and creates exquisite, unique products.
“My work is about personal experiences with nature and the story that can be told. I try and create things purely from my perspective; I want the glass to have as much feeling as possible.” Michael says of his glass work.
James Wardhaugh thinks of the surface of the glass as a canvas and treats it as such. He uses colour and texture to create depth and emotion in his works. Finding glass ‘a very organic material; patterns occur in nature that are a natural translation in glass.’ He finds joy in discovering these patterns and creating either a literal or figurative connection. James draws inspiration from sources that relate to rural and natural areas and specific aspects of nature’s own science. His body of work is reflective of what is seen, and what happens around him in this ‘enormous and beautiful place.’
Between studies at Sheridan College and traveling throughout the country, Carley Newman has had the opportunity to work alongside some of the most innovative glass artists in Canada. Working on a number of large-scale installations and global projects, her experience has been an integral part of developing her work. Carley has been inspired to adopt colours, forms, and textures from the outdoors as a reminder of the simple beautiful things designed by nature.
Do you bring glass in any form into your artists’ books? Alexandra Keck, Eduardo Kac, Becky Slemmons, and Adele Outteridge have created books with glass pages. That’s for another post!