Like many Glass Artists Thomas started his craft experience in the world of Clay at school & despite his determination to be the next Bernard Leach, he was encouraged to try other artistic mediums to broaden his mind & experience
Although an unwilling participant, Thomas ventured out into the world of Arts & Crafts to do some wholly forgettable courses, before remembering a childhood visit to the Darlington Crystal Factory to watch Glassblowing. Thomas set about searching for small courses & found one with Norman Stuart-Clarke, in Cornwall. Thomas was mesmerised with this new & exciting material & clay was almost completely forgotten about.
Although, a three-year Apprenticeship was offered, it was not going to be financially viable, so, it didn’t come into fruition. Thomas was determined to be a Glassmaker, so took up a voluntary position, at The Glasshouse, in Covent Garden.
Higher Education followed & various jobs here & in New Zealand. Thomas now lives & works on the edge of The Peak District, in Derbyshire.
In 2015 he decided it was too much of a struggle to do a full-time job as well as his glassmaking & shows in his holidays, often missing opportunities due to the limitations of availability. So, in 2016 Thomas jettisoned the full-time job & is now wholly concentrating on his glass business, expanding his gallery numbers & shows, without the constraints he previously had.
Thomas draws upon many influences, in the creation of his glassware, from the broad spectrum of the Arts, his own photography, to everyday objects & experiences.
When he sets out to design a new range, Thomas usually has a set of colour combinations in mind. He often tries to visualise what they will look like in his head, and jot down notes, about possible colours & techniques. Unfortunately, ideas that worked in your brain, or on paper, often look considerably different in the glass medium; So, he will try some of these ideas out, and keep altering it, until, he gets the desired effect. Sometimes, it is the happy accidents that sparks off the best idea.
Thomas’s latest works from the Sea Shore range, which are continuing to evolve, were influenced by his childhood outings in East Sussex, where we used to walk for hours over the South Downs & coastal valleys to the sea, with Cuckmere being a firm favourite. He wanted to try to capture the flint & cobbled beaches of this area in an abstract beachside landscape.
Being unable to decide between two designs as which one to make, he tested the market with both & found each sold as well as the other, so kept both designs, ‘Flint’ & ‘Waves’. Since then there have been hybrids & different coloured backgrounds, with some being more successful than others.
All pieces are ground by hand, and each stopper is made for an individual bottle. If the sandblasted pieces should lose their sheen, he suggests buffing them with a cotton cloth (not a duster) and a very little WD40 (use sparingly).
Thomas hopes the piece of Glassware you bought brings you lots of enjoyment.
Thank you for supporting British Crafts People
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