James McMurtrie

As a Child I always enjoyed using my hands to make things and to find out how things worked. Growing up on a farm this is normal part of life. Art has also surrounded my childhood experiences with great influence of colour and design from my mother’s passion for textiles.

With this combination of practical skills and artistic flare it was only a matter of time before I found my feet in the medium of clay. Under the guidance of my secondary teacher John Eagle I explored the possibilities and enjoyed the process of making something beautiful out of a raw medium – clay. I found the firing process fascinating and opening a kiln to see the results was an exciting moment, which to this day still is, when I am looking at a day’s work coming out of the kiln. Towards the end of secondary school, I made the decision to further my imaginings into the world of glass.

Glass captures the world in a whole different light. Its fluidity and availability to achieve instant results, reflects my desire to create beauty and interpret the world in which I live.

With a Bachelor of Arts degree (Chisholm Institute of Technology) under my wing I embarked upon a series of learning experiences with different and very interesting glass artist. Richard Morrell and Don Wreford were instrumental in introducing me to the real world of glass from selling to building and maintain a working studio.
I now live at the base of the Grampians National Park, in Victoria, Australia, where I have built a glass blowing studio and gallery.

Surrounded by a 400-million-year-old mountain range: is a great source of inspiration for me with its every changing landscape, colours and moods. Another inspiration for me is travel, seeing old architecture which has utilised local materials in the building process such as Gaudi’s la Sagrada Familia (in Barcelona) and the round towers at Glendaloch (outside Dublin).