At Edinburgh College of Art, where I was a student intending to specialise in Graphic Design, there was a Glass Design Department. Curiosity got the better of me one day and I decided to try out glass as a secondary design subject. Ken Wainwright, the master glassmaker, showed me the furnace and how to gather the 'metal' - (molten glass). As my first attempt to do this flowed off the end of the iron and on to the floor, I realised that glassmaking was not going to be as easy as it looked, but knew right away that I had to learn it!.
Glass Sculpture 1974
Working with Andrew Scott 1976
After graduating at Edinburgh in 1974, I worked as a technician in the Glass Department until 1979. This was a great apprenticeship, helping to develop a variety of glass skills and build up a working knowledge of glass chemistry and furnaces. Then I moved to Paisley College of Technology and did a two-year research project on high purity luminescent glasses, used to detect neutrons in a particle accelerator.
MacIntosh Glass, Falkirk 1981-1987
In 1981 I went back to Falkirk and set up my own studio, making air twist wineglasses, perfume bottles, paperweights, vases and bowls, trading as 'MacIntosh Glass'. A particular design feature of the product was the use of fine spiralling coloured canes. This is a Venetian technique called Vetro a Fili,(literally glass of threads), which I had learned at Edinburgh from Andrew Scott, a retired glassmaker from Edinburgh Crystal. The man who taught him had made Venetian style glass in the 1880's. at Edinburgh & Leith Flint Glassworks,( as it was then known).
Glass Studio, some products
Air twist wines. Made by drawing the stem from the bowl, as they were in the mid 18th century.
Helix glassware 1981
Decanter and glasses
Caithness Glass 1987-2003
I joined the Caithness Glass Design team in 1987, based in Perth and made a contribution to design and development of paperweights in particular, as well as art-glass and corporate specials. These often consisted of exclusive designs for giftware or collectable items, and also trophies and awards for sport and business.
Work for Caithness is documented elsewhere e.g scotlandsglass.com
Here is a selection of the designs produced:
Drop o' the Hard Stuff
The Venetian technique of "Vetro a reticello" (Lit. net glass.) is quite tricky to do and this paperweight is in a teardrop shape, hence the name.
A design that went down well......
Took about twenty years to figure out how to do it
Energy Efficiency Awards
Spot the deliberate engraver's error........
Quality Scotland Award
From 2003-2007 I designed and made glass under my own name again,making paperweights and artglass etc.
Lenzspitze..An overlay engraved plate.
Spiral Flute Weight
A mathematician's challenge
Large Goblet 240mm
I now work for an industrial glass company, mostly involv
ed in precision grinding and polishing, by hand and machine. Spectraglass produces gauge glasses for steam boilers, port gauge glasses in Aluminosilicate glass, sight glasses, lighting components etc.
Celebrity Mastermind Trophies
Designed and engraved by Dennis Mann, the blanks were made at Spectraglass
Back to top of page