Welcome to the whimsical glass sculptural world of FlyingCheeseToastie

Welcome to the whimsical glass sculptural world of FlyingCheeseToastie

Introduce us to you and your brand!

I work from my studio in Glasgow and specialise in working with kiln-formed glass. I first hacked my way through a sheet of glass during an evening class in 2000 and after undertaking a degree in Architectural Glass at Edinburgh College of Art, I established my studio in 2009. I make more sculptural work under my own name but the more whimsical and nonsensical pieces needed something eye-catching and that's where FlyingCheeseToastie comes from.

How has your brand/work developed since you began?

The biggest development in my work came with learning how to use water jet cutting to precision to cut the chunky thick glass I now make my creatures from. This relatively modern innovation allows the animal silhouettes to be fairly realistic before I combine this with traditional stained glass techniques or kiln-firing enamels and lustres onto the surface. It really made my pieces unique and identifiable as my work.

What do you consider to be your most popular product? Why do you think it resonates with people

My little glass hares have been re-homed worldwide and I have made thousands of them in my own print designs as well as one of a kind unique custom commissions for special events and sentiments.

What are your main inspirations?

I love the technical challenges of working with glass in different ways as well as troubleshooting after ‘unexpected’ results. My work is mostly representational, attempting to catch the viewer’s eye, inviting them into my world and hopefully leaving with a smile.

What piece are you the proudest of?

I'm usually the proudest of the most recent work I pull out of the kiln, especially if it's been a particularly difficult piece to technical make. My most recent pieces have been glass nautilus shells that are fully encased in glass without collapsing the fragile internal structure.

What would you consider to be the most challenging aspect about being a working artist/designer?

Self-discipline is the largest challenge as you really have to keep a number of tasks going at any one point and stay motivated to progress them all.

Do you have any past accomplishments you wish to share?

I have exhibited my work internationally including being selected for the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art in London, the Coburg Glass Prize in Germany and the Lifeforms Exhibition which toured across America.

How did you find out about SDX? And what made you apply to sell with us?

I've been aware of SDX for a number of years whilst I lived in Edinburgh and I decided to experiment with a space in the Glasgow store as a way to ease back into selling after the recent isolation of the pandemic.

What have you found to be the most challenging aspect to your business since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020?

The lack of face to face events has been the biggest challenge of the pandemic as I greatly miss that interaction with an audience who is curious about my work, what goes into making it and also has their own ideas about what they would like to see made. Plus glass is notoriously difficult to photograph and capture accurately as an image, it needs to be enjoyed in real life.

What do you hope to gain from working with SDX going forward?

Mainly the opportunity to reach more people locally and hopefully to inspire some to participate in my glassmaking workshops.

If you could share just one piece of advice to aspiring artists/designers who want to make a living from their creative talents, what would you tell them?

Try and undertake some sort of business training which has an understanding of the creative industry as this will give you a really good grounding on the non-creative activities you need to make your talents viable to make a living from. I received some fantastic training and advice from Cultural Enterprise Office but unfortunately that organisation no longer seems to be operating.

And finally, help share some motivation with your favourite inspirational advise or quote!

If there's nothing to laugh about, laugh at that!

Thank you to Rachel of FlyingCheeseToastie for participating in our Meet The Maker blog post, you can find her work at our Buchanan Galleries shop in Glasgow

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