Friday, 28 November 2008

New Glass Artist at Artery Gallery - Mike Hunter

Multi-award winning glass artist Mike Hunter of Selkirk, on the Scottish Borders, is the latest exhibitor at Artery Gallery in St Andrews and Crieff. Mikes work really is of the finest quality, each beautiful piece is hand crafted and intricately designed with great care and attention to detail. He has a real passion for working with glass, which shows in the quality and defines his years of experience gained from working with some of the finest glassmakers.

He began his love affair with glass as a small boy, gazing with fascination at the colourful, magical twists contained in the marbles he played with. Later, as a 17-year-old apprentice with Wedgwood Glass of Kings Lynn, Norfolk, he remembers asking the master glassblowers how the intricately designed glasses he had seen at the museums were made. None of them could tell him.

It struck him then just how many skills of the 18th century were being lost as more and more machines were introduced to glassmaking, and he determined right then to figure out how they were made and to see if he could learn the techniques himself. On many trips to the museum, without being able to pick up the glasses, he peered into the display cabinets and took notes. After seven years of trial and error at the factory during his lunch breaks, he succeeded in perfecting a technique of embedding coloured glass canes and air into the stems of glassware – a technique not used commercially since Victorian times.

Mike went on to spend 11 years with Wedgwood, training under master glassblowers from the UK, Italy, Austria, Germany and Scandinavia, and attaining the position of master glass blower and coloured animal maker.

At his studio in Selkirk, Mike produces designs with cane-working techniques, creating traditional contemporary glassware styles based on the designs of 16th and 17th century Venice and 18th century England. He created his flagship technique of “vetro”, the Italian for glass, which demonstrates the combination of his natural talent for design with the highest level of technical skill. The result is a vast array of colour in design that speaks of his unique relationship with glass; the glass on the blowing iron becomes one with Mike as, with a sense of ease and speed, the molten glass is commanded into form – his “vetro”.

Mike has received high recognition and exhibited his work throughout Scotland and England. As well as a commission for Lord and Lady Milburn of Paxton House, Berwick-on-Tweed, he was invited to provide reproduction glasses for the Hornblower series on ITV, and he designed the trophies for the Scottish Businesswomen’s Association Awards in 1998 and 1999. His beautiful creations are stocked at the most exclusive outlets: Asprey and Garrards, New York and London, Harrods of Knightsbridge, The Room in Chelsea, Wing On Hong Kong, and Cameo in Paris.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Buying and Investing in Art

Any time is really a good time to consider buying and even investing in good quality original fine art, and you don’t need to be an Oil Tycoon to do so!

Imagine a loved painting hanging in your office where you can enjoy the pleasure of ownership throughout your working day, or a wonderful artwork that greets you when you come home. These are good reasons to buy fine art, but the reasons to buy do not have to be limited to just this.

Investing in quality fine art has consistently kept pace with the stock market over the last few decades now and recently, due to the rise in the international art market and the much-coveted decline of stock market shares, begun to out pace it considerably. That not only includes works by the blue chip artists both living and deceased, but also works by lesser-known artists. Paintings by artists who are selling in the best galleries, emerging artists with new art theories and even those by well known artists of the past can be very affordable.

Investing in fine art does not need to cost the thousands to millions of pounds that we read about in the news. These are usually only over inflated prices anyway specially targeted for Russian and Arab businessmen with over inflated bank accounts!

Anyone can purchase a good quality piece of art at an affordable price if they know what they want and where to find it. The Internet is a great place to do research on the styles you like and on the artists themselves and is certainly less time consuming and more feasible than visiting the numerous art galleries. If you can visit your local and national galleries to help get inspired, this all helps, and it has to be said that seeing art exhibited in an actual gallery does help you connect with the work.

The common outlook and probably best advice is to just ‘buy what you like’ first and buy as an investment second, but it is very possible to do both, to have a painting you love and also something that you know you will not lose anything on. A painting wont break down or need upgrading, and if it is a piece you love, it will never get old and tired. So unlike pretty much anything else you spend money on, it wont mean you will be out of pocket on it. This means it can certainly be seen as an investment, especially if you have done that little bit of research and obtained an artwork by an artist that does establish him or herself. Or you may even just get lucky and have a billionaire bidding war on works by the same artist, and this sort of profile boosting is something money cant buy!

For business owners, Investing in art can be an affordable way for any size of business to increase and maintain customers and client bases.

Many small business owners, especially professionals such as doctors, lawyers, dentists and financial advisors, have experienced the benefits of displaying good investment quality art in their offices and reception areas.

Recent studies have shown that products benefit with increased sales when marketed with fine art. Professionals who display good fine art in their places of business experience that their clients and customers view them as having more authenticity, authority and professionalism. Restaurant owners have also come to find that art helps bring in customers, not just prints for decoration but good quality fine art.

A business purchasing original art can also reap the benefit of an investment that increases in value over time. There can even be a tax advantage as the art, or part of the purchase price can be deducted, just like any other office furnishing. Depending on the work and its value there are other possible tax advantages to be had from loaning work to shows or even local museums.

The overall important factor remains however, that investment in art is the visual pleasure received and if it has the potential to increase in value, even better.

A good place to start looking for original, contemporary art is at Artery Gallery of course!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Christmas Shopping Ideas - Art Gifts

Artery Gallery is a Four Star Arts Venue attraction with VisitScotland and has become a leader amongst Scottish contemporary art galleries.

Here at Artery Gallery we have gathered a wonderfully eclectic range of contemporary art and handmade craft from local, national and international artists.

With galleries in both St Andrews and Crieff, as well as an extensive and secure website, buying original art has never been more accessible and affordable.

Our range of paintings, sculpture, jewellery and useful art has never been stronger. All original, everything unique!

Paintings by popular abstract artist Derek Collins with his 'Flaming Art' and the stunning work by the renowned painter Steve Johnston.

Stunning handmade silver jewellery from Brazil by Patricia Gurgel-Segrillo and from a little closer to home in Scotland, contemporary silver jewellery by Christine Forsyth

The ever popular handmade steel clocks from Tim Fowler and Whittle Design

Beautiful vases by Daniel Kavanagh and useful sculpture and clocks by John McPhail

Click on the links provided to view these selected works or visit our main page at where you can navigate around the Artery Gallery website and shop for your unique Christmas art gifts with confidence.
Or you can visit either of our galleries at;
43 South Street, St Andrews (01334 478221)
22 King Street, Crieff (01764 655722)