I am Head of Enterprise, Commissioning and the Studio at National Glass Centre at the University of Sunderland, England and am a member of the Senior Management Team.
I have a BA (Hons) and MA in Glass from Staffordshire University & Royal College of Art respectively. Upon graduation 1987 I undertook an intensive 6 month business course run by the London Enterprise Agency. Winning a grant from the Princes’ Youth Business Trust I established my first studio at the Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre where I ran my business for many years. I also co-foundeed the King’s Walk Gallery on the Kings Road, London.
Eventually I embarked on a 15 year lecturing career teaching at both FE & HE Colleges in London and on the South Coast. As ‘Head of three dimensional design’ and course leader of two BA (Hons), and one HND Higher Education programme – I specialised in hand-made & batch produced furniture, jewellery, ceramics, glass, industrial design & Commercial Interior Design.
In 2005, wishing to devote more time to personal creativity, my spirit for adventure & passion for photography, I spent four years as a freelance adventure travel photographer for a UK based adventure-travel company. My extensive portfolio showcases my travels through 30 countries & explores the landscape, culture and indigenous peoples encountered in some of the most remote places in the world. The portfolio integrates my photography with my passion for contemporary glass.
Currently I am Head of Enterprise, Commissioning and the Studio at National Glass Centre at the University of Sunderland, England and am a member of the Senior Management Team. National Glass Centre hosts around 200K+ visitors per year; offers private glass-making experiences; is home to 130 full time students studying contemporary glass from undergraduate to PhD level.
I manage a diverse range of projects and resources for the production of contemporary glass. The incredible facilities include four electric glass furnaces, 80+ kilns, specialist cold-working facilities, water-jet cutting & extensive education, exhibition & gallery facilities.
I have advised, project managed and delivered over 350 bespoke glass projects on behalf of National Glass Centre for clients, including - William Grant (Glenfiddich Whisky), Spey Whisky, AkzoNobel, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Age UK, Gentoo, Sunderland City Council, Newcastle Council, Shipley Art Gallery, NHS Hospital Trusts, Thomas Heatherwick, Marriott Hotels, Tyne Tunnel, Susan Hiller, Lillian Lijn & Victoria Beckham Ltd.
As an artist I have exhibited and taught internationally.
James' current role as Director of National Glass Centre is to provide strategic direction and leadership to the Centre which has a public facing exhibition and production role set within a research active, learning environment.