Cornwall-based David Perry is the maker behind our beautiful checkerboard canapé trays, which are a bespoke design handcrafted from glass in his home studio. Perry uses kiln-formed glass and a variety of techniques including hand-rolling, fusing-glass powders and vitrigraph pulling to create his one-off pieces. The bold and playful colours are inspired by life on the Cornish coast and his passion for scuba diving. We asked the artist to share more about his story and creative process for the first instalment of our Meet The Maker series.
Tell us about yourself and how it all began?
I started my career making spectacles in a factory, then ended up working in IT for over 15 years. I moved to Penryn in Cornwall in 2011. Living by the sea and adapting to the Cornish way of life opened my eyes to life’s opportunities, which also included scuba diving. I decided to explore my creative side and go self-employed in 2017, starting with photography, but also making art using fused glass and ceramics.
What’s the process behind your distinctive glass designs?
I start with a lot of prep; from choosing colours and design, to lining the kiln with paper, and cutting hundreds of squares. Glass needs to be 6mm thick at 800 degrees, so clear glass is cut to the size and shape of the piece, then layered with coloured glass on the kiln shelf. I always put the kettle on to make a cuppa before I clean every piece of glass, and then the assembling begins. A scriber tool is used to nudge the glass to create crisp lines. I have different settings on the kiln, so will close the lid, choose a fused glass setting and the 18-hour wait begins until it’s cool enough for me to peek inside. A second firing in the kiln is needed to slump shapes into their moulds for dishes and bowls.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love turning large sheets of glass into pieces of art that can be used in the home. Equally, I love reading and responding to all my reviews, especially for custom designs.
What’s the inspiration behind your designs, and where does it come from?
I have always found geometry and linear lines intriguing; I like the clean and contrasting effect they create. Chequers or checks are a timeless pattern, but science also plays a part as not all colour combinations are compatible due to reactions of different colours when they are fused together.
Describe your style in three words?
Chequers, precision, colourful
Do you listen to anything while you’re creating?
I always have music playing whilst I create, and enjoy a mix of upbeat music from the 1980s to the current day. If I have a quieter day, I listen to the birds in the garden and that come to the feeder I have on my workshop window.
Which colours are you drawn to most?
The almond and streaky amber combination is my favourite. It’s neutral but warm and you almost want to eat it.
What’s your favourite design?
The undulating bowls I create are a delicious balance of curves with a crisp chequered pattern; they are definitely my favourite design.
What canapé would you pick to serve on your custom-made Kin House trays?
The sticky pork belly, pickled cucumber and crispy onion canapés would look delicious on the pink and mint-green chequered canapé tray.
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