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Laura McKinley

MA work

States of Play

“Art is serious play — a chance for children to glimpse their own creative power.”
- Grayson Perry.

I am fascinated by the playfulness and elegance of children's toys and how the forms invite engagement. Using hot glass I am directly contradicting the delicate and fragile material in which the objects are created, at the same time exploring form, texture, scale, and space to excite the viewer and evoke a childlike intrigue. I wish to draw the viewer in to explore internal space, the play of light and shadow on the forms and the optical qualities of solid glass. 


  • MA Degree


    School of Arts & Humanities


    MA Ceramics & Glass, 2018

  • My fascination for glass as a creative medium stems from its capacity to constantly alter my initial thoughts and expectations. The spontaneity of the hot material demands instant visual judgments that give rise to shifts in ideas, this allows me to make tangible my explorations of volume, scale and the random interplay of forms. Serendipity and the unexpected often lead the way to the next starting point for making.

    Once cold, the fluidity of my blown objects is interrupted by cutting. Polished, angled surfaces create ever-changing effects of light and shadow, a characteristic that I exploit to create an environment of illusion. My work is an invitation to engage with the tranquil beauty of the incidental.

    Using hot glass I am exploring form, texture, scale and space in order to excite the viewer and create a feeling within them to want to investigate further. I am intrigued by the contrast between the fragile yet serious nature of glass and the playfulness of the form. My aim is to create something that looks as though it should be touched and played with, yet causes the viewer to question this because of the fragile material it is made from.

    Relationships also play a huge part in the development of my work. The relationship the viewer has with my glass and how they question and interact with it is very important to me. Relationships with the team of people I work with that develop during the making process in turn feed my ideas. These important interactions with people are one of the key aspects that I love about the craft of glassmaking.

  • Degrees

  • BA Ceramics and Glass, Buckinghamshire University College, 2008
  • Experience

  • Gallery Manager, London Glassblowing, Bermondsey Street, London, 2013–2016; Gallery Assistant and Curator, London Glassblowing, London, 2012–2016; Specialist Invigilator, The Henry Moore Foundation, Hertfordshire, 2011; Glass Workshop Assistant, LoCo Glass, Cirencester, 2010–2011; Sight Specific Sites: Intermediate Blown Glass with Robert Stern, Pilchuck Glass School, Seattle, 2009; Artist in Residence, Buckinghamshire Chilterns University, Buckinghamshire, 2008–2009
  • Exhibitions

  • Collect 2017, The Saatchi Gallery, London, 2017; The Emerging and The Established, Christie's, London, 2017; Black to White and Back Again - A CGS Exhibition in partnership with London Glassblowing, London Glassblowing, London, 2016; Zwieseler Glastage - “A Blue Ribboned“ Celebration of Glass art, Zwiesel Germany, 2016; Recollections - London Glassblowing’s 40th Anniversary Exhibition, London Glassblowing, London, 2016; A Slant of Light, Nancy Victor Gallery, London, 2015; Collect 2015, The Saatchi Gallery, London, 2015; Young Masters, London Glassblowing, London, 2015; Zwieseler Kölbl - European talent advancement award for glass artists, Germany, 2013; Glass Afloat, International Festival of Glass, Bodenham Arboretum, Stourbridge, 2012; Glass Haus VI, Parndon Mill, Harlow, 2011; Designer Crafts Exhibition, The Mall Galleries Society of Designer Craftsmen, The Mall, London, 2009; Fresh Ideas in Craft and Design, The Hub Centre for Craft and Design, Lincoln, 2008
  • Publications

  • Peter Layton, Past and Present: Peter Layton and London Glassblowing, Halstar 2012,; Sandra Korinchak, Glass Art Today 2, Schiffer Publishing 2016, pp130–133