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Case Study

Paul Wearden

Guisborough, UK

BA (Hons) Artist Designer Maker, Glass and Ceramics

Just weeks after graduating, glass artist Paul Wearden found himself working on packaging for one of the world’s most exclusive bottles of whisky. On finishing his degree, Paul headed north to the Scottish Highlands for his first job with renowned artistic and commercial glass studio Glasstorm. One of his first projects was helping the team at Glasstorm develop and make a unique bottle for a 64-year-old single malt whisky.

I heard about the job through the hot glass technicians at the University who post up any jobs the team hear about in the industry. I headed to the Highlands for a three-day interview so they could really see what I could do and got the job. I was thrilled to get a job so soon after graduating and now I am refining my craft and style under the guidance of a great team and to find myself working on the Whisky project so soon after arriving was just amazing.

The bottles were hand-blown and sculpted to represent the waves that crash against the sea-facing walls of the vault in the distillery where the whisky has been kept for the last 64 years. The job also involved working with platinum and silver to make the incredible looking bottle so I am already building my skills. As well as handling commercial work I am encouraged by the team to develop as an artist, which is just great. Who knows one day I might open my own glass studio.
I’ve always been a very practical and hands-on sort of person and naturally gravitated to the glass course. It was great to be based at the National Glass Centre with a team of lecturers and technicians who really help students develop as artists and individuals. The open plan studio environment on the course also helped me to bounce and feed off everybody else. Students from different year groups work and mix together so help and support is on hand constantly – studying glass and ceramics at Sunderland is really like being part of a tight-knit creative community."

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