ABOUT Nina Casson McGarva
I come from a makers family, My grandparents Mick and Sheila Casson were potters, Micks work was keenly collected around the world and is still highly regarded as being among the 20th century's finest studio pottery, featuring in museums including the V&A in London.
Their children are all makers including my mother Clare Casson McGarva who makes textiles, my uncle Ben Casson makes furniture and my aunt Lucy Casson makes sculptural art work using metal and found objects.
My Dad, Andrew McGarva is a potter and met my mother at school then both went to art school in Farnham . They started their workshop at the family workshops at wobage crafts, in Herefordshire, where I started my own studio. Finally, my sister Isabel McGarva is a Archaeologist and basket weaver based in Burgundy.
Born in Gloucester in England, I grew up in rural central France in the middle of the Burgundy countryside, in a house surrounded by the18th century buildings of a brick and tile works. Coming from a potter’s family I have always been in the workshop making things with clay. Growing up in an environment of nature and craft has definitely influenced my life and work so far.
I have always been fascinated by glass objects, since an early age I liked the mineral look and the transmission of light in glass.I was especially attracted by the material itself. Then when I started learning glass blowing, at the age of 17, I became interested in a new material I didn’t know much about and the special skills that are required to work it. What interested me were and still are, the complexities of hot glass, and the challenges that mean that I am always learning more. I spent 4 years in France learning the basic technical skills of glass blowing, at l'Ecole National du verre a technical training for working in the French crystal factories, then I went to art school at The Royal Danish Academy of fine arts, Schools of architecture ,Design and conservation on Bornholm in Denmark where my mind was opened to other techniques and other possibilities that I could explore with glass. There I could practice my skills and develop my creativity for 3 years.
Since I graduated in 2014,I have been part of two Artist residency programs in the USA, one at Starworks in Star NC,and the Eair Program at Pilchuck Glass school in Stanwood,WA and one in Japan, Naked craft Project residency in Kobe.I have shown my work in exhibitions in Europe, the UK the USA and Japan.
The starting point in my work is nature. I take a detail of an element I find in nature and use it as a inspirational base to create my own abstraction, that then builds into a complex sculpture. Contrast in translucency and texture enrich the natural glass qualities .My inspiration can be from plants, insects, nests or animals.
I enjoy using several different glass techniques, glass blowing, kiln and sand casting, and fusing. In my glass work, I often use 2 techniques in one piece.
In the process the first technique is used as an initial step and the second builds the final sculpture.