The honour follows an extensive judging process which included both a public vote and input from industry experts across a range of fields. Michael received the Silver Award in the Glass Category which was judged by Andy McConnell, glass specialist and a regular presenter on the Antiques Road Show.
Mr McConnell said: “The quality of Michael’s work is outstanding and the techniques involved highly skilled, using complex and intricate colour combinations. The glass he creates is literally jewel-like: some of it even looks as though it could be worn, perhaps by Grayson Perry. Flamboyant and vivid, it could well be described as ‘Perryesque’!”
The announcement of the Award was made at the closing banquet of the Paperweight Collectors Association Conference held in the Murano hotel in Tacoma, Washington state. One of Michael’s works (a blown form of the Scottish Saltire and the Union Jack with lizards positioned on top) had been on exhibition in the venue for several months prior to the conference. Michael had been in Tacoma to demonstrate his skills at the Tacoma Museum of Glass and was streamed live from the Museums web camera.
Michael, who received support from Creative Scotland to travel to Tacoma to give a calaboration /demonstration at the museum as part of the PCA convention, said: “I could not have heard the news at a more fitting event. The President of the Paperweight Collectors Association, Phil Edelman from the Leo Kaplan Gallery, New York announced the result and also thanked all the members on my behalf for the many votes they had cast for me.”
Twists Glass was founded by Mike and his wife Susan in 1998 and is based in a studio at the rear of a textile mill in Selkirk. Michael has won many awards and accolades for his work and is recognised for producing some of the finest hand-crafted crystal tableware being made in the UK today. He has spent 37 years perfecting his art, seven of which were devoted to painstaking research in order to re-discover the skill of embedding coloured glass canes and air into the stems of glasses - a technique which lies at the heart of many Twist Glass’s products. His work is sought after by glass collectors around the globe, often commanding a four figure price tag.