Creating a blown glass piece is like living a life unto itself. You must be committed physically and mentally. The process can demand patience, present twists and turns, disappointments, and highs.
That’s how Hayden MacRae summarizes developing his original works. His curiosity about glass was sparked by a Rupert the Bear story read to him as a little boy by his grandmother. Experiments putting glass bottles in the coals of the family’s firepit nurtured the wonder. Attending a glassblowing workshop at age 13 set the passion aflame.
As a supportive Alberta University of the Arts professor once commented, “Hayden MacRae grew up in the wilds.” Studying and practicing at studios in and around Calgary, Alberta, he credits internationally recognized artists such as Tyler Rock, Julia Reimer, the late Jim Norton, Barry Fairbairn and Ryan Fairweather with helping him develop and hone his skills.
Today, Hayden MacRae works at Fascapple Glass, a studio that he co-founded. The facility’s technical capabilities and team support, free him to explore the interplay of colour, motion, texture and welcoming shapes. Some pieces are inspired by the sculptural landscape, clarity and colours of southern Utah, where he spent time in his younger years. Some draw on his fondness of video games and the dynamic use of colour in that medium. Yet others, he says are the result of watching and absorbing the unfolding of the glass world over the last 20 years.
He is integrally involved in the Alberta glass community, managing Fascapple Glass Studio, which provides a platform for professional, hobbyist and students to pursue lifelong and newly found passions.