Vic Bamforth’s current work in glass falls into two distinct categories – one where the surface is the subject matter and the other where the material itself is the focus. In the former he uses on-glaze enamels to paint narrative-based blown and solid forms, where the primary function of the glass is that of a three dimensional canvas. These pieces are uniquely illustrated, usually involving themes relating to memory, place and storytelling. Bamforth depicts subjects with honesty, humour and enthusiasm. He can spend weeks on a single piece, preparing developmental drawings and hand painting them in his studio in preparation for further blowing in the ‘hot shop’.

Contrastingly, the Sommercalmo pieces, on display during Messums Wiltshire’s exhibition, exploit and convey some of the unique properties and qualities of glass: malleability & ductility (whilst hot), transparency, translucency, reflection, refraction and colour usage. The technique has evolved through merging together the traditional Italian blowing techniques of Sommerso and Incalmo – hence ‘Sommercalmo’. Incalmo involves the ‘joining’ together of two or more different coloured forms whilst still hot. Bamforth’s approach differs in that it involves an additional casing of the joined forms with clear molten furnace glass which, after further hot manipulation, significantly enhances the optical qualities of the piece. The join, which incidentally is unpredictable, provides a focal point of visual interest, a horizon maybe? These forms are much more sculptural, organic, fluid and tactile; speaking more of the material itself. Whilst displayed collectively as a group in his studio Bamforth feels uplifted whilst reflecting on scuba diving adventures when he has been surrounded by beautiful colourful fish and coral swaying to and fro in rhythm with the ebb and flow of the tide!

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS:

2008/15  British Glass Biennale Int. Festival of Glass, Stourbridge, UK
2015  Refract – International Glass Design, Waterford, Ireland
2015  Summer Showcase, Vessel Gallery, UK
2015  Essence, London Glassblowing, UK
2015  Drawing – An Expressive gesture….., National Glass Centre, UK
2014  British Glassmakers & Printmakers, Twenty Twenty Gallery, UK
2014  Flitting/Flyttning – The Experience of Migration, Johansfors Gallery, Sweden
2013  Storytelling: Once Upon A Time In The Midlands, Bilston & Shire Hall Galleries, UK
2012  Back To The Future, Broadfield House Glass Museum, UK
2012  Solo Exhibition, Susan Megson Gallery, UK
2009-2011  Affordable Art Fair. London, Cohesion Glass Network, UK
2010  SOFA New York, New York, USA (ZeST)
2008-2009  Edinburgh Art Fair, Number 9 The Gallery, UK
2008  Interiors and Lifestyle Showcase, British Embassy, Brussels
2008  A Crystal Canvas – Guild of Glass Engravers, Int. Festival of Glass, Stourbridge, UK
2008  Joint exhibition with Ian Bamforth (brother), Susan Megson Gallery, UK
2008  Art in Action, Waterperry Gardens, UK
2008  “Curiously Optimistic” –Solo Exhibition, Neville Pundole Gallery, UK
2007  ORIGIN, Somerset House, UK
2006-2007  SOFA Chicago, Chicago, USA (ZeST)
2007  Interiors Lifestyle, Tokyo, Japan
2007  Wheaton Arts – Glass Weekend 2007, New Jersey, USA (ZeST)
2007   “1000 Glass Miles”, Irwin Eisch Gallery, Germany
2006  Still Life-2 Person Exhibition, ZeST Gallery, UK
2005  New Studio Glass-2 Person Exhibition, Cecilia Colman Gallery, UK
2002/3  New Designers, Business Design Centre, UK
2001  “Inspired by”, V&A, London, UK