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  • TR Tes

Tim Rawlinson

"an architecture of light & colour..."

 meet tim rawlinson Image

meet tim rawlinson

Tim Rawlinson is fascinated with the way light passes through glass and this informs his work. He exploits transparency, as an essential and primary quality, manipulating and distorting both colour and form in order to challenge his viewer’s perceptions.

The refractive qualities of glass in Tim’s pieces, create optical effects, shadows and reflections, that transform their environment creating an architecture of light and colour.

Tim has observed that society moves at an alarmingly rapid pace demanding instant solutions. Tim’s works aim to touch a part of our intellectual and spiritual need to slow down and experience what is going on within. These beautiful sculptures are objects of curiosity and contemplation.

A collaborative exhibition Exploring Transparency between Tim Rawlinson and rug designer Sonya Winner is on at Sonya Winner’s London Studio from the 2nd of May to the 1st of July 2018.


Tim Rawlinson was born in Bristol in 1985. He studied Ceramics and glass at Bucks New University, graduating in 2011. He exhibited his degree work that year at New Designers in London where he met Peter Layton. Peter invited Tim to do work experience at London Glassblowing, and following this Tim became a member of the team there.

Tim’s work has been prominent in the Gallery at London Glassblowing for the past two years featuring in Past and Present in 2012, Coalesce  in 2013 and Vetro in 2014. His work was also shown at Collect 2014 and 2015, where it was received with huge acclaim, and again, most recently during Collect 2017.

Tim has created his own language in glass through cut and polished sculptural pieces that focus on the interaction between light and glass. This has led to Tim’s inclusion in Europe’s most prestigious exhibition, ‘The Coburg Glass Prize’ in Germany in 2014 and the International Glass Prize at the GlazenHuis in Belgium 2015.

the video

Video Shim

the interview

Burns and scorch marks are an occupational hazard for glassblowers but Tim’s trademark locks have also suffered at the hands of the furnace.

“You know you’re too close when you can hear it crackle,” he laughs. “Thankfully I don’t use any products or it would be disastrous!”

A Bristolian who occasionally lurches into his hometown dialect, Tim has been at London Glassblowing ever since he left university, something he puts down to equal doses of luck and gumption.

“I remember seeing Peter at an end of year show and I just went up to him and started chatting,” Tim recalls. “I know a lot of the people on my course thought their work alone would do the talking but I couldn’t risk just sitting back so I went straight up to him and started chatting.

“By the end of our conversation Peter had offered me some work experience at the studio so as soon as I left my course I was fortunate enough to walk straight into London Glassblowing.”

A golden opportunity to work with one of the most important glass masters in history, Tim saw his work experience as vital in his journey to becoming an artist in his own right.

“It was incredible training,” he says. “It was tough going but I knew that with every month that passed I was becoming more and more valuable to Peter and the team.

“At university there is a fear that after your end of degree show you’ll go back home to your parents and end up working in Sainsbury’s. I’m not sure anyone thought that their degree would lead to a job so when it does you can only feel incredibly proud and fortunate.”

It’s something of a circuitous journey for Tim, who did his foundation course and then went on to Brighton to study architecture. But after visiting a glass sculpture exhibition his heart was lost to glass.

“The first impact was just jaw-dropping and I knew instantly that architecture was not for me. I still loved architecture and it was still an inspiration to me but I knew that my career would be in glass.”

While Tim himself has huge amounts of energy, his work is designed to be more peaceful.

“Society is so fast-paced and immediate that there is barely time to think. As a result I want my work to be more reflective – for people to enjoy the shadows and the way the light bounces off the surroundings. It’s about slowing down and appreciating things for what they are.”

Constantly influenced by new experiences, Tim is still in love with a process that has not altered for hundreds of years.

“Technology has moved on but the fundamental process of glassblowing has not changed in hundreds of years. That connection with the past and present is mesmerising.

“I spent years at university just making different lenses and testing. My work isn’t just about the glass, it’s about the light and the shadow that each piece creates.

“It has an optical melody – a psychedelic light that changes throughout the day depending on where it’s positioned. It also makes you question whether it’s the object itself that you’re looking at or the shadow it creates. I love that.”

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  • Tim Rawlinson working with Louis ThompsonTim Rawlinson & Louis Thompson at work on a piece from Tim's 'Echoes of Light' series.
  • Tim Rawlinson working with Louis Thompson_02Tim Rawlinson & Louis Thompson at work on a piece from Tim's 'Echoes of Light' series.
  • Tim Rawlinson working with Louis Thompson_03Large blow-torches are needed to maintain temperature in exactly the right places throughout the working of Tim's pieces.
  • Tim Rawlinson coldworkingTim Rawlinson cutting through a piece, before hours of painstaking coldworking take place.

Featured Artist Showcase: Kumano Kodo

A spiritual trek along the Kumano Kodo trail in Japan inspired Tim to create stunning pieces for his own 2018 showcase at London Glassblowing. His work in the show was influenced by the ancient Marushi rocks and landscapes he encountered in Japan, the Zen gardens in Kyoto, and tōrō, a traditional lantern.

Creating Kumano Kodo

Video Shim

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Closed 23, 24 & 25 July due to the heat!

London Glassblowing Gallery and Studio will be closed this Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday due to the heat!