Christopher Morrison wears a variety of hats: teacher, business owner and professional artist. His studio, Morrison Glass Art, is located in Bellingham, and hosts Western Washington University glass sculpting students and local professionals, in addition to Morrison himself.
His journey began across the country in his hometown outside Pittsburgh when his high school art class visited a nearby glass studio. After high school and college careers devoted to glass, he traveled around the country studying glass sculpting technique and finally landed in what he calls the “mecca of glass blowing” in the Puget Sound region. After arriving, Morrison studied at Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood and worked with renowned glass blower Dale Chihuly in Seattle. Now, his studio acts as a community hub for glass sculptors of every skill level, from student to professional, and Morrison continues his passion of bringing communities together through a common love of art.
Bellingham’s Morrison, 56, will open his Lincoln Street studio to the public on December 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to showcase his work. Public installations of Morrison pieces can be found on display at Village Books and at Cascade Brain and Spine Center in Bellingham. His glass art can be purchased at Morrison Glass Art and Whatcom Museum Store in Bellingham; Earthenworks Gallery in La Conner and Seattle’s Glass-House Studio.
Q: HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTRODUCED TO GLASS SCULPTING?
My high school art teacher took our class out to a glass blowing studio. That was the first time I had ever seen it. I had I known I wanted to study art in college, but not specifically glass. Then I found Hartwick College, in Oneonta, N.Y., which had a glass studio and ended up running the entire studio by my senior year. From there, I was hooked.
Q: HOW ARE YOU INSPIRED?
That creative “ah-ha moment” comes outside the studio when I’m on the beach or looking up at the night sky. I get inspiration from being out in nature in general. Just getting away from the regular day-to-day grind.
Q: WHAT IS YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS?
Well, that big creative piece happens outside the studio, but then I have to translate my inspiration. When I have that idea, I’ll sketch and create sort of a storyboard to figure out the more exact formulaic of steps. When you are actually blowing the glass, everything happens so quickly, so there is also creativity in all those little adjustments and choices.
Q: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR JOB?
I like that I get to wear many hats. I really enjoy mentoring students (Morrison teaches Western students four days a week in his studio). It [glass] is such a unique material, I feel an obligation to teach and pass on what I know. I believe art brings people together and I want to share that.
2111 Lincoln St., Bellingham
360.714.8732 | morrisonglassart.com
For more content like this, check out our Lifestyle section here.