Caithness


Ian & Janice Pearson

When it came to selecting a Caithness HQ for this project then Joanne knew of an obvious choice. This being Ian Pearson, well known (well known that is to all those that know him!) glass artist. Based at his glass studio in Thurso, Ian operates Glass Creations www.glasscreationsthurso.co.uk where his imaginative ideas are allowed to roam wild! This was recognised many years ago by the Scottish Glass Society www.scottishglasssociety.com awarding Ian the Odd Ball of the year prize. Fittingly it has never been awarded again! His glass art can be found in many collections around the World and there are even pieces of his work for sale in local charity shops!!
Ian teaching at Northlands Creative Glass Studio in Lybster Caithness.
 Ian glass training can be traced back to his early days, why even his bottle as a baby was made of glass! Thankfully by selecting different employers to work with on the theory that a moving target can’t be hit, Ian found himself in Caithness over 34 years ago. He is now a firm fixture in the local community and can often be seen wandering the streets!
 
 He was trained as a scientific glassblower and is a past chairman of the British Society of Scientific Glassblowers www.bssg.co.uk Ian has edited the BSSG Journal for nearly 25 years which is not bad for some who failed their English ‘O’ level. He has lectured in Europe and America and there was at least twice that people listened! Ian became an Honorary Member of the BSSG in 2009 and was awarded Fellowship in 2011.
The reason for arriving in Caithness for Ian was the promise of being in charge of the glass working dept. at Dounreay Nuclear establishment. www.dounreay.com That and cheap electricity – or so Ian thought. All went well in the heady days of the early 1980’s but although the glass ceiling didn’t break, the glass floor was smashed and Ian fell into the world of archiving and he continues to juggle history with tons of paper. One of the most exciting projects in Caithness is the construction of a new archive building in Wick www.nda.gov.uk/2015/03/go-ahead-for-nuclear-archive Ian will take a key role and that doesn’t mean acting as a door man!
Ian is Chairman of the Society of Caithness Artists www.caithnessartists.com who in 2015 organised its 80th annual exhibition in Thurso. The Society is a vibrant, active, radical and supportive organisation that promotes visual arts throughout the County and beyond to the dizzy heights of the solar system. So Ian said so it must be right. The Society enjoys royal patronage through HRH Duke of Rothesay exhibiting.
Away from the glass and art scene Ian enjoys running a weekly Beaver Scout Colony. www.scoutscaithness.org.uk Although one could say Beavers are artful so no change there then. Ian is a leader and also an assistant leader as well as a training advisor and if that’s not enough then add that he is also Assistant District Commissioner for Beavers in Caithness. Many hats doth Ian wear so no wonder his head has to be soooooooo big!
In his spare time Ian teaches basics glass working skills at Northlands creative Studios at Lybster www.northlandsglass.com His most recent glass saw students from Sweden and Austria join forces with others form Aberdeen and Perth. Luckily they also learnt well how to join two pieces of glass together! It is at Northlands where Ian can be found working with other artists supporting them by interpreting their ideas into physical sculptures.
 
Easy to read this profile and think is there anyone in Ian’s life and the answer is yes which is the most important part. Janice is Ian’s wife of five years and as Ian admits the reason that he can get up to so much fun, (read mischief) with glass, art and Beavers, (surely a recipe of paradise). Janice and Ian’s wedding was unique (as all weddings are of course) in that handmade paper was integral in the celebrations. Invites and menus were printed on paper made by whom other than Joanne. Actually Janice and Ian did help but oh dearie me paper making is soooo messy. Janice is a volunteer with the Red Cross and the local archives in Wick www.highlifehighland.com/caithness-archive-centre  
 

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