Described as a master craftsman who hails from another era, Mark Raynes Roberts is Canada’s leading crystal and glass engraver, sculptor and designer with an international reputation for his one-of-kind masterpieces in a medium few have mastered.
Born in Sutton Coldfield, England in 1961, he trained as a goldsmith and silversmith, before focusing his studies on engraving under the tutelage of Ronald Pennell, one of Britain’s finest glass artists at the Birmingham City University, Institute of Art & Design.
An Associate Fellow of the British Guild of Glass Engravers since 1989, Raynes Roberts creates crystal sculptures remarkable for their hand-engraved precision and detail. His work is broad in scope, including large, 8-foot crystal works, smaller sculptures, themed sculpture collections as well as iconic awards. He has participated in many international glass exhibitions and has been honoured with several prestigious exhibiting invitations such as at the New York location of Asprey, crown jewellers to her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, where he held two one-man exhibitions in 1998 and 1999. His work has been presented to important leaders from the world of business, the arts, sports and science and resides in private and corporate collections of an international clientele.
In 2012, Raynes Roberts has exhibited his crystal art with the British Guild of Glass Engravers in Johansfors, Sweden, and at the Red House Cone Gallery, National Guild exhibition in Stourbridge, England. In October, the artist celebrates his 30th Anniversary in Canada, with a solo exhibition of new works entitled VISIONS OF LIGHT, at the Hotel Le Crystal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. www.hotellecrystal.com
An artist whose traditional training in England provided strong grounding in fine detail, his work has evolved in new directions thanks to the free expression of living in North America where he continues to experiment with new techniques, styles of expression and medium.
Larger scale works such as the 72-foot glass tapestry of engraved panels depicting Canadian landscapes, at McMaster University’s Health Sciences Library, (a designated cultural property of Canada) have provided impetus for the artist to develop larger scale projects working with architects and developers.
He describes the ability of multi-faceted crystal sculpture to magically refract engraved images as the creation of dreamscapes. And it is this dream-like aspect of his engraved crystal pieces which he feels can express issues of human transcendence, a subject he has always wanted to explore in more depth.
One of his crystal collections, The Human Spirit Collection, owned by DAREarts, a charitable organization that empowers children through arts programming, depicted life values such as Persistence and Equilibrium. The sculptures were toured extensively to schools and aboriginal communities, used as talking points to help children in need contemplate the importance of the depicted values in their own lives.
The “Visions of Light” exhibition will expand this interest in the human desire to recognize life-affirming goals. Some of the proposed engraved crystal pieces will address themes of Connection, Diversity and Tolerance. Raynes Roberts is interested in exploring how we overcome adversity, how we move beyond pain and conflict, in all aspects of our lives, individually and collectively as a society.
The significance of “Visions of Light” is the artistic evolution from one of Canada’s leading artists, who reminds us about a craftsmanship from a time when the world was slower, and who helps us appreciate the beauty and the values which connect us all.
For more information: http://www.markraynesroberts.com/
Mark will offer three winners worldwide, the opportunity to win a signed copy of "Visions of Light" book - an 80 page colour retrospective book celebrating 30 years of engraved crystal masterpieces. Value $59.95 each.