This month we have caught up with our Business Development Manager, John for a chat. John is actually celebrating a work anniversary this week – five years since he joined the Daedalian Glass Studios team.
So… five years with Daedalian Glass Studios….
Yes, it doesn’t seem like it had been so long but when I check the calendar that is correct… 16th June 2016 was my start date. To be honest I knew very little about decorative glass when I started but there is such a pool of knowledge at the studios so I learnt very quickly. Five years is longer than I spent at university, both bachelors and masters, and I am still coming across obscure and arcane glass working techniques to learn about.
Can you give an example?
Glue chipping is not so obscure or arcane but it is a technique we seldom use yet I find it fascinating. I like how the design is totally organic in appearance, and relatively simple to execute, however there are so many ways to manipulate the glue-chipping affect the outcome once the process has been mastered… etching the glass surface selectively or altering the depth of the etching, changing the formula percentages of the glue mixture or the thickness of the well when it is poured onto the glass, or the environment in which it is cured… temperature and humidity levels. Like many things in life, simple to try but difficult to master.
Have you made glue chipped glass yourself then?
I have helped with its manufacture, yes. In my first few years I would spend a fair bit of time in the studios asking questions and lending a hand, it’s a great way to learn. All the business development team also spend time in the studios because it is important to fully understand the processes when talking to clients. Daedalian Glass Studios specialises in bespoke design so when a client requests a customisation, we need to know the processes inside out and to understand what is possible, with what tolerance, limitation, etc. It is really important that everyone here is capable of working in the glass studio even if they are office based because it is the core of the business.
What has been your favourite project that you were involved in?
Favourite in terms of the work or in terms of the outcome? We worked on the superyacht of one of the Middle-Eastern rulers a few years back. Lots of cast lead crystal panels, very highly detailed and over a square meter each. Production had already started when I joined the studio so it was one of the first things I worked on and I was tasked with preparing the plaster mix for the moulds. It wasn’t my favourite task – hands in buckets of plaster and water on cold mornings – but the panels the studio produced at the end of the process were really amazing.
In terms of my personal contribution to the work, it has to be the private residential project in Gibraltar. Under an NDA so I cannot say too much but our decorative glass features throughout and it was the first ‘significant’ commission we received after I was appointed the manager of the business development department – so it was personally quite significant.
Now a little about you, what was your background before you joined the studios?
Well, I got my bachelors in International Business at Manchester Met before spending a few years travelling the world and working. I did various jobs in my early 20’s, from a chef and a club rep in Australia, bar staff in the Shetland Islands, an English teacher in China, a finally a marketing assistant in India.
That last job was great as I got to travel all over North India writing marketing copy and taking pictures and videos to advertise volunteer opportunities. I even got to listen to the Dalai Lama speaking at the temple next to his home in the Himalayan Foothills.
After that I decided to pursue a career in marketing and headed back to Manchester to gain my masters in marketing communications. This led to the university hiring me to work for them, marketing their B2B services, and then I headed back to my hometown finally and joined Daedalian Glass Studios.
And what are your hobbies outside of work?
Well, obviously the past year has been a little stop-start for any leisure activities but we are really lucky here in the North-West as we live just over an hour away from the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, and the Peak District. Those areas are great for a day out walking, especially after a busy week. I also love the beach, just on our doorstep here or if I want to go shopping or have an evening out then both Manchester, Liverpool, Preston and Lancaster are all less than an hour drive. They are all cities with a good food scene where I have my ‘go-to’ restaurants.
Final thoughts, as the Business Development Manager…. What does the future hold for Daedalian Glass Studios?
The studios are in an exciting point right now where I can talk about both the future and the present as one entity. Prior to Covid-19 we were in a strong position and, although many projects went on hold, they have gone live again and placed commissions.
As business development manager, the most exciting part is seeing growth in multiple areas. In the hospitality and commercial sectors, we are expanding our capabilities and taking on larger project scopes, whilst in the private residential sector (where budgets are healthiest) we are becoming increasingly established amongst the UHNW crowd.
Of course, we work with lots of non-disclosure agreements but there will be plenty of interesting things to show you in the coming year – keep an eye on our blogs page and social media channels for behind the scenes content!
If you wish to discuss a project design, concept, or brief with our business development team, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call our studios on +44 (0)1253 702531.