beauty in glass
Breathtaking Glasswork of Richard Bunting
by Giovan J. Michael
T’S easy to get lost in the halcyon swirls of Richard Bunting’s blown glassworks. From the smallest wine bottle
stopper to the largest handmade urn, each piece contains its own galaxy of uniquely tinted combinations. His
pieces are anything but uniform, and the idiosyncrasies in each piece bring them to life.
Every bubble of color seems to dance in the movement it was spun in. In fact, the back of Bunting’s business
card boasts that “Dancing with molten glass is like dancing with a great (but HOT) partner.”
His introduction to the art world was not through glasswork but theater. His mother introduced him to the
performing arts through the church choir and that was it, he had caught the bug. Joining the choir was the
beginning of a long career in acting that thrives today.
“I was a chorus boy until I was 36 years old,” Bunting says proudly, and he still performs often in musicals at Thalian
Hall as well as many out-of-state productions. “I fell into glassblowing.”
While visiting his father in Seattle, he went to the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery and came across the work of
“He made these huge urns out of glass, but the handles were in the shapes of pterodactyls!” he says.
The creativity required to attach winged dinosaurs to a blown glass pot captivated Bunting. He began glasswork
classes at the University of Toledo in Ohio.
Mastering the art of glassblowing is not something that can be done overnight. In fact, it is one of the most
demanding and high maintenance artforms around. As Bunting often jokes to his painter friends in New York, “You
guys can paint anywhere you want. I need a studio with a furnace set at 3,000 degrees that burns 365 days a year.”
Above: Wilmington glass artist and actor Richard Bunting shows his work at Art in Bloom Gallery. Opposite:
Tide Me Over, 17 x 17 x 6 inches, blown glass platter.