ABOUT LAURA MURDOCH

Born in Vancouver, Laura's family moved far north to the Yukon when she was 8. She traces her affinities to craft and color partly to her childhood there. Due to the extreme winter conditions, children played largely inside. Laura’s parents and teachers went to great lengths to obtain a myriad of supplies, reading material and instruction in all kinds of craft. Laura was profoundly shaped by the remote, rugged, quiet beauty of the land, and developed an appreciation of the rich, moody light that results from the sun being very low in the sky in the winters there, with seemingly extended dawn and dusk. She was mesmerized by the unusual and intense color in the surroundings, and in the brightly colored parkas worn by the natives, and by the vibrant colorful paintings of northern scenes by her high school art teacher, the well-known painter Ted Harrison of Wingate, England.

Once graduated, Laura moved south to study psychology at University of Victoria and Simon Fraser University. She spent her summers working in the Yukon as a can-can dancer in a Vaudeville show, beginning a 17 year career in dance, choreography, musical theatre and modeling. Her most notable role was the tango and “kissing partner” of Val Kilmer the 3D IMAX film “Wings of Courage”. She has worked behind the camera as crew in advertising production for 11 years, gaining valuable knowledge about use of materials.

Laura casually applied to Pilchuck Glass School in 1997 without awareness of its status as a groundbreaking learning facility in the glass world. Within a year, she had met the William Morris team, who quickly became a pivotal source of inspiration and support in her glass making and design pursuits. Through this association, Laura met Shelley Muzylowski-Allen, and began an ongoing apprenticeship in 2001. Her work with Shelley has been deeply influential for her career as a glass artist.

Laura’s recent achievements include the sale of a design for a large sculptural lighting project for a university performing arts center, with 100 square feet of intricate custom glass patterning in 2006; a solo showing at the Glasshouse Studio in Seattle in 2006, a BC Glass Arts Association “Jury’s Choice” award in 2006; receipt of the Francis Phillips scholarship to attend Red Deer College in 2004; and two teaching assistant positions, one for Shelley Muzylowski-Allen at Pratt Fine Arts School in 2005, and one for Felice Nittolo in mosaic at Pilchuck Glass School in 2003, for which she learned to speak Italian.


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