James is a third generation glass worker. His grandparents met at the Osram glassworks in London and later established the Minson Scientific Glass Company in Sydney.
He has degrees from Sydney College of the Arts and Tama Art University in Tokyo, and a Master of Arts degree in psychology and art therapy from Antioch University, Seattle. He was staff at the Niijima Glass Art Center in 1990. In 2002 he established the “Minson Esquela De Vidrio” glass studio at the Misioneros Del Camino home for orphaned, abandoned and malnourished children in Sumpango, Guatemala.
He has taught at the Pilchuck Glass School, Penland School of Crafts, Pratt Fine Arts Center, Urban Glass, Espace Verre in Montreal, The Studio at Corning Glass Center, The Pittsburgh Glass Center, Touchstone Center for Crafts and The Glass Furnace in Turkey.
His work is represented in public and private collections worldwide.
Many of us feel that our lives are out of balance. The growth of our urban-industrial society has lead to the destruction and disconnection of the natural environment. We often live in small boxes without views and the only richness we have in our environment is what we place there. Art and craft are more important and meaningful than ever.
In my glasswork I focus on a few simple factors; graceful form, balanced proportion and technical excellence. My aesthetic is based on a desire to express harmony through the manipulation of naturalistic forms using a transparent, fluid material that engages its environment via interaction with light. I strive to evoke the reminiscence of balance between the inner self and the outer world that one might feel when he or she stands alone in a natural, peaceful setting. The object replaces in a small way some of the experiences we might remember and miss in our hectic urban existence. My design objective is informed by classical and baroque style with contemporary appeal.
I like glass because it is difficult and challenging to use. When it is molten it can be cut, molded, squashed, squeezed and forced to do all sorts of things and when it cools and hardens it becomes delicate and fragile. It is a material with a broad array of physical qualities and therefore it holds the potential to convey a wide range of expressive character and meaning.