McGarva, Nina Casson


Born in Gloucester in England, Nina Casson McGarva grew up in rural central France in the middle of the Burgundy countryside. She comes from a makers family, Growing up in an environment of nature and craft has definitely influenced her life and art work so far.

Nina started learning the basic technical skills of glass blowing, In the National French Glass school in Yzeure, then at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts on Bornholm where she started to use other glass techniques such as casting, fusing and started experimenting with several techniques.

After residencies in the USA and Japan, she has settled in the English countryside in her studio at Wobage craft farm in the south of Herefordshire. UK Nina has shown her work in exhibitions in Europe, in the USA and Japan.

Artist statement

The starting point in my work is nature. I take a detail of an element I find in nature and
use it as a inspirational base to create my own abstraction, that then builds into a complex sculpture.

My inspiration comes from cycles of nature that I associate with glass. Because to me, the material goes through a cycle of it own and is most alive when it’s hot and being transformed. The end result is solid and no longer moves, it is at the fragile stages before disintegration and maintains a dynamic form and rich structures such as dry leaves, feathers or sea shells. In the making process I shape it hot in an open kiln until the glass stops moving. When the glass transforms to be a solid, the shape of the piece is finished.

The technique

My current work combines several techniques with the goal of creating a unique aesthetic. These pieces are Kiln cast glass, hand shaped hot and carved.

My work process consists of making a repetition of one glass unit. When combined together these multiples create a textured pattern which then get fused together. One of the final steps is to open the hot kiln and hand shape the glass creating the movement and organic aesthetic.