Robert Wiley

Glass is my primary craft material.


What craft do you work with? 

Glass is my primary craft material, although my making also relies fairly heavily on wood, metal, and some stone. Glass blowing and torch working rank high on my list of favorites.

What inspires you to work with this craft? 

My craft making stems from a deep curiosity of how my understanding of the word around can be understood through interactions with materials. Craft is a way to connect the past, present, and future, as witnessed by our creative production. It is in a sense to be wholly ourselves, connected to nature, and not foolishly attempting to dominate it.

How do you start your creative process?
My process is almost always initiated by a sparl to tinker. Literally, a sort of sophisticated play begins with a tool, a material, or even an unconscious trigger. The most difficult part is oftentimes simply finding a space of liberty, where market and outside forces are at bay, and the playing can occur.

How would you best describe your workspace and what tools could you not do without?

Beyond the tools needed for manipulating glass, I would say that a knife, some string, wire, and a pair of pliers might be what I consider essential. These, and perhaps a pair of gloves, some safety glasses, and a good respirator for avoiding dust.

Are there new techniques you would like to try?

Right now, my curiosity lies in revisiting techniques that I have used in the past in order to find a more mature understanding of my artistic voice and the development that has occurred beyond my conscious awareness over the past few decades.

What have you learnt or the best advice you have received that you would like to share with fellow crafters?

First, my advice is to keep making. There are forces that would have us believe that the hand-made object is a thing of the past. As we race towards a more technologically driven future, I suggest that those with the restlessness to use their hands find comfort in their connection to time honored skills, and to keep on making.

What professional dream do you have?

Ultimately, my personal dream is to work re-valorise craft, demonstrate that the long-term values of human crafted objects outweigh the short-term “values of current demonstrably unsustainable economies of industrial production, and to work to develop degrowth models where craft play a central role in sustainable futures.

Media & Contact


Universidade Nova de Lisboa


Lisbon, Portugal