Graduate success story

Peeling wallpaper was the unusual inspiration for an award winning glass design by Michael Andrew. He says he was bitten by the ‘glass bug’ at the University’s School of Art & Design, where he was encouraged to push the boundaries of traditional ideas and techniques.

Wolverhampton business Watsons Glass sponsored a School of Art & Design award for the Best Commercial Glass Design during the 2008 Graduation. Michael won the award for his retro wallpaper design, which was made from laminated float glass and imaginatively simulates wallpaper peeling off a wall. The design was created using modern glass production techniques.


Michael was chosen as his glass design was deemed to be the most commercially viable.  The 22-year-old says the interesting design was inspired by seeing a photograph of his parents from the 1960s and also by the optical illusion work of artist Bridget Riley.


Michael thoroughly enjoyed his time studying for his BA (Hons) Design and Applied Arts (Glass) at the University, and believes that working across artistic disciplines has been extremely beneficial.


“The most enjoyable part of the course, and the attitude that I think most gelled with my own approach, was the emphasis on working with a view to incorporating mixed media. An openness towards influences from outside of my chosen medium and audience proved an invaluable asset. It also helped develop my desire to work across boundaries and be open to new ideas and processes not immediately obvious – or even possible – within the glass spectrum,” he says.


“The most useful thing I gained from my time at Wolverhampton was to always be open to new lines of interest and investigation. The Glass course has an amazing atmosphere and has fantastic tutors and technicians; whether they are visiting or permanent they are all extremely supportive and knowledgeable and, most importantly, passionate about what can be achieved through the medium of glass. If you have been bitten by the ‘glass bug’ then I highly recommend the course, if not come see a glass blowing demonstration and you soon will be!”


Michael said he was delighted to have won the graduation award, which has further inspired his creative work. “I am overwhelmed with the incredibly positive response I have experienced and believe this can spur me on to great things,” he added.


The University of Wolverhampton has an international reputation for its Glass course and facilities.


For further information about the School of Art & Design, visit