Biography

 

Born October 1953 in San Francisco, Christopher Smith moved to British Columbia in 1970. Because of the circumstances that brought Chris to Canada, he assumed the name of D. Michael McRae. He began working in stained glass in 1975, employed as an apprentice to Thomas B. Shields at the Glass Head Studio in Nelson B.C. This studio was primarily concerned with religious stained glass restoration and residential stained glass design and fabrication.

Also in 1975, Chris (aka D. Michael) spent a semester at the Alberta College of Art, studying glass blowing under the direction of Norman Faulkner. He moved to Nanaimo in 1976, and studied art history at Malaspina College. As D. Michael McRae his work was shown at the 1983, '85 and '88 B.C. Festival of the Arts showcase gallery 'Images and Objects'. Around that time he was also invited to exhibit work in 'Glass Act' 1 and 2 at the Fort Langley Centennial Museum. In 1989 he partnered with Fabric Artist Elaine Duncan for a show entitle 'Echoed Shapes'in the inaugural year of the Old School House Gallery in Qualicum Beach.

He opened the original Glaskrafter Art Glass Studio in Nanaimo in 1977. The Studio relocated to Lantzville in 1986. That same year the Canadian Government granted Christopher Landed Immigrant status. In 1991 he moved his studio to its present location behind his home on the edge of Nanoose Bay. Glaskrafter Art Glass is one of the oldest established art glass studios on Vancouver Island and provides a full range of services, from repairing broken French doors to complete design and consultation work with clients, interior designers and architects, resulting in glass work very specific to site and client. Christopher became a Canadian Citizen in 2002

Chris has taught many classes in both stained glass and sandblasting glass and glass fusing and slumping techniques. He was an Instructor at Malaspina College, North Island College and the Nelson School District. He also spent a rewarding ten years (starting in 1996) working with selected Grade 12 students at Nanaimo District Secondary, helping them design and build stained glass windows for their new library and scattering stained glass windows and fused glass panels throughout the school.

Chris shows new work in his studio gallery, that he shares with his wife Potter Jane Murray-Smith; Side Street Studio in Victoria; the Gallery at Mattick's Farm, Cordova Bay; the McMillan Art Centre, Parksville;, the Salish Sea Market, Bowser;Wei We kum House, Campbell River; Reflecting Spirit, Ucluelet; The Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino and the Audain Art Museum Gift Store, Whistler. The Glaskrafter’s commissioned work can also be found in places as distant and diverse as Singapore, Malta, Denmark, Osaka, the Yukon, England, and Cumberland.

Since 1975, Chris has been learning new ways to manipulate glass as well as constantly improving and refining his craft. With this growth in technique has come a growing understanding of glass as art. Beginning with traditional stained and leaded glass, Christopher has been doing serious work with plate glass, creating his unique Light Sculptures, sand carving and bending plate glass salmon and mounting the glass on lacquered river rock. Creating mixed media sculpture using glass, steel, wood and beach aggregate. He’s now focused on the kiln casting process and creating life size glass salmon that are " glass becoming fish".

 

Exhibitions

2019

Soft Shore

Collaborative installation work

Directly involving: Glass blower Robert Held, Steel Sculptor Nelson Shaw

Including Photographer Cristine Mittermeier, Snaw Naw As Painter Ray Bob and Snaw Naw As Carver Joe Bob. Nuuchalnulth Artist and Hereditary chief Haa’yuups. And the participation of D.F.O. the Pacific Salmon Foundation,Mid Vanc. Island Habitat Enhancement Society and the Arrowsmith Biosphere.

McMillan Art Centre

Parksville B.C.

 

2018 

Journey of a Salmon

Juried exhibition

CityScape Community Art Space,

North Vancouver, B.C.

 

2018

Sooke Fine Art Show

Juried exhibition

Sooke B.C.

 

2017

Sooke Fine Art Show

Juried exhibition

Honourable Mention

Sooke B.C.

 

2013

Untitled collaborative exhibition with Forge Artist, David Kasprick

The Old School House Art Gallery and Exhibition Centre

Qualicum Beach,

 

2011
Heat: Expressions in Glass
CityScape Community Art Space
North Vancouver, BC

2010
GLASS as Art-Cross Pollination
The Exhibition Hall at the Roundhouse Community Centre
Vancouver, BC

2009
Meltdown; the 9th Biennial BC Glass Art Exhibition
Hy Aisenstadt Contemporary Arts Studio, Simon Fraser University
Vancouver, BC

2008
The Old School House Gallery 20th Anniversary Exhibition
Exhibition featuring the work of Gallery resident Artists & First Year exhibitors
The Old School House Art Gallery and Exhibition Centre,
Qualicum Beach, BC

2000
Throwing Stones from a Glass House
Solo Exhibition
The Old School House Art Gallery and Exhibition Centre,
Qualicum Beach, BC

1993
Expressions of Celebration
Invitational Exhibition
Nanaimo Art Gallery
Nanaimo, BC

1992
Light Cycles
Solo Exhibition
Nanaimo Art Gallery
Nanaimo, BC

1992
More Magic: Invitational Exhibition of BC glass artists
Craft house, Granville Island
Vancouver, BC

1991
Winter Lights: Invitational Group Exhibition
The Old School House Art Gallery and Exhibition Centre
Qualicum Beach, BC

1990
Cutting Edge
Solo Exhibition
Rollin Art Centre
Port Alberni, BC

1990
Light Impressions:
Group Exhibition with Chuck St. John and Robert MacRae
The Old School House Art Gallery and Exhibition Centre
Qualicum Beach, BC

1989
Images and Objects VII:
Juried Exhibition of BC arts
BC Festival of Arts,
Chilliwack, BC

1988
Echoed Shapes:
Joint Exhibition with Elaine Duncan
The Old School House Art Gallery and Exhibition Centre
Qualicum Beach, BC

1988
Images and Objects VI:
Juried Exhibition of BC arts, BC Festival of Arts
Kimberly, BC

1988
Glass Act II:
Invitation Exhibition of BC glass artists
Fort Langley Centennial
Museum & Exhibition Centre,
Fort Langley, BC

1988
Pacific Coast Regional Arts Council
Show of Fine Arts and Crafts:
Juried Exhibition - Award Winner
Nanaimo, BC

1986
Images and Objects IV:
Juried Exhibition of BC arts
BC Festival of the Arts
Prince George, BC

 

Commissions of Note

 

2002
Glass Sails
Fairwinds Centre
Nanoose Bay, BC

Two 8 ft tall x 5 ft 10 mm glass sail shapes, bent to shape and mounted in masts and booms
With sandblasted scenes from the local area (Heron and gulls, fir and cedar trees and islands and distant mainland mountains.)


2002
Fused Glass Sunburst
Hosenka Place, Retirement Complex
Osaka, Japan

6 fused and slumped Sun Rays glass panels approx. 2.5 ft x 3.75ft and
One Sun fused and slumped 3-ft hemisphere.
Stained Glass Water & Air window and entryway rose arch windows as well.
Inset in Cedar dome built by Sculptor Francois Mongeau


1985-2003
Memorial Stained Glass Windows
Ecumenical Centre: Trinity Catholic & Trinity United Church
Nanaimo, BC

6 windows, approx. 7 ft tall x 2.5 ft wide, Main church
5 sandblasted windows in vestibule and 6 stained glass windows in the meeting hall.
3 sandblasted windows, Priest’s office


1996-1997
Unrau Residence
Nanoose Bay, BC

14,000 sq. ft private residence with leaded glass through out.
7 windows, 2 French doors: solarium,
2 –8 ft arched top French doors and 10 cabinet door leaded lights: kitchen
3 French doors, 4 leaded windows, 6 bar cabinet leaded lights, 6 cabinet door leaded lights, 1 light cover: bar and games room.
2 arched top French doors: bonus room
Leaded cabinet door lights in guest and pool bathrooms, ensuite bath and guest kitchen.


1988 & 2001
St Phillip’s by the Sea, Anglican Church
Lantzville, BC

1st Stained Glass window, 8 ft. x 3 ft in original church 1988
2nd Stained Glass window to match up with 1st window on move to new building in 2001.