William Morris, 1998

William Morris, 1998

William Morris’s passion for glassblowing was first ignited in 1977, at age 20, when he was driving a truck for the Pilchuck Glass School.  By the early 1980s, Pilchuck co-founder Dale Chihuly had appointed him as gaffer (lead glassblower) in his studio.

A revolutionary technician, William Morris’ endows his surfaces with interesting naturalistic textures achieved through various methods such as sprinkling powdered glass and minerals on the surface, etching, and acid washing.  Strongly influenced by archeology and mythology, Morris explores the inalienable relationship between man and nature, and how different cultures have used symbols and rituals to express this bond.  Morris evokes ancient models such as the Lascaux cave paintings, tools of the Ice Age, Egyptian funerary jars, or ceramic creatures unearthed from the 3,000 year-old Amlash graves of Iran.  Though inspired by ancient civilizations for which the relationship between man and nature was more visceral, he nonetheless expresses his own thoroughly modern and personal experience of the earth.  He has said that “all I do is create objects from ordinary life.  The real myth is that nature subjects itself upon us every day, whether we know it or not.”

A world-traveling adventure-seeker, William Morris is also a highly decorated artist whose work is in over sixty public and private collections including: the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NY); theMuseum of Arts & Design (NY); the Victoria and Albert Museum (London); and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Paris).  His awards include: the Master of the Medium Award from the James Renwick Alliance (Washington, DC; 2005); the Artists as Hero Award (National Liberty Museum, Philadelphia; 2002); and the Visionaries Award (American Craft Museum, NY; 2001); among others.  He is the subject of a documentary film entitled Creative Nature (2008). Morris retired from glassblowing in 2007 and still maintains a residence in the Pacific Northwest.


Master of the Medium Award, James Renwick Alliance, Washington, DC

Jurors Award, 32nd Annual International Glass Invitational, Habatat Galleries, Royal Oak, MI

Artist as Hero Award, National Liberty Museum, Philadelphia, PA

Visionaries Award, American Craft Museum, New York, NY

Outstanding Achievement in Glass, UrbanGlass Third Annual Awards Dinner, New York, NY
Distinguished Alumni Award, California State University, Chico, CA
Featured Artist, Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, Artist Series

National Endowment for the Arts, Individual Artist Grant

Selected Public Collections:

American Craft Museum, New York
Auckland Museum, Auckland, New Zealand
Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA
Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA
Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts, Racine, WI
Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH
Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY
Daiichi Museum, Nagoya, Japan
The Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, OH
The Detroit Institute of the Arts, Detroit, MI
Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Sapporo, Japan
Hunter Museum, Chattanooga, TN
The Jewish Museum, San Francisco, CA
Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, NB
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI

Missoula Museum of Art, Missoula, MT
Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL
Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, France
Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany
Museum of American Glass, Millville, NJ
Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, TX
Niijima Contemporary Glass Art Museum, Niijima, Japan
Norton Museum, Palm Beach, FL
Pilchuck Collection, Stanwood, WA
Port of Seattle, WA
Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR
Rockefeller Center, New York, NY
Royal College of Art, London, England
Safeco Insurance Company, Seattle, WA
Seattle-First National Bank Collection, Seattle, WA
Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA
Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle, WA
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Permanent Installation, Seattle, WA
Security Pacific Collection, Security Pacific Bank, Seattle, WA
Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NB
Sheraton Seattle Hotel and Towers Collection, Seattle, WA
Shimonoseki City Art Museum, Shimonoseki, Japan
Smithsonian Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC
State Foundation of Culture in the Arts, Honolulu, HI
State of Oregon Public Services Building, Portland, OR
The Pilchuck Glass Collection at City Centre and US Bank Center, Seattle, WA
The Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH
Toyota USA, Corporate Retreat, Hilo, HI
UPS Corporate Collection, Louisville, KY
United Airlines, San Francisco, CA
University of Michigan, Dearborn, MI
U.S. News and World Report, Washington, D.C.
The Valley National Bank of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA
Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, MT
Westin Hotel, San Francisco, CA