Growing up in the Columbia Valley of British Columbia, Ryan found himself learning the art of fly-fishing from his grandfather on the pristine rivers and lakes surrounding his hometown of Invermere. From a young age he romped in the outdoor playground that was his backyard, in the grand mountains and forests, surrounded by endless inspiration that shaped his style and focus as an artist and nurtured his desire to become an outdoor guide. From Ryan’s perspective, fly-fishing, from tying flies to perfecting his cast, has always been about the subtleties, the small details in nature that delivered a boatload of fish each day. This fascination with the oft overlooked nuances of the natural world, and an inherited artist’s eye, cultivated his talent into the remarkable glassblower that he is today.
The son of a glassblower, Ryan began working with glass as a young child in his father Pat’s Bavin Glassworks studio. He found the medium provided him an outlet for self-expression and a reflection of his love for the great outdoors. In 1988, at age 15, he began an eight-year apprenticeship under his father and he has been creating in the studio ever since.
“I was lucky to start when I was really young. It allowed me the time to develop many glassblowing techniques, to learn how to work with glass, a medium that’s inherently learning and growing all the time,” Ryan says of his upbringing. “I love the variability of the work, it’s wonderful to make so many different pieces, to be inspired by so many different experiences and landscapes, but you have to commit the time it takes to learn how to flow with the glass if you really want to make something special.”
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