Duncan Barker-Magowan gets through an awful lot of patio windows and doors in his jewellery and glass art.
He’s also not averse to turning a Blue Nun bottle into beads, Marmite jar glass into jewellery – very popular currently – and mosaics from recycled stained glass.
It’s the recycling element of his business, Glass by DnR, alongside the “laid back ethos” that Duncan (46) believes earned his win in the Spalding Guardian’s Local Business Accelerators competition.
Glass by DnR, ANP Services Spalding and GiftsOnline4U were all winners, and they will all receive mentoring from local business, legal and finance experts, as well as an advertising package worth hundreds of pounds.
Duncan’s career as a glass artist began as a result of a major road accident in 2000 that resulted in three or four re-builds on his left leg. He wears a big knee brace and is on heavy medication to deal with the pain. On bad days when the brace is too painful, Duncan resorts to a wheelchair.
He was selling his glass at craft fairs and major exhibitions, which involved heaving around heavy equipment, so moving to a unit at Silverwood Centre near Long Sutton late last year made a lot of sense.
There, Duncan sells everything he makes from glass, such as jewellery, beads, glass art, stained glass as well as cards and glass art by other artists.
If his sales throughout the Christmas period weren’t enough to convince him he’s made the right decision – Duncan struggled to keep up with demand – he says the reception from the local community would swing it.
He said: “The locals have really taken us to their hearts. It’s really nice. We get cakes brought in, chocolate and a bottle of wine last week. I think they like the banter because we do have a bit of a giggle.”
Since working from the unit, he and wife Ruth – they have six children between them, and nine grandchildren – have moved to a “lovely little cottage” in West End, Holbeach, complete with low beams – and Duncan dips his head to show the wounds because they’ve only been in a month and he’s not used to them yet.
The business has already expanded to sell craft supplies, such as paper, card making and scrap booking, as well as supplies so people can make their own jewellery.
A second unit has also allowed Duncan to establish a studio where very exciting things are happening.