Tributes paid to Sunderland glassmaker who inspired thousands of visitors to the National Glass Centre

A former pitman who taught thousands of people the art of glass making at the National Glass Centre has died.

Thursday, 5th March 2020, 2:10 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th March 2020, 3:29 pm
Dave Martin at work in the studio of the National Glass Centre.

Sunderland’s National Glass Centre has announced with “deep sadness” they have lost their dear friend and colleague David Martin, 55, following his death on Monday, March 2.

In a statement, the St Peter’s attraction said: “Our much loved twinkly-eyed glassblower has left a hole in the heart of our centre.

“Dave was a talented glassmaker and teacher who had a passion for life, he loved extreme sports, cooking and being outdoors, always showing off his latest snowboarding or wakeboarding videos.

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“Everyone who had the pleasure to meet Dave will remember him as kind, warm-hearted and a true gentleman.

“Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.

“Rest in peace Dave”

It asked visitors to bear with the team as there may be some disruption to its studio activity.

Glassmaker Dave Martin, pictured in 2013, creating a Christmas bauble during a visit from the Echo.

David, known as Dave, had been glassmaker for more than 20 years, having spent time at Sunderland Glass Works and the city’s Corning factory before joining National Glass Centre a decade ago.

Prior to that, he worked as a miner and builder, he was also a reserve firefighter in his “beloved home town of Seaham.”

Christine Keers, Dave’s manager said: “We are heartbroken at the loss of our friend. Dave was an integral part of our studio team and we will miss him every day.

“He was someone who I was honoured to call my friend.

Visitors to the National Glass Centre would often meet and chat to Dave Martin as they joined in workshops.

“He came to work every day with a smile on his face and a positive attitude.

“He always talked about how lucky he felt to work with glass because that was his passion.

“We are touched by how many people have shared our loss, it’s been lovely to see so many people sharing stories and pictures of their interactions with him.”

Dave’s family have asked that instead of flowers they would like any donations to be made to National Glass Centre by calling in or ringing (0191) 568 9700.