Growing up I always had creative hobbies, like sewing, painting and making things in polymer clay, all interspersed with varous types of jewellery making, how could it be any other way when my Mum made jewellery and later had her own craft gallery?
The glass bug bit her first, she tried glass fusing, and of course I had to have a go too. Our styles were very different, and while I enjoyed making colourful textured pieces, it wasn’t quite what I really wanted to do. I continued with my A levels, Art and creative textiles, even then, blending techniques from one into the other.
In 2006 we went on a 2 day beadmaking course, with a view to not only making beads, but making flameworked elements to include in fused glass, and soon after we set up at home with a hothead torch. Still, this wasn’t quite what I wanted, the colours didn’t come out right, the torch was noisy and I backed off for a bit and tried a multitude of other things, felting, stained glass, enamelling and so on. Mum carried on, and upgraded to a bobcat torch and bought a little annealing kiln.
This was during an NCFE creative crafts course, where the tutor showed me a course that was perfect for me, Applied Arts, Ceramics metals and glass. I would get to do glass blowing, throw pots, blacksmithing and jewellery among other things! I loved trying them all, but I concentrated on lampwork from my second year, and produced all kinds of strange shapes and weird objects, settling on striped borosilicate vessels and clear pod forms with trapped words for my second year final project, and for my third year project I created what some described as a glass feather boa.
‘Flock’ was created from hundreds of glass beads with extended ‘flight trail’ elements, in black grey and clear glass.
while I made crazy shapes and impractical pointless things at college, I made prettier, more colourful and more usable things in my spare time at home, namely, beads.
Since Graduating I’ve taken Lessons with Lorna Prime, Anouk Jasperse, Marshall Hyde and Lucio Bubacco, all artists whom I greatly admire. I’ve also set up my own two torch studio, where I plan to teach at some point in the future.
my inspirations and influences come from many places, in no particular order, art deco, art nouveau, nature and wildlife, of course the coast where I live, technology and graphic design, particularly that from the deco era, I love colour, fabric prints, fashion and pantone’s colour predictions, I love to put unexpected colours together, but I also love to sculpt in a single colour, or with a limited palette, I am just as likely to pick up a selection of rods of glass because of the way they looked together on my desk as I am to plan exactly what to get out of my glass stash.
Some may be a single series of beads, others a more constant feature of my work, some alot less distinguishable than others.
I play with techniques, I merge styles, adding and subtracting elements from different series of my beads, adding decorative elements from one style over the base bead from another style, keeping things fresh, always changing but my own style carries through.
I’m always captivated by what glass can do as a material, the way it can be moved, and changed, the colours that can be encouraged to bloom in specialty glass such as silver glass. I work with my material, trying to understand it to improve the details and forms I can achieve. Of course glass will always find new ways to suprise you, its fascinating!