Using the heat of the kiln I manipulate glass in a variety of forms – sheet, powder, frit, enamel – and take it through a multitude of firing schedules to create windows onto worlds. They are glass landscapes – panels and jewellery – inspired directly by the local area.
My work is an abstract representation of the world around me, expressionistic views with echoes of land and sky, earth and air – a curve of green hills, the rolling blues of the sea, wings straining against a north wind. Often the starting point for a panel is a memory or photo from a recent walk somewhere along the creative line it becomes more abstract – the feel of a place, the memory of a day or time.
I love the optical lightness and colour play of the glass – it is bold, luminous, ephemeral, vibrant, colourful, subtle. It is a solitary, introspective, medium-focused work which by its very nature cannot be rushed – there is plenty of time to pause, reflect, layer and adjust. Most of my pieces involve multiple firings where layers of design are added at each stage.
Working with various warm glass techniques, I layer the glass with powders and paint, and often incorporate leaves and printed or stencilled designs. Layers of glass replicate the layers and strata of the land – hills, skies, beaches, rivers and seas.
I work in a very organic way. Unless I’m creating a commission piece and working to a set design, I will cut the glass for a panel then gradually allow it to emerge. I’ll have a rough idea of how I want it to look, but this will grow and adapt over the various firings. Plenty of walks along clifftops and hilltops with my camera provide inspiration for drawings and ideas in sketchbooks.
I feel incredibly lucky to live here in west Wales and make my living doing something I love – especially as a self-taught glass artist. Living and working on a smallholding in west Wales I am surrounded by the most wonderful inspiration. I step out of the studio to gather feathers and fern leaves to encase in glass; I look up and spot a pair of ravens skyfalling in dazzling sunlight.
A half-minute walk from the house to my studio where the glass sits quietly glinting, calling.
The table is set out, ready, cleared from yesterday’s frantic rush to load the kiln.
I stand at the bench…..on my right the glass cutter, pliers, tweezers, spoons, sieve, pen and ruler.
On my left assorted pots of powder and ground glass, stencils, enamels, feathers and silver leaf.
I pick up my cutter, take a breath and make the first scratch on a new glass landscape.