I really enjoy making pieces that are both functional and decorative. Table lamps and garden lanterns are a particular favourite of mine as I love the way the illuminated glass enhances a cosy a room on a winters night and adds a beauty to the garden on a summers evening. No two pieces of glass are ever the same and the way the light catches and reflects the colours can be breath-taking. The appearance of stained-glass art constantly changes throughout the day depending on where its located, the intensity of reflected light, whether lit by artificial light or natural daylight. Many of my pieces reflect the natural world; animals, woodland and the sea all influence my work and I am currently enjoying exploring ways of combining my glass work with other materials such as metals, woods and even fossils.
I absolutely love working with glass, selecting the colours and textures, watching a pattern develop, piecing it all together like a jigsaw and not completely knowing how the final piece will look until its finished and held up to the light is all part of the draw. The big reveal at the end of the soldering process and seeing if the glass choices work together is worth the many rogue and frustrating glass breaks, cuts to the hands and burns to the fingers.
I moved to Oxfordshire just over 8 years ago with my family from the M4 corridor - looking for a slightly quieter less hectic pace of life - I began working in stained glass after the birth of my third daughter. I am a scientist by trade and previously worked in the pharmaceutical industry, first in research laboratories and then in medicine regulation. I've always enjoyed creating and working with my hands but had never found a medium that really suited me. With three children at home, the demands of juggling the commute, long hours and family life became too much, I craved a creative outlet and a bit of balance in life. I discovered Oxfordshire is a hub of artistic and creative talent and found many classes and courses on offer to learn new creative skills. I chose a class teaching basic skills in stained glass. I love the beauty of glass, the way the colours change in depth and tone depending on the time of day and the seasons. In that first class, I made a couple of small sun catchers and by the end of the day I was hooked. I bought some basic hand tools from the tutor, picked up some scraps of glass to practise on and away I went. I set up a small work space in my utility room on the worktop above the tumble dryer and began creating small sun catchers and Christmas decorations to the dulcet tones of spin cycles.
Six months later, after an evening out at the local pub, my husband came home and told me he’d been chatting to the landlady telling her about my venture into the world of glass. The pub was hosting a Christmas charity fair three days later and the landlady had offered me a table to sell my glass if I wanted. After a lot of internal debate and crisis of confidence I decided I had nothing to lose so I took a small number of my decorations (the only ones I had) along with a hacked down tree branch from the garden that my husband had fixed into a log from the firewood pile and sprayed silver to hang them from. Within half an hour I had sold out and had an order book full. The following 4 weeks in the lead up to Christmas was frantic, I had more and more requests for angels, Christmas trees and robins and I worked up until just a few days before Christmas. In the New Year I worked developing my craft and began to design bigger and more intricate glass pieces. Over the last few years I have gained new skills in different techniques, I now sell a lot of my work through commissions, in the Arbery Emporium in Wantage and at craft fairs and country shows (pre-covid).