Category Archives: funky fused glass
Since 2006. As with some of my greatest ideas it came to me in a sunny pub garden, with a chilled glass of vino in my hand, chatting ‘life’ over with my lovely big bro. Back then I had quite a bit of free time on my hands so I was getting a little bored. I needed a hobby. I’ve always enjoyed learning new skills and being creative so it was a case of narrowing down a list of options. We talked various crafty things over and I said I’d always admired fused glass – the tactile nature, the ‘magpie appeal’ to its shiny surface & it being something a little different to the norm. I decided to go for it, so I booked myself on a weekend course. Vast investments in tools, supplies, self-taught know-how, experimentation and A LOT of time later, that hobby has turned into a successful business… and obsession!
I kiln-form glass, known as ‘warm glass’ or ‘glass fusing’. This involves lots of planning and preparation (a lot of it on paper), cutting glass with specialist tools & cleaning each piece, then lots of patience as the kiln is loaded and ‘cooks’ the glass over a period of many hours (oh the agony of waiting for the first peek!). Sometimes the glass is ‘cold-worked’ with grinders and the like outside the kiln and I occassionally use glass paints to embelish a creation. Some pieces I make require a few kiln firings to be ready, such as my bowls and handmade rings.
A huge part of my inspiration comes from nature and everyday environments. I’m a visual person so always have my eyes open. I tend to notice the detail in things, such as interesting colour combinations and patterns. I’m a ‘culture sponge’, loving museums, galleries, craft fairs, architecture and travel. I always have my sketchbook to hand to scribble down ideas that come to me at the strangest of times.
It might come as a surprise to many that my studio is on the tiny side! I’ve been asked in the past if I teach but as you’ll see that is a no-go, though I would like to pass on my glassy knowledge. Currently my studio is a bit chaotic as I’ve been working out lots of new ideas. There are glass and tools all over the place! I’d like to describe it as ‘a hive of creative activity’ (others might describe it as ‘a mess’!). Whatever it is, it works! I’ve created some great glassy goodies in this space.
My work is for sale in my shop and I also sell on etsy, as well as folksy. I’ve just supplied Makers Online with a selection of my work which is a new venture for me. I look forward to seeing my work in a new place. The best place to buy my work is from me directly as every glassy goody I come up with goes for sale in my shop, whereas other sites only get a pick of items.
To make many, many more glassy goodies! I am forever expanding my range, coming up with new ideas to realise – whenever I find the time. I am always busy so sometimes things don’t get made a reality for a while. My next goal on the agenda is to get making solid glass bangles. I’ve had the kit a while but I’m plucking up the courage to teach myself something new. I am mainly self-taught so I know I’ll do it. I can see them being a real hit once I get going, as well as addictive to create! Keep your eyes peeled.
Research, budget, keep on top of your accounting, promote! promote! promote!, keep a sketchbook to hand & plan things on paper (cheaper than a costly mistake!), make notes on the ideas you’ll repeat (trust me, you will forget how you did it!), experiment, and most importantly be innovative & unique and… DO IT BECAUSE YOU LOVE IT!
Steph has some amazing images of her work on Flickr – please have a look.