I use the ancient Lampwork technique to make the beads. This involves melting rods of glass in a torch flame and winding the molten glass around a metal mandrel to create the basic bead. Decoration is achieved by adding layer upon layer of more molten glass to the bead surface until I am happy with the result. I tend to use a lot of dots to create my decorations as I love the way each dot added affects the shape of those adjacent to it or applied previously. Stringer - hair thin rods of glass - are used to create lines when needed for the particular design. Each bead begins with a vision of the size, shape and decorative style I am aiming for. However, the detailed choices of colour and pattern are very much in response to the dynamic nature of the process of glass reacting with flame.
Most of my beads are etched to create a matte, worn texture that echoes the surface of ancient beads. Hammered and oxidised silver work compliments the worn nature of my beads, adds greater detail to the overall piece, and allow me create finished designs which showcase the rich variety of textures that hand-crafting can allow.
I found it hard to identify what my inspirations were when I first thought about it. However, I guess I am influenced by all the art I have ever loved. This ranges from Roman Mosaics at Lullingstone Villa on a primary school trip, Ottoman Empire Ceramics and Illustrated Medieval Manuscripts at the British Museum as an adult, to 1950's fabric design, traditional patchworks and traditional Indian textiles - with many others in between! I studied Medieval history at University and so history and historical artefacts have always been of great interest to me.
I am self-taught and work from my home studio in the Welsh World Heritage town of Blaenavon.
I hope you enjoy my work as much as I do making it!
Abergavenny Art Shop and Chapel. 8 Cross Street, Abergavenny, NP7 5EH. 01873 892690
twenty twenty gallery. 3-4 High Street, Much Wenlock, Shropshire, TF13 6AA. 01952 727952
Bevere Gallery. Bevere Lane, Worcester WR3 7RQ
SHOWS AND EVENTS 2017:
Craft Gallery Showcase, The Old Mayor's Parlour, Hereford June - August 2017
Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair, 12th - 15th October 2017
Exhibition of Festive Treasure, The Emporium Art Gallery, Lichfield, 12th October - 13th January 2018
Blue Magpie Designer/Maker Craft Market, Elmslie House, Malvern, 18th & 19th November 2017
The Workshop Designer/Maker Christmas Sale, Dulwich, London, 2nd December
Hereford Contemporary. November 2016