I design and make my pieces using a variety of techniques and different types of glass and inclusions in my studio in Witchford, Nr Ely, Cambridgeshire. I have had a lifelong love of glass which began when I spent hours watching a glass artist make intricate glass animals on his stand on Great Yarmouth sea front when my parents took me on our annual holiday and collecting a menagerie of my own!
I made my first fused glass coaster when I came across a studio while on holiday in Norfolk; I had never imagined that I would make a piece of my own. Several courses and a great deal of Googling and trial and error later and I now have the business of my dreams!
I love running my workshops and seeing the looks of pleasure (and often amazement!) on the faces of the budding artists when they see their fired results; I had the same reaction when I collected my first piece!
How fused glass is made
The glass that I use is called Bullseye Glass, which is made in the USA. I buy my glass and equipment from suppliers in the UK and have recently found a brilliant supplier in Croatia!
The glass that you can see or buy on this website is made from combinations of 2mm or 3mm sheets of clear or coloured glass, frit (glass ground to various sizes) stringers (which look like glass 'spaghetti), confetti (paper thin pieces of glass) and dots (rods of glass cut into small pieces). Some glass is coated with very thin layers of metal to give an iridised or dichroic finish, which can look stunning.
I also use powdered glass to screen print patterns onto the glass. Copper, silver and other metals are often fired in between two pieces of glass.
Once I have designed the piece, cut the glass and assembled the various components, the glass will be fired in my kiln for up to 24 hours. To make a shape such as a wave or dish, the fused piece will have to be placed over a mould and fired for a further 24 hours. You can see the moulds on the racking next to the kiln in the photo above. To get some effects I may even have to do three firings!
These often complex processes lead to the unique character of fused glass products.
During the firing stage, glass takes on a life of its own and it is always exciting to open the kiln and see the results of the firing process.
This means that your piece of glass will be unique; it is impossible to produce two identical pieces!
Glass is an ideal gift. As the colours in the glass are made using minerals, it will never fade in sunlight and will not be worn down, so its beautiful colours and textures are permanent.
I named my business Semper Art as 'semper' is the Latin word for always; your piece of glass will look the same forever!