I lived in East Sheen S.W.14 London. My Dad was the local pharmacist, he was known far and wide for his excellent advice, his kind hearted words and his helpful nature. His pharmacy was one of a kind, the second oldest in London and filled top to bottom with around 260 different bottles all sizes and shapes, crystal tops and corks. Everything was ancient and beautiful.
I love history and historic buildings and architecture.
I observed my Dad making creams and ointments on marble slabs and in pestle and mortar’s. Now in my work I use the same tools in the studio to heal people in my own way, with light and colour. He mixed all his ointments on slabs of marble with a large palette knife, I watched him constantly turning and mixing his ointments until they were just right. I now mix my oxides over and over with a palette knife on a thick glass slab in the same way.
My father gave his whole pharmacy to Holly lodge in Richmond Park where it plays an important part in teaching people about Victorian life http://www.thehollylodgecentre.org.uk/
When I was young I drew and painted to my hearts content ! I received my first class honors degree late at the age of 26 at the University of Surrey, Art in the Community with religious and theology studies. I went on to specialize in glass with printmaking. I was accepted at the University of Art in London, Central St Martins, Holborn. I spent two years experimenting and learning from the inspiring tutors on the top floor of the college. These years spent listening and learning from fascinating people such as Caroline Swash and Amal Ghosh has stayed with me. It spurs me on to teach and work in my own workshop, practicing as a designer, artist and crafts person. I have travelled and worked abroad in France, Spain and Canada.
I love the natural world, all the seasons and changes that come along inspire me . It is not always bright and sunny, so I choose to portray through my illustrative nature the world as it is! Sometimes dark or mysterious woodlands, starry magical skies, dreamy days or sunny mornings have their own story. I can design individual commissions portraying the desired theme, whether it may be a favorite animal or place, family members or friends, a memorial or dedication.
About my influences.
‘ There is a golden thread which runs through me and connects me to everything’
My roots to the history that is Great Britain has actually been part of me forever, I have rekindled that burning golden thread in the very core of my being. Living here in Wiltshire in such incredibly beautiful countryside, sometimes pleasant, other times bleak and wild, is such a blessing on my creative mind. The Richelieu Valley, in Quebec, Canada where I have lived in the past was also an influence on my style.
Whilst here we have lived in a small cottage similar to that of a stone nest if there could be a thing…It has been cosy and comfortable and just right! My wonderful workshop was up near the Woolley Grange hotel just around the corner on Woolley grange farm. It is a wonderful place where the farmer and his wife welcome people to rent their barns and out buildings. I had a great space with a big old barn door and a ‘fresian herd’ sign hanging outside which is part of the history and energy of this place. Old signs and buildings like these are part of a strong sense of durability which is rural England. At present I have my design studio at home which is wonderful and I shall be posting my new address in the coming weeks. Watch this space!
Glass, an ancient and transforming material from our earth, our ancestors made glass beads and later glass objects more than 3000 years ago. Then glass blowing in the Roman era made it possible to create ‘windows’ … I love glass and I love the idea of ‘portals’ or ‘port-holes’ of colour and shape to let in light but to provide insulation or protection. I make colourful portals of light to inspire through stories and ancient landscapes, people and the world around us. Bringing light to darkness and poetry to the mind.
I have worked with many types of glass, living in Quebec, Canada I also worked a lot with Youghiogheny a beautiful mouth blown glass made in Pennsylvania, United States. I found it’s translucency and stone like qualities absolutely beautiful. English Antique Glass is another favorite on this side of the ocean with the tapestry of colours which radiate the light in a subtle way ! Lamberts Antique is another glass I work with a lot with it’s fantastic thickness and great results with painting, I find it’s a glass I go back to, especially when making panels for churches. There are many wonderful glasses though, mouth blown or machine made and choosing the right one depends on what I am designing.
I am inspired by many artists, colleagues and artists from the past in history books and galleries. Artist’s, writers and poets past and modern, I like William Morris and the pre-Raphaelite brothers, Christopher Whall, Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, Arthur Rackham and David Hockney to name but a few.