A glass artist’s ode to Spring in Cornwall

February 07, 2024

A glass artist’s ode to Spring in Cornwall

Signs of spring are popping up all around us this month. I have been cold water swimming at my local Cornish beaches throughout the winter, which has been exhilarating, but I am definitely looking forward to a bit more sunshine and the warmth and comfort it provides us.  My glass kilns are the only thing keeping me warm at the moment.
As a Cornish glass artist, my local beaches are my greatest inspiration for my glass artwork and my very first designs out of the kiln thirteen years ago were of Cornwall’s stunning beaches and crashing waves.  One of the things I love about Cornwall is the huge variation in the beaches, I can walk barefoot along the soft golden sand on Porthminster beach at St Ives, with Mediterranean beating turquoise blue sea lapping gently at my toes or I can stomp a coastal path, bedecked in boots and coat to watch the grand swell of white horses and breakers crashing over the cliffs below. It’s so enthralling and my favourite place to be.


A creative approach – renewal and reuse.


One of the projects I have been working on over the winter months is casting glass to create circular bases for my artwork.  This has been a fun and inventive way of utilising the smaller pieces of sheet glass left over from my larger designs.  Bullseye glass is far too precious a commodity to dispose of, even the tiniest of pieces.
I have created hanging discs and incorporated my biggest inspiration, the beach!  It’s a fiddly job, first chipping all of the sheet glass into manageable sized pieces, preparing the moulds and then carefully placing each chip of glass so that when the glass is heated and turns to liquid, it flows to fill the gaps and yet still creates the desired image.  There is a huge propensity for mistakes.
Once the base has been fired I am able to drill a hole in the top to allow twine to be added.  This is done underwater (not me with a snorkel…..just the glass and drill tip is underwater) the water acts as a coolant to stop the glass from cracking.
The discs are finished with their final artwork before being fired in the kiln for a second time.  The beaches are my favourite but I have also been working with adding the little seal heads which had proved so popular last year.  When I swim at Porthpean Beach in St Austell, we are often accompanied by our local seal.  He is very curious and likes to pop up about 5-10 metres away from swimmers, there is rarely any interaction, he is just checking us out but I always feel that slight frisson of nervousness.
This new design works very well alongside the existing beach scenes which I have been creating for many years.  My studio in St Austell Market House now has a lovely display of the new and existing designs for those close enough to visit.


A creative approach – redevelopment and steep learning curves

After five years of neglect, my website and online presence is also having some ‘new year, new me’ treatment.  

Being a creative person but running a business often means having to step outside of your own comfort zone, to achieve tasks and use skills which don’t come naturally. I’m taking on a challenge!



My new disc hangers will be joining the rest of my beach inspired glass artwork in the ‘Beach’ collection so that you are able to order a reminder of our serene Cornish beaches wherever you are in the country. 

As many of you know, anything IT scares the pants off me so I’m getting some grown up help from The Ocean Agency. Using a well respected, small local business is very important to me. It is planned to be a year long project and it’s very exciting…….watch this space as my knowledge blooms like the flowers of spring.