My love of glass began many years ago when as a young child, I received
glass paperweights as gifts. Sadly most of my paperweight collection
was destroyed in a warehouse fire in England where my family's
possessions were stored before being shipped to Australia in the late
1960’s. I only retain one paperweight from my original
I remember being mesmerised by artists demonstrating how to make figurines out of clear glass melted over a flame. As I watched them, it never occurred to me that I would one day work with glass too.
My journey into glass started when I attended a local leadlight class with my daughter. The colours and range of glass available was wonderful, reminding me of the many stained glass windows I had admired in various churches. After making several stained glass windows for my house, I moved on to making mosaics, basically to use up all the scrap glass I had accumulated. I dabbled in mosaics for many years, attending symposiums and participating in group exhibitions.
At the end of 2005, I attended two workshops which changed the way I worked with glass. The first workshop was fusing basics and the second workshop was lampworking for beginners (making glass beads over an extremely hot flame). These workshops led to a love of working with warm glass. I have fond memories of the lampwork class which I attended with a friend. The class was fun with lots of laughter and even though everyone was making the same beads, results differed vastly. Sometime later, I was fortunate enough to purchase a kiln and some basic lampworking equipment.
My studio space used to be in a shared dark garage until late in 2013 when I moved to 20 acres in Harcourt North. Now I have my own studio space which has lots of natural light and wonderful views over the surrounding hills.
I find it deeply satisfying to pick colours of glass, layer them into patterns and fuse them into one piece in my kiln. Some of these creations are then returned to the kiln to be slumped in bowls, plates etc. Other pieces are turned into pendants or earrings. Sometimes when you open the kiln, the results can be a surprise.
I began my first cross stitch project in grade 4 at age 10. While my
list of hobbies has grown and shrunk over the years, cross stitch has
always remained a fixture in my life. My walls are decorated with
embroidered tigers, wolves, birds, and other animals.
Towards the end of high school I stumbled upon the world of pixel artists online and have been hooked ever since. I enjoy the process of creating a crisp detailed image using a tiny canvas and carefully placed dots. In a way, pixel art and cross stitch are very similar.
In 2006 I decided to challenge myself by combining these two hobbies, translating my pixel art into cross stitch. From my first pixel to my final stitch, my first original cross stitch project took eight months to complete. Whilst I have tried many programs that convert images into cross stitch patterns, none have offered me the palette control I desired. Instead, I manually create cross stitch charts in Excel and spend many hours unpicking and restitching until the colour scheme is just right. To go from an unlimited colour palette on a computer to a restrictive thread choice is certainly a challenge!
It's a great feeling to see my own original work hanging on my walls and I enjoy the opportunity to share my designs with others.