Magnolia, Stained Glass, Argyll, The Little Things

Designer,Maker, Creator

As a self-employed person you have many hats. By which I mean job roles. I got thinking about this when updating myLinkedIn profile. ‘Skills’, well, I am not JUST an artist. Running my own creative business I am the accountant, receptionist, administrator, photographer, teacher, stock controller, marketing director, sales representative, events manager, website designer, graphic designer…………..the list goes on! 

So I am not only the designer, maker and creator and, if I’m totally honest, sometimes my brain gets tired, thinking and planning everything, then I want to stick my head in the sand When all I want to do is make and create! Not the other ‘stuff’ that comes with running my own business. Then this week I was reminded why I am doing it. Perfect timing when I’m feeling a little lost on my journey.

I was asked if I would I help out in a wee Bistro, The Smiddy, in Lochgilphead -they make great Macaroni by the way, and their salads are a mini works of art on a plate. Anyway, I was in there for two days helping out where I used to work. Ironically this is where my journey began as I worked here on leaving school, my first job before I went off to study Glasswork in Glasgow. A long time ago now and it made me think about just how far I have come. It was a gentle reminder that I would swap the days of ‘Are you ready to order…?’ for what I am doing now, every time.

Thriving on the boost that came from that, finishing some other work, and creating space in my Studio for new things. I began to think about ‘The Little Things’ collection

New Work!!
I am embracing and absorbing all the natural inspiration around me. It’s a beautiful time of year, seeing everything blossom and come to life is mirroring new ideas and growth in my work. Before I left to go to the Harrogate show, the Magnolia tree in my garden had just begun to open. I was scared I was going to miss it….but thankfully when I returned it was still in full bloom. And my, it is stunning, the scent is the softest perfume wafting on the breeze. This was a moment to cherish and I knew straight away it was to be the inspiration for the first series in the collection.

‘The Little Things~ Magnificent Magnolia’

I plan to make a few items using different techniques from designs inspired by photographs I have taken. The first design, which I have just finished today, is for a leaded panel. I’m really looking forward to making this piece. I will be creating all the petals by adding colour to the base glass then kiln firing. Then I will lead all the pieces together to create a panel. I worked on the drawing today and now have the design template ready to start next week, but first I have a Beginners workshop this weekend. I genuinely enjoy teaching people how to make a simple lead panel. It’s so satisfying to help the students create the glass version of their paper and paint designs and very rewarding seeing their pleasure and sense of achievement at the end of the two days.
I feel I am helping to spread the awareness of a traditional, skilled craft, aiding the understanding of the techniques used to create a leaded window panel. This can help people to appreciate stained glass windows in other settings, for example their own front door or in local churches, and to value renovation, or maybe commission a bespoke piece or, perhaps, to inspire a future glass artist! I will be sure to share their creations with you!


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