I am a self-taught artist inspired by the incredible beauty of nature
I work to capture not just the shape, pattern and lines of the subject, but also their character and personality. Perhaps because of my biological background, I pay a lot of attention in placing the subject into a natural and characteristic pose and creating colours and patterns that are specific to the species. I also attempt to place the subject into a realistic and natural context, while still providing my own artistic interpretation. I collect materials wherever I go, and I am always taking photographs.
I usually have a very clear idea of how I want the artwork to look, and I will work with multiple reference photos to try and capture
the specific traits of the species or individual. I start with a basic sketch, and then build it from there. Because I often create specific flora and fauna, this raises the complexity beyond just cutting a piece to fit. Each piece needs to be the desired shape and scale, and of course, putting down a new piece can change the relationships between the ones already in place. So, I work to get each piece right (often cutting, re-cutting and changing each piece), while also managing its relationship to the next piece and the one before, and all the time considering how it is working as a whole. This makes the work very slow going, but it is definitely mentally engaging!
Everything is created by hand. From the custom metal frames to the fused and sculpted glass. I make all of the fused glass elements myself, either in kilns or on the flame torch, often using the ‘wrong’ techniques and materials to produce unique and innovative elements. Indeed, I am constantly experimenting and pushing the boundaries, and many of my ‘mistakes’ become works of art!
Some of my work is in relief (built up). Along with the addition of real-life objects, I sometimes try to place the plants, birds or animals in a more three-dimensional context, such that they protrude to some degree from the two-dimensional plane. I find this creates a more realistic and varied texture to the artworks, and helps bring the subjects and scenes to life.