Let me introduce myself. My name is Julia Kellaway, I am a glass artist living and working in Burghfield Common. This is my blog and it is for anyone who has ever wondered what artists do all day. Or at least this is my version of it in the run up to Newbury and North Hants Open Studios next May.

If you’ve heard my Paul Presents interview, you may recall that I have had several setbacks over the last few years which have seriously dented my output. So when my invitation to sign up for next year’s Open Studios arrived in my inbox, I thought ‘yes!’ and I duly registered. Then the panic set in. 

Let me explain. I love stained glass, and find it an engrossing medium to work in, almost-all-consuming, and certainly time-consuming. Firstly, there is the question of what? When I work on a commission, I have some information to go on, but what about creating something from scratch? I can be inspired by almost anything, however small, from sun through raindrops to frosty spider webs, but will it be enough to create something worthwhile? Cue a cup of tea.

When I finally have my idea, I develop it through sketches, go down to my workshop and stare at bits of glass for a while, perhaps with another cuppa or two. Then I must turn my fledgling idea into a plan that works with glass. It isn’t as easy as it might at first seem, because the spaces in between the objects must be viable. As I mentioned to Paul, there is no way to cut an ”L’ shape in glass, or at least not one that I know of. 

Plan made, details to be painted added, working-/drawing made, I am ready to begin. That is assuming that I have all the materials I need. In these lockdown/socially distanced times, I can still source glass online, but it really is no substitute for going into the shop or warehouse and behaving like a child in a sweetshop. I have an annoying tendency to pick up a piece of glass with no idea what to do with it and buy it anyway just because I like it. Then several years later it is still sat on the shelf, accusing me of ignoring it.

Anyway, then comes more tea, followed by glass cutting and grinding (not while drinking tea), possibly more tea, painting and firing, tea, leading or foiling, tea, soldering, and finally, applying patina and polishing, possibly interrupted by another cuppa. In fact, I’m considering changing my name to Tea-fuelled Glass Art! Seriously though, this doesn’t happen in one day. Even a small project can take the best part of a week to produce once the drawings have been completed.

Back to Open Studios. I have a page in a web directory to complete – it goes live in January, and so far, a month or so in, I haven’t given it a second thought. That is about to change. I will also be submitting a piece of work for the Insight 2021 exhibition which will be at The Base in Greenham during May next year.  

I intend to write every few weeks, so please join me to find out how I’m getting on.

Glass Art with Julia Kellaway Well this is it, if somewhat overdue, my final blog.  I confess to having a bit of …

Things didn’t quite go to plan. Returning to my spring-time experiment with fusing, the opening of the kiln revealed thin, curly catkins …

While I am writing this, sunshine is streaming through the window on a distinctly chilly morning, while small white flecks of snow …

Lead for Stained Glass My mind is still racing with possibilities, but spring-time has well and truly arrived and is distracting me …

Glass Art with Julia Kellaway / Copper Foiling

Glass Art with Julia Kellaway / Copper Foiling | Having removed my glass from the kiln, I inspect each piece as I carefully lift it off the kiln shelf. This is not because I am worried about dropping it! It’s about now that I amaze myself with how blasé I can be about handling something fragile that I have spent an age cutting, grinding

Glass Art with Julia Kellaway / Experimenting with the Alchemy that is Glass Fusing

When I emerge from the workshop with my design a mass of shiny different coloured glass, it reminds me of a kaleidoscope I had when I was young. It is my not quite blank canvas awaiting the detail I envisaged in my original drawing, which at this point, seems a distant memory!

Glass Art with Julia Kellaway / Experimenting with the Alchemy that is Glass Fusing

Since I wrote last, I’ve been very busy. This is a bit of a departure for me at this time of year, as I usually spend a lot of time resisting my inner hamster, who just wants to snuggle down and hibernate until springtime.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Julia Kellaway, I am a glass artist living and working in Burghfield Common. This is …

Let me introduce myself. My name is Julia Kellaway, I am a glass artist living and working in Burghfield Common. This is …

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