It was a life changing event that led Cambridge glass artist Jill Matthew to make a full time job of her craft. Two years and several power tools later, Jill’s passion for glass fusing and intrepid approach to her work keep her coming up with fresh ideas and adding new designs to her colourful collection.
What do you make?
I make fused glass pieces, from jewellery to platters and beyond! Fused glass is the heating of glass layers, powders or shapes of glass in a kiln to many hundreds of degrees to melt it all together.
How did you get into your craft?
By accident really! I did a glass bead making course while on holiday in Nelson and enjoyed it but was working full time as a nurse manager at that stage. In 2009 I got very sick with a serious neurological illness and needed to learn to walk, write, eat etc again. This lead to a “life’s too short” moment and as a boredom buster for my lengthy recovery I bought a microwave kiln. The obsession with melting glass grew, and I convinced hubby to buy me a “proper” kiln for my 30th birthday. Two years later and the obsession is still growing and has become my full time job – with two kilns and a variety of power tools!
Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
My highest training in art remains School Certificate! I’m completely self taught in glass fusing.
Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
Tools – all of them, kilns being the most important, but I’m currently more than a little obsessed with my sandblaster!
Materials – I love the colours art glass comes in, it gives great scope for mixing and matching colours. I also enjoy upcycling glass – such as turning old windows into plates, or empty bottles into cheeseboards or trays.
Processes – there are many challenging processes, I get so excited every time I try something new and it works! I also take all my own photos and do all my IT so there’s always website updating, Facebook posting and of course Felt listings! (more…)