Lettering on Glass
Having always been interested in lettering, I took an Adult Education Calligraphy course, and joined the Oxford Scribes. There I developed techniques at many workshops with tutors from the Society of Scribes and Illuminators. Next came a course in Glass Engraving at West Dean College – tutor Charmian Mocatta. I became a Craft Member of The Guild of Glass Engravers, was awarded the trophy for best first-time exhibitor by the Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers (1993) and invited to demonstrate lettering on glass at Art in Action, Waterperry, (1994 & 1995). I then attended glass blowing courses at the High Wycombe College of Glass and Ceramics and was elected Associate Fellow of the Guild of Glass Engravers (1996).
I use glass as a medium for engraving both lettering and other designs, and particularly enjoy the effect of engraving coloured glass (flashed glass panels or glass with coloured overlays and inlays). The letterforms and inscriptions are chosen to enhance the beauty of the piece – the beauty of the whole must be greater than the sum of its parts.
Pieces of glass of any size can be engraved to commemorate any occasion with initials, monograms or complete inscriptions. Churches, doors and windows can be engraved, or special pieces blown to commission. I strive always for beauty.
Working with fused glass began after I retired, instructed by John Dunn at his studio in Brighton and followed by a training in leaded (stained) glass work with John Vaukins in Didcot. Continuing training happens via talking with others, working in fused glass, and the very helpful videos available the Internet. These sources inspire me to experiment with a variety of techniques including metal inclusions, mica powder, glass paints, decals and special firing techniques.
Inspiration has derived from various sources, from the Inca of Mexico to Paul Klee, M.C. Escher and most recently, Mondrian, developing variations of his ideas using computer graphics and converting the design to glass pieces to create the final work. I also use abstract patterns and shapes in nature for inspiration. The challenge with glass, not always realised, is to create something that emerges from a night the kiln that captures my intentions.
Originally trained as a primary school teacher, I found that working part time allowed me to pursue my interests in art. A relocation to Oxford twelve years ago gave me the opportunity to return to college and do a Foundation in Art and Design where I first encountered kiln formed glass and was immediately captivated by the process.
I spent three years studying 3D glass in London before setting up my purpose built garden studio. Using sheets of float glass I make expressive pieces that have a painterly quality to them. Inclusions of metal leaf and wire enable me to ‘draw’ within the glass and there is a magical alchemy, sometimes unpredictable, which produces a palette of subtle colours when the glass is fired.My work has always capitalised on my love of drawing which involves translating images from my sketchbook into the glass and I frequently work with repeated images creating patterns I make wall panels in various sizes and beautiful glass which will enhance any garden. Most recently I have been using photography to design mini landscapes based on journeys I’ve taken. My studio is open during Oxfordshire Artweeks every year and I sell my work through exhibitions and galleries.
I was a very mature student when I enrolled in High Wycombe College to do a degree in ceramics and glass. I graduated much older and wiser in 1996 and decided to put my newfound knowledge to work. With the aid of Southern Arts Council I set up my workshop in Gawcott, near Buckingham and began making artistic glass by the kiln formed method which melts the glass either to fuse and slump the glass or to melt the glass into a preformed mould.
I welcome visitors to my workshop during Bucks Open Studios in June where they can ‘have-a-go’ at making a small fused pendant. Throughout the year I give both beginners and advanced classes in my well-equipped studio. Clients who would like me to make a piece of glass for them are especially welcomed and I take great delight in making a beautiful piece which will meet all their requirements and will be stunningly unique. Recently I have made a window for an oak door, a sink splash-back with matching soap dish and seven large panels for an unusual curved stairwell. One of my cast glass sculptures was given as a leaving present to the retiring treasurer of the Aylesbury Vale Arts Council.
I worked as a psychotherapist for many years and in my 50s decided to take my artistic talents seriously. After studying Fine Arts Foundation at Abingdon College, I started stained glass classes with Vital Peeters and discovered Glass Fusion. This technique involves special glass called Bullseye, which is cut and then fused in a kiln and can subsequently be slumped into a shape. The alchemical nature of the process and the vibrant colours of the glass captured my imagination and have inspired me ever since.
I have exhibited in Oxfordshire Artweeks, at Arts-Inc Gallery in Freeland and the Creative Arts Gallery in Woodstock.
I am delighted to accept commissions.
I worked as a clinical neuropsychologist for many years but on retirement began to work in fused glass.
I have painted all my life and this has influenced the themes of my work in glass. Apart from Art O Level in the 60s I have had no formal training in arts, but have attended art classes and various short courses on fused glass over the last ten years or so.
Using Bullseye glass which has a wide range of colours, I am inspired by landscape, waterscape and nature.
By cutting glass and assembling it a little like collage, and adding powdered glass and inclusions prior to fusing, it is possible to create the depth, light and fluidity of nature in glass. For instance, water, leaves and trees are a particular inspiration.
I work at home in my garden studio, and have exhibited during Oxford Artweeks, and at Guild Exhibitions such as Woodstock Christmas Show, in the Oxfordshire Soldiers Museum, Broad Street Market, Oxford, and in April, 2017 at Cornerstone Window Walls, Didcot.
I am happy to accept commissions.
Helen has recently completed a practice based research PhD in glass, at The Royal College of Art, in order to develop her practice further.
Based in Oxfordshire, Helen Slater’s artwork draws inspiration from the figurative and its perception within changing environments. By using a mixture of techniques similar to those used in bronze casting and some specially developed by Helen herself, through years of research, she is able to produce stunning one off Art pieces. These unique glass pieces vary in scale from dramatic life size figures, to be displayed outdoors, to delicate tabletop casts for interiors.
From her workshop in Kingham, Oxfordshire, she takes great pride in providing a personal bespoke service, creating original stunning glass sculptural pieces for home & garden in addition to works for gallery exhibition. Helen also offer a range of glass workshops for beginners and more advanced glass practitioners.
I finished a degree in Glass and Ceramics at High Wycombe twelve years ago. Since then I have set up a workshop in Lower Assenden, where I have made and sold my glass. I work mostly with recycled Dartington glass, renting a workshop in Dudley for blowing and hot working. I combine the prepared glass from Dudley with clear glass in my kilns to make both sculptural and functional pieces.
Having lived on or near the river for most of my life, I developed a series of panels called Deep Surface. In these I explored the regenerative power of the river to recover from industrial pollution. Recently I have been drawn to the effects of and controversy surrounding `climate change`. There are perhaps solutions, but in the meantime changes can be recorded and, where it is to be found, beauty celebrated. It is from this perspective that I have started a series called `meltwater`.
Using a `lost vegetable` process, I have been casting fruit and vegetables in clear glass. Working with a blacksmith, we create garden sculptures that catch and hold the light, whether the low light of winter or that of the full summer sun. I have also done several private and public commissions.