Living close to Farlington Marshes which overlook Langstone Harbour gives no end of inspiration. From the diversity of habitats including mudflats, saltmarsh and meadowlands; to the changes in Season bringing varied flora and fauna. Langstone Harbour is of special conservation interest and holds Ramsar status.
As an avid birdwatcher it was no surprise that I felt my first glass art collection had to embrace this. The Curlew bird is unmistakable. It is the largest European wading bird and is recognised for its long down curved bill and beautiful piping call. I wanted to represent them against a watercolour, abstract background. At Langstone the sunrises and sunsets can show vivid orange so it was essential for me to capture this.
It took lots of experiments to come to the final design. I tried to stencil the curlew which resulted in a blurred undefined silhouette of the curlew. I tried copper foil, this trapped to much air creating large bubbles which distorted the design. I worked with varying coloured enamels and wasn’t happy with the intensity of colour – it was often to pale for my vision.
After all my experiments it was brought to my attention by another glass friend that screen printing was available using glass enamel. This technique allowed me to have a crisp, detailed curlew which you can see on the final product. Optul enamels provided me with the rich transparent orange and beautiful selection of transparent blues
I have cut clear glass to work on as my base and used glass enamel powders to create the landscape of my coastal scene. The glass is then kiln fired to form a smooth flat surface. I then apply the screen print of the curlew which to cure needs to be fired for a second time. It is also at this stage if the piece needs to take on a shape for example a bowl that this will happen at the same time.
The Coastal Curlew Collection includes – coasters, suncatchers, fruit bowls, large decorative bowls and lanterns.