From her studio Red Brick Glass on the Dorset coast, Wendy Jeavons makes rather gorgeous handmade glass products such as bunting, fairy lights, wreaths, lanterns and seasonal decorations. Here Wendy talks about her passion for glass, her lovely big kiln and her favourite pink radio!
Tell us about your work?
From my studio on the Dorset coast I make kiln formed glass products such as fairy lights, lanterns and seasonal decorations.
Can you describe your making process?
There are two different processes involved in making my glass work. Firstly sheets of glass need to be cut then fused together in the glass kiln, for some products glass dust is then sprinkled onto and fused onto the glass. My screen printed glass enamel designs are then fired onto the glass at a lower temperature, then the products are finished my hand.
It’s a hard question but could you choose your favourite piece of work?
In the summer my favourite piece of work was definitely my green glass bunting, with floral and polka dot prints. It is so fresh and looks gorgeous when in the sunshine. Now that the days are getting shorter I love to switch on my glass fairy lights and get cosy.
When did it all begin for you?
I have always enjoyed making things and have always loved glass. It is such a magical material, unique in terms of colour and transparency and when lit it seems to come alive. I studied Glass and Architectural Glass at Edinburgh College of Art then received funding from the Crafts Council’s Setting Up Scheme to start Red Brick Glass.
Tell us about your work space or favourite place to work?
My studio space is my converted double garage in the garden of my Dorset home. I love the way it gets flooded with daylight, and I adore my pastel pink floor.
There has been such a boom in “making” recently, how do you keep your work unique?
My glass goodies have a distinctive style, I use fresh and contemporary colours and my screen printed designs of pretty florals, fun polka dots and stripes have a quintessentially British feel.
How do you know when a piece is done?
I always have a picture in my mind, and in my sketch book of what I want to make. I think a piece is finished when it looks gorgeous and is finished to a high standard.
Describe your day as a designer-maker? Are you organised and disciplined?
I get my little ones off to school then I may go for a run. I will then have a few hours every day in the studio to make orders, and I always try to find some time to have a play with new ideas. I then do a couple of hours work most evening, listing new products online, doing accounts or a spot of marketing. I am really motivated to take my business to the next level therefore I am organised and disciplined but I love what I do so it does not really feel like work.
What three tools could you not live without?
My lovely big kiln, my diamond glass cutter and my iPad. I could live without but I do love my pink retro radio on in the studio.
What gets the creative juices flowing?
I find that running will energise me, help me solve any creative problems and it is often the time I will think up new designs and products.
Are you inspired by other artists?
I guess the artists/makers that inspire me are the people who love what they do. I think passion and commitment shows in someones work.
What’s do you love most about being a designer-maker?
I love working with glass and the work/home flexibility that comes with working from home and selling online is wonderful. I can check my orders, take the children to school, go for a run, make orders in the studio, do my accounts, post orders and do a spot of online marketing without leaving my village.
What would you say to any designer-makers starting out?
Go for it, but take it slowly. One small step at a time and enjoy it.
Wendy’s gorgeous glass designs are all available in her Folksy shop Red Brick Glass.