At HACS’ June coffee morning, we were happy to host a talk by HACS member Michele Clayton, glass artist. Michele combines a solid background in textile skills with glass fusing techniques to create unique pieces of glass.
Michele’s working career began in the City of London, yet through the many twists and turns of career life, she kept up an interest in art as a hobby, exploring cross-stitch (for which she received commissions) and lacemaking. Her art teacher had told her she was not good enough for art school, yet undeterred by this damning appraisal, Michele continued to pursue her love of crafts, gaining skill upon skill, such as quilting. Indeed she exhibited her quilting work at Alexandra Palace and the NEC where she received a positive response to her work.
Life took Michele from England to Italy and back again, from urban London to Yorkshire and finally to rural Herefordshire. Consequently, inspiration has come from many and varied geographical locations, from the built environment to nature.
In 2012 Michele “got the buzz for glass” as she says. And in May 2018 she completed a Portfolio course at the Hereford College of Arts.
With infectious enthusiasm and passion, Michele showed us examples of her textile work, and then her glass work. She explained the glass making process for each piece such as slumps, moulds, dichroic, inclusions (e.g. plants like hydrangeas, fuchsias and freesias, copper, “confetti” glass pieces) and even using bicarbonate of soda to make bubbles!
Michele explained that, for her, art is a very tactile experience, and so she encouraged us all not just to look her work but to pass it around and feel the weight of the glass, the smooth or uneven surfaces, the sharp edges and to hold pieces up to the light to get the full spectrum of experience.
It was a delightful talk that was appreciated by all who attended. We had a full room and everyone engaged with thoughtful comments and questions – a testament to Michele for drawing us into her world of textiles and glass for a morning!
You can find Michele on Facebook – uniqueglassart and at www.uniqueglassart.co.uk
Show dates for Michele’s work:
9 – 23 June – HCA Synthesis 2018. Michele’s Foundation Art and Design work on show at Pigott Close off Wittern Way. There in person on Wednesday 13 June 1-3pm.
Regular exhibitor at Timothy Hawkins Gallery in Church Street, Hereford.
8-16th Sept 2018 – H-Art – with a group from HCA FAD course at “H-Art week at Twyford Cookers”