Friday, 27 March 2015

Neon Lights and Red Rocks

Over recent years, work has taken me to Las Vegas; not a destination I was every unduly fussed about visiting previously. Well thank goodness fate got me there. I have fallen in love with the city and the surrounding desert.

If you like glass and bright colours, well Vegas is never going to disappoint! When I am looking for inspiration I often find neon lights and light shows are a great source and Vegas has those in spades!

I was also one of the uneducated who assumed the desert would be a monochrome wilderness. I couldn't have been more wrong. In fact, I have been to few locations which have fired my visual senses in terms of colour alone so much. 

I keep meaning to get out my photos of the Grand Canyon and Red Rock Canyon and look at them alongside my Bullseye Glass catalogue but that could prove an expensive venture!!

400ft above the Colorado River, Grand Canyon

Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Beach Hut Higgledy Piggledy

Beach Hut Higgledy Piggledy
Beach Hut Higgledy Piggledy
One item I love making are my Higgledy Piggledy standalone waved ornaments. 

They are made by texture fusing a cartoony street scene onto glass with is later slumped over a waved mould so they standalone.

This is a variation on my usual Higgledy Piggledys with funky beach huts on transparent, bright blue glass. It looks great with the light behind it.

I think I love the light-hearted, crooked look of the streets scenes because of my love of Tim Burton films and being brought up surrounded by wonky farm buildings!

If you like these, please take a look on our Etsy pages where I have my latest ones listed if available. More will be made!

Monday, 23 March 2015

Does It Always Have to be Game, Set and Match

Maybe it is my age and losing my grandmother 18 months ago, but recently I have noticed some nostalgia creeping in at the oddest times.

One area is plates. Yes plates. When I was growing up other than the dinner set you have for best (hatches, matches, dispatches and Christmas outings only), every day crockery was a mismatch. You didn't run to Dunelms or Denby, George at Home or Habitat to get matching sets of everything unless you had money to burn. Plates often came through generations of a family. I remember setting the tea table at Gran's and every plate was different and everyone had their chosen or favourite plate.

Fast forward a couple of decades and every piece of crockery in my kitchen matches and every piece is cream. It's all very....samey.

And so, when last in Dunelm looking at the matching sets I picked a plate from here and a plate from there. And if I am in an Antique Shop or Second Hand Shop and see a single lonesome plate on its own I may adopt it too.

The upshot? This last week I have enjoyed mealtimes so much more and not because of the food! 

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Dale Chihuly

I work for a company that has a large base in Seattle and whenever I mentioned glass to a Seattle colleague for the first time I can be sure the next two words out of their mouth will be "Dale Chihuly"!

Chihuly at the Bellagio
Chihuly is an amazing glass artist from Washington, who has taken art glass to a whole new level imho. Using blown glass and explosive bright colours, Chihuly and his team produce sculptural and fantastical pieces of glass art.

I'm pleased to have seen two of his most famous pieces in the flesh: his 'Persians' glass ceiling in the Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas and his amazing chandelier in the rotunda of the Victoria and Albert Museum, in London. My photos of both on this page don't do the pieces judges.

Chihuly at the V&A
His bright colours are a trademark of his work, and one of the reasons I am so drawn to it. In fact, and I hope he doesn't mind!, I would love to steal one of his answers from the FAQs on his website. When asked which is his favourite colour, his answer, which I agree with 100%, is "I like to say I’ve never met a color I didn’t like."

Looks like my next stop needs to be Seattle to see more of his work - I am reliably informed there's lots of it there!

You can find out more about the man and his artwork on his website at

Also, check out this interview he did with the Telegraph last year. He's definitely a guest I would like at my fantasy dinner party!

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Matilda the Craft Caravan's Journey

Let's talk Matilda - our haven, our craft cave, our escape to place!


The more we became obsessed with fused glass and new we wanted to be able to do it as much as possible, our thinking caps were firmly on.

We could reasonably do glass craft in the house - no real spare room plus pet cat (cats and cut glass do not mix)

Whilst there was room in the garden for a shed/studio the price was exorbitant, and that was before thinking about materials, electricity etc. 

Stripped down and getting painted!
Well, maybe our dreams were going to be thwarted but then along came George Clarke and his amazing spaces tv show. Lot's of people were converting small spaces from the sublime to the ridiculous - milk floats, old ambulances....and of course caravans.

We had neighbours and friends in the caravan maintenance business who also do up VWs. As part of a recent deal, in a job lot was a 1980s Adria caravan. 2 berth, a proper old box shape and in pretty good condition.

Ripping (out) times!
Her boxy shape was perfect for us - no loss of room due to sloping and we digged that vintage look! So a deal was done and Matilda came home. 

I did the majority of the refurb myself using the time honoured skill of blissful ignorance. Her cupboards and her horseshoe seating area were perfect as our work space and provided huge amounts of storage.  Where the toilet was, was ripped out leaving space for a small kiln.

The kitchen end was ripped out and I took her right back to the aluminium frame. At this point it might be a good idea to find out how to build her back again so lots of you tube video watching and internet searching followed! I re-insulated the top end, fixed in new plywood, tiled where the kiln would sit and with the help of my grandfather put in new shelves. 

Cosy Crafting!
Matilda was painted, curtains made and new flooring laid. Some stressful days of leaky roof vents were put behind me when my caravan friend reset them and I became a dab hand of tracking down problems and beating them into submission. Ready for winter Matilda got a new 'shower cap' as we call it - a roof only cover which adds some extra protection, and will help keep her safe for years to come.

Her interior design is kitsch, bright and fun. Everyone who comes in says how relaxing it is straight away. Matilda is just a little bit magic. It is a perfect workspace and sometimes, nap space; a million miles from work, stress and real life!

In 2015 or 2016 we hope to give Matilda's outside an equally kitsch makeover so watch this space!

Before & After - Kitchen now Kiln End

Before and After - WorkSpace end

Wednesday, 18 March 2015


Obviously working with glass can be dangerous and we take plenty of precautions. Eye goggles are a must and when working with fine glass powder or the ceramic fibre paper that lines the kiln a mask is a must.

However, one of the staples of my workspace is the humble elastoplast. It doesn't matter how careful I am I still cut myself. In fact, at my lessons it become such a joke bets were taken on how long it would take until I piped up "elastoplast please Dave!" The first aid kit was always but right by me for some reason.

So if anyone is ever at a loss of what to buy me - elastoplasts!

Monday, 16 March 2015

Let's Talk About The Elephant In The Room!

One of Sue's first pieces when learning fused glass was this patchwork elephant - her own design bringing together her love of, well, patchwork and elephants!

She has completed more patchwork animals since, but the elephant still takes pride of place in Matilda our craft caravan to start and then in the house. We found a small desk easel is perfect to display the piece.

The technique is texture fusing the shapes to a background and using stringers over the joins to mimic stitching.

I love that it is so bright and colourful.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Welcome to Glass With Love

We are Sue and a Beki, a mother and daughter duo of fused glass enthusiasts based in the UK.

We create fused and kiln carved glass art, working out of our converted caravan now studio who is lovingly called Matilda! And yes the kiln has a name too - Kevin!

Our kiln is a Skutt Hotbox 14 and we use Bullseye glass.

We started fused glass almost 18 months ago and feel in love with it immediately. For this we need to thank Dave Humphries who introduced to this new addiction! You can find Dave in his Chilwell, Notts, shop Created By Hand.

In our blog we will keep you updated on our adventures in glass, Matilda updates, talk crafts and inspirations and no doubt go completely off topic at times!