Cathy Henshaw of Hen on the Shore-Fused Glass lives in Lacey Green, near Princes Risborough.
You can find her work in our High Wycombe shop in the Eden Shopping Centre, as well as in our online shop at www.craftcoopshop.co.uk
1. Tell us about your background Art has always been my ‘thing’ since I was small. After school I took an Art foundation course before going on to study Textile Design at Winchester School of Art. From there I spent some time designing fabrics for a silk manufacturer in Italy before returning the the UK to take up a place on a PGCE to begin teaching. I worked as both an Art and Design Technology teacher until 2017 when I gave it all up for glass!
2. Take us through the steps in making one of your products All of my work starts with sheet glass of one type or another. For my floral pieces I cut the glass to size before using glassline paint to add the striped background. Once the paints have dried I add layers of crushed glass, called frit, on top to add interest and texture to the piece. I then lay on pulled lengths of glass ‘stringers’ to make the stems for the flowers before adding the beautiful flower heads. To finish them off I sprinkle them with some frit in coordinating colours to compliment the flowers. The pieces are fused in my kiln up to about 750•c to melt the layers together but also retain the texture. The fusing process takes about 12 hours. At this point, once cooled, the glass can either be mounted as a finished piece or returned to the kiln at a lower temperature to slump into a wave, curve or dish.
3. Where do you get your ideas? What inspires you? I am hugely inspired by the countryside of The Chilterns, where I live. My floral pieces are inspired by walks through spring meadows and my tree pieces by the beautiful woods and farmland that surround me.
4. What's your favourite thing to make? I really love making my floral wave pieces. They are so delicate and come in so many colours no two are ever the same. I love getting commissions for one off pieces too
5. Tell us something we may not know about you. I have designed fabrics for Nicole Farhi, Hugo Boss and Chanel.
Find Cathy's work in our High Wycombe shop in the Eden Shopping Centre, as well as in our online shop at www.craftcoopshop.co.uk. You can also find her work in her Etsy Shop
www.etsy.com/shop/henontheshore and at British Craft House https://thebritishcrafthouse.co.uk/shop/henontheshore/