Oriel Hicks,                                                       Glass Artist.


Welcome to my blog


Living and working in the Isles of Scilly is inspirational.... but also has its difficulties!

Getting supplies of large sheets of coloured glass intact from the mainland can be a bit of a challenge, especially in the winter months when the only supply vessel is held up because of rough weather.

I thought people might be interested in the life of an island-dwelling artisan.

By Oriel Hicks, Apr 27 2020 08:55AM

I make full sized stained glass windows to commission in the winter months (see commissions page for examples) but I thought it would be fun to just do tiny, hanging leaded panels to hang in existing windows. I have used really narrow lead "cames" and I don't need to seal around the lead with putty, as it doesn't need to be weatherproof.

As we are presently in Covid 19 lockdown, and probably will be for some time, I have the chance to play and experiment!

By Oriel Hicks, May 26 2016 08:24PM

As promised, here are some samples of the mini wood boxes with glass lids; European oak, lacewood and purple heart. The small ones are ideal for keeping earrings in, and the really tiny ones would house a single, special ring. Ideal for an engagement present! They are £25 and £32

By Oriel Hicks, Jan 15 2016 08:54PM

I have recently been working in conjunction with a wood turner in Cornwall, and this is the first result. More will follow!

Stuart Mackin makes beautiful, turned oak boxes in different sizes, and I make opaque glass discs to set into the lids. I am also making tiny discs to fit tiny boxes, so if you have a ring you'd like to give someone special, like an engagement, wedding or eternity ring, you can present it in a handmade box, just big enough for one.

Stuart is also making cheeseboards for me from American white oak, which will have a 150mm square glass tile set into it to cut your cheese on to avoid damaging the wood.

Pictures of these will be on the gallery pages of this site before long!

By Oriel Hicks, May 25 2014 11:09AM

Having had gales over the winter and made sculptures from the driftwood (see previous blog entry) I got bitten by the mosaic bug. I found an offcut of slate from when I'd had the hearth to my woodburner laid, and split pieces off it using a primitive chisel made from a sharpened screwdriver...

I had been given an anglegrinder by my husband for my last birthday (as one does) so I cut parallel channels into the stone and chiselled out a groove between them to take the tesserai. The result is on the gallery 2 page. I then found a couple of old roof slates and some still-painted, worm-eaten driftwood, probably from some wrecked boat, and made a couple of hanging pictures from these. I really like the different textures.

By Oriel Hicks, Apr 28 2014 07:40PM

Having found that the pebble coasters (gallery page) are just about the most popular item I make, I thought I'd try expanding on the idea. Initially, I fused lots of pebbles together, basically just making a much bigger version of the coasters, but keeping the overall shape square. This I then slumped into a shallow mould to form a dish. (Gallery2 page) It took two years and a lot of stress-breaks in the glass before I could safely say I'd cracked it. (no pun intended!)

I then decided to try making little dishes using just one giant pebble shape, still using frit (glass granules), sheet glass and rods as before. (The huge advantage of using mostly frit is that even with the worst weather on the freight trip from the mainland, the glass can't be broken any smaller than it already is!)

After they were made flat, I found I couldn't buy any pebble-shaped moulds to slump them into, so I cadged some clay off a local potter and racked my memories of school art lessons.... and eventually biscuit-fired my hand-made pebble moulds. A little rougher around the edges than a bought mould, but they seem to work OK.

So far the finished dishes have been successful, though they do come up slightly smaller than I anticipated as the moulds are quite deep, which pulls the sides in.

The biggest problem is actually parting with them! They're such fun to make, each one is different from the last, and I always like the most recent addition to the group the best.

However, my house is now overflowing with all things glass, so some will have to go. (gallery page).

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