Heather Gillespie

Artist in Residence

Before creating a piece of glass, I produce a series of sketches and designs.  Once the glass has been blown, I begin the process of cutting and polishing the glass to a high standard, ready for engraving.  I am interested in the 16th century art of copper wheel engraving.

Being self-taught, I lived for a year in the remote village of Kamenicky Senov in the Czech Republic, spending time studying techniques, refining my skills, and perfecting my craft.  Copper wheel engraving is a satisfying and rewarding process but there are only a handful of engravers in the UK who are practicing this craft, producing exquisite work.  The craft of copper wheel engraving is, unfortunately, no longer taught in any UK institute.  The refractive and reflective properties of glass and the limitless possibilities for the creation of optical illusion by the means of skilful cutting and the interaction of the above properties with light appeals to me and suits the nature of my work.


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