One of the advantages of buying something handmade is that you can find out a bit more about what goes into creating it. For those of you who can't visit me at one of my events to chat in person I thought it might be nice to take you on a little studio tour. So come and walk down the garden with me, past the chickens, open the pale green wooden workshop door and settle down in a comfy chair while I show you around. Don't forget your cuppa!
My workshop is a large wooden structure where I have a treasure trove of different glass, shells and stones I've collected over the years.
The sheets of glass sit in neatly ordered rows according to colour or type. Jars in front of the window contain tiny shards of glass in shades of blue and green.
Rolls of copper foil, wire and solder hang alongside etched fish and pictures of sea life for inspiration on the peg board. The kiln ticks gently in the background as it slowly warms up.
A large cutting table sits under the window so I have plenty of light to see what I'm doing and the true colour of the glass to come up with the best combinations.
I also have shelves full of finished pieces waiting patiently for new homes or to travel to shops and galleries across the UK.
To make a piece it usually starts with an idea inspired by something I've seen on one of my regular visits back home to Cornwall. A rockpool or stream, a quick glimpse of some sleek, gleaming fish or colourful boats and whitewashed cottages in a harbour.
Sometimes inspiration for a sculpture comes from the stones themselves, white veins could suggest choppy waves, or natural breaks or features could be stone steps or a path.
After the idea has formed the is glass chosen and cut by hand, it then has any sharp edges smoothed on the grinder and is checked for size and shape ensuring a good fit with its neighbours.
Sometimes etching or paint is added before each piece of glass is wrapped in copper. Then the layout is checked and rechecked and it is finally soldered together. Fused pieces are placed carefully in the kiln and reach nearly 800 degrees over 14 hours. Sometimes they are returned to the kiln again at different temperatures to add texture or mould them into shape.
And there you have it, a little peak into where every piece of Cheryl Steventon Glass starts its life. But from there who knows where it will go? Some have travelled to Australia, Canada and America, some have been seen in exhibitions across the UK and some I can't bear to part with so they stay right here and help to inspire the next generation. Thank you for coming to visit, please feel free to pop in again!