Caroline Reed

I have been visiting Cornwall since I was ten years old and escape there whenever I can. Over the years I have walked miles of the coastal path, explored hidden coves and sketched and painted my favourite beaches.

Glass is my way of evoking these personal memories and emotions from time spent by the sea. My work is inspired by the marine fauna, flora and seascapes of the North Cornish Coast, especially the rock pools that are exposed with every outgoing tide. The rich yellow and orange sands create a dramatic contrast against the grey slate and granite rocks holding the marine life hostage until the next high tide. The colour, textures and patterns of this natural landscape find their way into my glass work. Although I capture the moment on camera and in my sketch books I find the process of translating the images into glass forms leaves a more lasting impact on my consciousness.

Glass lends itself to creating sculptural pieces. Its translucent qualities make it an ideal medium for expressing my coastal works. I use a range of kiln-formed techniques, and I am particularly drawn to pâte de verre and fusing methods.

Pâte de verre uses a ground glass paste packed into hand built moulds reminiscent of sand compacting in crevices, around rocks and shaped and hardened by the wind. I place the glass colours precisely in order to build patterns and tones into my work. The process of packing my moulds is that of embedding my memories of special locations, seasons and tides.

My fused work involves sifting glass powders over sculpted sand to create thin textured discs which may then be returned to the kiln to be shaped into my rock pool forms. I might choose to leave small deposits of sand left from the kiln firing on some of my glass works making a stronger connection to particular locations.

I hope my work resonates with people who, like me, enjoy the Cornish coastal landscapes.