I first started working with glass in 2015 when I took a night class at the Glasgow School of Art in glass fusing and slumping. I fell in love straight away, with the colours and textures of glass and also the massive variety of shapes that the glass can bend into using a mould and the heat of the kiln. Despite all the cuts I got and my frustration at not being able to cut the glass into the curved shapes I wanted! I was daunted by the kiln too, but was absolutely fascinated by the process of taking sheets, powders and chips of glass and making beautiful, unique fused glass art.
I attended the night classes a couple of times and dreamt of one day starting my own glass business and having my own glass studio. I thought it would be quite a way off as I was about to go back to university to study for a master’s degree in Wildlife Biology and Conservation.
While on a study break from doing a master's degree I couldn't let go of the idea of setting up a glass business where I’d make fused glass art and jewellery. I wanted not only to make beautiful unique objects, but to do it sustainably and raise money for some of the nature charities I'd learned about through my master’s. So, I decided to get researching to see if I could make my dream a reality.
After lots of research (I’m an obsessive researcher most of the time!), I converted my spare room into a home studio, kitted out with all the basic equipment I needed, including my own kiln. It was quite the feat getting all 15 stone of it lifted up the stairs even with the help of my husband!
I knew I wanted to support a nature charity and ideally one that supported plants, as plant charities don’t typically raise the funds that animal charities do. I'd learned about Plantlife through my degree, they’re a British conservation charity that works both nationally and internationally to save threatened wildflowers, plants and fungi. I loved learning about plants and had become a member of the Botanical Society for Scotland (BSS) where I was surrounded by fellow plant geeks!
Anyway, I reached out to Plantlife to see about collaborating with them to raise money specifically for their Saving Scotland's Rainforest project. Did you know we have rainforest here? I didn’t but I am so proud that we do, especially seeing as we have some of the best specimens in all of Europe and it’s rarer than tropical rainforest!
I love that I'm able to give back to nature with every sale I make and I'm really proud to be raising money to protect the rainforest here in Scotland. Giving back to nature and doing business sustainably is really important to me and right from when I was setting up my business, I knew I wanted to make and ship my glass as sustainably as I could to lessen my impact on the environment.
That’s why more than 97% of my packaging is compostable and recyclable - the only part that isn't is the fragile tape that I'm legally required to use when I post the glass. And I also use 100% renewable green energy to heat the kiln.
A little off-topic here, but if you don't already use a 100% green energy supplier for your home, you can change it really easily. It's often cheaper and is a really easy, quick change that is good for the environment and your pocket! You can web search "100% green energy suppliers" and choose a company you like that’s got lots of good reviews.
So that's how I got into making glass and raising money for Plantlife and Scotland’d rainforest. Hope you enjoy browsing the website and please do get in touch with any questions or feedback, I'd love to hear from you!