Taking her cue from her love of traveling, Ruth Shelley’s inspiration derives from her observation of colour, balance and tone of nature. Her gravity dropped vessels create an inter-play of light, form and colour that is evocative of the natural world that surrounds us. The vessels take on their own personae and become artworks as glass sculptures. Ruth always observes how the colour balance in the glass layers reflects the energy and rhythm of nature, and how light illuminates it.
“My aim is to redirect attention back to the colours of nature in scenery and landscape”.
The ‘En-Route’ Collection.
Whilst touring France on her motorbike, Ruth was inspired by the colours of Normandy and Provence. She was struck by the colour of the bright sunlight on hay-bales and fields of cornflowers and lavender, with red poppies lining the roads. The mesmerising shades of greens in lush gorges, various greys in rock formation, terracotta roofs, shades of sky blues, greys, sunsets, sunrises, the list goes on…
These vessels are kiln-formed glass made by the ‘drop out’ method. From her studio in Cardiff, Ruth cuts strips of glass and arranges them in complex layers and patterns, which are fused together into a fused sheet. It is then suspended in a kiln on an open mould, heat is applied, and gravity fluidly stretches the suspended glass to the floor of the kiln, which is then ground, polished and sandblasted into the finished vessel. Due to the nature of the applications, Ruth’s vessels are one-offs. It is not possible to make two pieces identical.
‘Times of creativity develop after you have done extensive preparations and experiments first’.
Ruth won the Glass Sellers Award at the British Glass Biennale in 2015 and has studied Masterclasses with Sylvia Levenson, Steve Klein and Nathan Sandberg in the UK and USA. She exhibits widely nationally and internationally and has been awarded several Training and Project Grants by the Welsh Arts Council. Currently her work can be seen in various galleries in Wales, London and throughout the UK.
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