Shelley Wilson Art

I have always been fascinated with stories and, after graduating from university, spent 15 years as a successful Children's Librarian. The Librarian in me loves to tell a story through my stained glass designs and, for me, etching is the perfect mode of expression. I love ‘sketching’ onto both sides of the glass to add details, texture and depth. I also like to experiment with polishes and gilding waxes to accent different parts of my design, allowing details to emerge and fade as the daylight changes throughout the day - like a story unfolding.

I love working with glass and enjoy the unpredictable nature of the stained glass process. I often start with an idea or sketch which I then turn into a pattern. I like using the Tiffany Technique of applying copper foil to emphasise delicate areas of my design and I combine this with the more traditional technique of lead work to add focus and strength.

I use reclaimed or scrap glass whenever I can as I love the thought of breathing new life into something which has been discarded by another. There's nothing better than opening a box of scrap glass to see what treasures are lurking inside! The mishmash of colours, textures and transparency encourages me to experiment with different combinations of glass in my designs.

I take inspiration from a variety of sources such as print, surface pattern, photography, embroidery and tattoo art. Many of my creations depict Yorkshire townscapes and landscapes near my home, but growing up in a Lancashire mill town has definitely inspired the art I create too. I also have an obsession with toadstools which began at school, aged 5, when my coat peg featured the image of a Fly Agaric. Since then I have amassed an extensive collection of mushroom ephemera in my home and quite often Fly Agarics make their way into my designs.

My favourite part of making stained glass is at the end when I add patina, etching and polish. That's when it really comes to life!