Pedddle: Tell us a little more about your business.
Jewel Glass: I’m Frances Lloyd, and I create colourful fused glass artwork, gifts and jewellery in my garden workshop near Cowbridge, in the Vale of Glamorgan.
I love everything about working with glass, from its beautiful colours and translucency to the way it transmits light on a sunny day. It is an amazingly versatile material which can be shaped into many forms once the design stage has been completed.
Eynonymous Designs: My name is Eddie Eynon, and I am a designer-maker based in beautiful Mid Wales.
As a keen walker, I am often out and about gathering found objects and taking photographs wherever I go. Twigs, leaves, feathers and even pieces of bone are then used as inspiration for mixed media collages and heat-transferred prints.
All patterned fabric used to create accessories, cushions and throws is of my own design. Every item is then stitched on a vintage (and often temperamental!) sewing machine. I can make custom pieces too.
The Way to Blue: I’m Sarah, and The Way to Blue is influenced by my love of the British countryside. I have always been drawn to the colour blue and its associations with nature and the infinite, and now all my work is blue and white, creating an eye catching, fresh and interesting display.
I use the old photographic process of Cyanotype invented by Sir John Herschel in 1841 to capture our delight and wonder in the intricacies of nature creating a unique range of blue and white home-ware and gifts. A light-sensitive solution is applied to various papers, hedgerow finds or/and negatives layered on then exposed to sunlight, the solution is then rinsed off and the paper dried, fixing the image in glorious blue tones.
‘The Way to Blue’ has developed over the past 7 years. Through much experimentation I have developed a popular range of unique original Cyanotypes including tealight holders, vases, lanterns, various sized framed botanical Cyanotypes, cards and recently a range of blue and white fine china mugs. I now exhibit my work in numerous shops and galleries in North Wales and beyond. I take part in many contemporary craft fairs.
Pedddle: St. David’s Day was on 1st March, and each featured stallholder this week is based in Wales. How much is your business and products inspired by your Welsh surroundings?
Jewel Glass: Surrounded by beautiful countryside and with the Glamorgan Heritage Coast a short drive away, my work is heavily influenced by local landscapes and wildlife. I am an enthusiastic walker and love exploring the Vale on foot, photographing scenes which catch my eye to inspire future pieces back in the workshop. I especially love trees – my phone is full of tree pictures!
Eynonymous Designs: My pattern designs are created by digitally manipulating my original artwork, which is based on the landscape, flora and fauna of Wales. My work is mainly influenced by the gorgeous scenery around my home, which is situated alongside the Montgomery Canal and the River Severn. Memories of family camping trips to the Gower and Pembrokeshire are also mined for creative purposes.
The Way to Blue: From my Shropshire roots growing up in a house nestled in the forest, time spent living close to nature in a caravan by a fisherman’s cottage, a year absorbing the wild beauty of Anglesey’s coastline to now – the wonderful Conwy Valley in North Wales where I work happily in my garden studio.
My work is very much inspired by the beautiful Conwy Valley. On the edge of the Snowdonia mountain range, the lush green Welsh valley is brimming with nature – rolling meadows filled with butterflies, woodlands teeming with birds and hedgerows full of design inspiration in the diversity of wild plant life.
Pedddle: What’s next for you in 2021? Do you have any new products in the pipeline?
Jewel Glass: I have a number of projects underway at the moment as I like to rotate what I’m working on (until it gets too chaotic in my workshop and I run out of space!). Most recently completed I’ve created some Spring wildflower panels, but I’m some working on new glass birds, tree panorama scenes and I’m continuing with my Incoming Tide series of fused glass curves and waves.
Eynonymous Designs: I am hoping to develop my range of home accessories for 2021, such as tea towels and cushion covers.
The Way to Blue: My fine china mugs, based on my original Cyanotype designs, proved very popular last year – they make great gifts or treats for yourself! They feature intricate meadows, delicate seed heads, butterflies, branches & bird silhouettes.
Inspired by the British tradition of blue & white ceramics, I realised my designs could make lovely additions to the kitchen. This year I’ve created a new design to add to my current collection of 5 different designs (pictured below). It will be launched in April. My fine china mugs are available to order singly or in sets of 2, 4 or 6. Gift boxes with gift tags are also available.
Pedddle: Where did you first become interested in the skills it takes to produce your products, and how did you learn them?
Jewel Glass: I’ve always loved the colour and translucency of glass and in the past, tried my hand at stained glass and glass painting with limited success, but I became instantly hooked on glass fusing after taking some classes at a local community college. I learned the basics of cutting and assembling pieces here before buying my own small kiln, learning how to programme it and developing my making skills through lots of experimenting, trial and error.
Eynonymous Designs: I have always stitched and painted, but it wasn’t until I enrolled in a foundation course at the local FE college, as a mature student, that I started experimenting with a range of techniques, eventually concentrating on fine art mixed media.
Working in the department as a part-time technician for the past decade has enabled me to embrace digital skills and teach myself how to create surface pattern designs.
The Way to Blue: In 2012 I took part in a workshop with a North Wales based Cyanotype artist, Sian Hughes. It was a fantastic 2 day workshop and as there was a week between each workshop day, I was able to gather my ideas and experiment further on the second day, with the expert tuition from Sian.
I’ve always been creative and quite experimental in my art work so I was
delighted to discover a new medium to explore. I just saw so much potential
for experimenting and developing my ideas with the Cyanotype process – I
I particularly love being able to capture the exquisite intricacies and
designs of nature itself with the Cyanotype process. For example, in my Cow
Parsley Cyanotypes I simply arrange the pressed umbellifers on the
prepared paper & let sunlight work her magic. (The exposed areas turn a
deep blue and the covered areas remain white, capturing the delicate design of clustered flower heads, umbelliferous stems & feathery leaf shapes.) I play & experiment with Cyanotypes ability to create blue designs on white backgrounds & white designs on blue backgrounds.
Pedddle: What first made you consider selling your products at markets?
Jewel Glass: My first fused glass pieces were pendants – lots of them! I made these for friends, family and myself, and as they seemed to be popular a friend suggested selling them. Setting up at my first local market was a bit daunting as everyone else seemed to know what they were doing! However, I was pleased with the way the day went and soon signed up for more events.
Eynonymous Designs: I have taken part in a few art fairs over the years but did not have the confidence to approach markets. Having done a lot of research, I took the plunge last March to open my online shop on Folksy. Then Lockdown happened and fortunately Pedddle came to the rescue, offering lots of support and the opportunity to participate in curated online markets.
The Way to Blue: A jewellery maker friend first encouraged me to start selling my work at markets. We shared a stand at the first market I took part in, which was a great fun introduction to markets and gave me the confidence to carry on. Since then I’ve taken part in numerous markets over the past 8 years. (I first met Nicki from Pedddle at a fair in Beaumaris on Anglesey a few years ago.)
Pedddle: Do you have a favourite market, and if so, why?
Jewel Glass: My favourite one to take part in is the Christmas Makers Market at St Donat’s Castle, which is right on the South Wales coast. St Donat’s is a beautiful old building, full of atmosphere, especially at Christmas, and the market itself is always so well organised. When I was accepted to sell my work here, I really felt that my small business had stepped up a gear.
Eynonymous Designs: Lockdown has given me an online presence, but I am hoping to take part in many of the fantastic in-person markets Pedddle has to offer when we can. Customer interaction is so important for small businesses.
The Way to Blue: I love ‘Vintage Escapades’ in Nantwich, Cheshire and the ‘Winter Arts Market’ now in Liverpool Cathedral are always fantastic.
I’ve made so many lovely friends/fellow stallholders at markets by repeatedly doing them over the years, I’ve really missed them this last year!