Into the Spotlight, sponsored by Huddersfield-based Scriba PR, is a regular feature which highlights some great businesses. Here we profile Meltham-based Catherine Jane Glass
It’s beautiful, striking and unique and artist and well-being teacher Catherine O’Sullivan has turned her passion into a business.
Catherine, of Meltham, creates stunning artwork in fused glass, an artistic technique where clear or coloured glass is melted or fused together to create a piece of art.
Catherine teaches part-time at an adult education centre and the rest of her time is spent in her home studio creating some special art.
“I live and breathe art,” said Catherine. “It’s a non-stop passion and a hobby has turned into a business. I just love it.”
Catherine takes her inspiration from nature and the environment. She has five dogs and is always outdoors seeing what’s around her.
“I love Meltham and Marsden Moor. They are such lovely places to do some painting and sketching. We are so lucky to live here.”
Catherine, who trades as Catherine Jane Glass and promotes her work on Instagram and sells through local fairs and makers’ markets, has found there is much demand for local scenes.
And because of the techniques and firing involved, every piece is unique. “You can’t make two of any piece,” said Catherine.
A recent piece she created was a view of Tunnel End at Marsden. The fusing of the glass needs a 12-hour firing as it needs to be allowed to cool so it doesn’t crack.
Catherine then paints on top of the glass with enamel or glass paint and that’s fused again. In all the glass could be fired three times, each one taking 12 hours.
Glass also reacts with copper and metal and Catherine uses copper and silver in her work.
Catherine is self-taught in a technique that’s very unusual. “I don’t know of anybody else doing it,” she said. “It can be hard work. There’s a lot of processing and cutting of glass and any sanding is done by hand.
“The art is so striking because of the colours and different textures that can be created by the firings.”
Catherine took her Tunnel End piece, appropriately, to a fair at Tunnel End. It was sold for £250 to a couple who got engaged at Tunnel End.
“That was lovely,” said Catherine. “You put your heart and soul into each piece and it’s so nice when it goes to someone who will cherish and appreciate it.”
Catherine has also produced prints of her Tunnel End scene and mugs too.
Catherine is now looking for new local scenes and Marsden Moor, Slaithwaite, Whitby and Robin Hood’s Bay are likely to be next.
“I’ve always been an artist,” said Catherine. “But fused glass is just something that’s taken off for me. I’ve been doing it for six years now and I can’t stop. I’m always looking for my next challenge.”
Catherine’s next craft fair is at Cathedral House in St Thomas’ Road, Huddersfield, on Saturday September 9 (10am-3pm) and she’s also at Holmfirth Civic Hall on November 25. You can see her work on Instagram at @madefromglass.