Heather Gillespie: Profile

Artist’s Statement.

Before creating a piece of glass, I produce a series of sketches and designs. Once the glass has been blown, I begin the process of cutting and polishing the glass to a high standard, ready for engraving.

I am interested in the 16th century art of copper wheel engraving.

Being self taught, I lived for a year in the remote village of Kamenicky Senov in the Czech Republic. Time spent studying techniques, refining my skills and perfecting my craft.

Copper wheel engraving is a satisfying and rewarding process but there are only a handful of engravers in the U.K. who are practicing this craft, producing exquisite work.

The craft of copper wheel engraving is, unfortunately, no longer taught in any U.K. institute.

Having been selected by the Crafts Council to complete their ’Next Move’ scheme, my studio is based in the glass department at the University of Wolverhampton. It is here that I have taught a PhD student the art of engraving onto glass using diamond wheels.

The refractive and reflective properties of glass and the limitless possibilities for the creation of optical illusion by the means of skilful cutting and the interaction of the above properties with light, appeals to me and suits the nature of my work.