Sunday, 12 May 2013

Maker of the Week - Nicola Steel

Nicola Steel produces unique, hand blown glass. She will exhibiting at the Palace Art and Craft Fair starting Friday.

At what age did you know you wanted to become an artist / maker?
I got into glass by accident, I began my degree wanting to do metal work- but as soon as I met glass I was hooked and I knew it was what I wanted to do. Once I finished my degree, I was determined to understand more of the technical side of glass blowing and went on to train and work in a London studio for 2 years. I have been lucky enough to have had the opportunities to work with and learn from some amazing glass makers!

Is being an artist / designer your only jobThis year I am focusing on my work and business, but I have also started teaching glass which is really exciting and something I want to pursue!

If you could be anything else what would you be? If I could be anything other than a glass maker, I think I would love to be a chef!! I did once apply for Masterchef, but didn't get in so iItook it as a sign to stick with art!!

One favourite living artist / designer?
There are so many exciting glass artists around at the moment.. its so hard to pick one.. but I think I would say Jimmy Anderegg- an American artist. His work is amazing- the techniques and scale of the pieces are unbelievable, as well as beautiful! I met him at Pilchuck and watched him master paper thin stem wear in 2 weeks as a complete contrast to his normal style- so talented!

One favourite historical artist / designer?
Umberto Boccioni has always been my favourite artist. I love the futurist movement as a whole- but his work in particular has always stood out to me and been an influence on my work. I like the movement and dynamism in his art, as well as colour use - so important!

Who / what has had most influence on your work?
The material itself - glass has so many properties and qualities that can be used to make such exciting things happen in a piece. As you have direct contact with it in its molten state, the possibilities are endless. Exploring and pushing techniques has the biggest influence on my work at the moment.

What is the most interesting / fun job you have had?
Teaching a weekend course at the glass hub! It was great to work with people who wanted to learn and see them progressing! Had a great time and hope to be doing it more!

What is your most prized item of art / design / craft?
A painting by a Manchester based artist called Superdead- I arranged to buy it in 2005 after seeing it in a exhibition in a bar - but when I walked past one day it was gone. It turned out the manager had sold it to a woman on the spot and not told him- I was so sad, but he painted me a new one which was even bigger. I was so happy then!

What item of design / craft do you covet most?
My own studio!

Last book / film that blew your mind?
There but for the by Ali Smith  - a crazy book!

What are you listening to?
Elliot smith

How much time do you waste on the internet each day?
Maybe about one hour... bit scared of computers!

Where and what is your studio?
At the moment I am doing my masters at Wolverhampton Uni so I work mainly from that studio.

Three words that describe your feeling of doing your work?
Passion, excitement and commitment

Chips or mash?

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