Cathryn Shilling - Exclusive COLLECT Artist Profile

A life-drawing class was the inspiration behind Cathryn Shilling’s stylish new ‘Cloaked’ creations, a fusion of blown and kiln-formed glass...

The merging of style and inspiration resulted in these haunting shapes: each have their own distinct personality but, more so, highlight a growing trend in collectable glass with a greater narrative base.

“There is a definite trend for more of a story,” explains Cathryn. “Each of the pieces in my Cloaked series has far too much personality just to be a theme. I wasn’t trying to force a personality or a name but when I looked at the first piece I made it was clear he was a Roman general. Yet he’d been through something - he was standing really tall and proud but was disheveled and broken. That’s why I called him Coriolanus.”

Cathryn’s love of glass took hold after she attended a class at London Glassblowing and although a back operation foiled her ability to work in the ‘hot shop’ she is still hugely involved in the process.

“For the pieces, I would make the fabric and then worked particularly with Louis Thompson on the figurative forms that we could clothe in some way. It was a real challenge for us both - the figures were extremely tall and asymmetrical and the fabric had to be introduced to them in quite a precarious way.

“The whole point of me not being able to physically blow something has actually opened it up to me. I’m now working with people who are much more skilled than me but I’m further ahead in my abilities as a result of their influence.

“Blown glass is much more immediate. You have to make decisions at that moment in time and that’s really unusual for me as all of my work is painstaking and considered. It’s nice to be out of your comfort zone.”

With pieces chosen for this year’s British Glass Biennale at the end of May, Cathryn is definitely on a high. This is underlined when she literally takes the wraps off another piece destined for Collect - Diorama - which has to be seen to be believed.

- Interviewed in London, April 2015


Above: Cathryn Shilling, Cloaked in White - Jocasta & Cloaked in Black - Laius, Free blown glass with kilnformed glass cane fabric applied hot

Dimensions (approx): 60 cm high x 20 cm diameter (23.6 in x 7.87 in)
Each: GBP: £2950 / USD: $4507 / EUR: €4123 (Approx currency conversions)
Pair: GBP: £5500 / USD: $8402 / EUR: €7687 (Approx currency conversions) 

Enquire about this piece:
 +44 (0) 207 403 2800 



Above: Cathryn Shilling, Diorama - Mirror of the Forest, Kiln formed glass with dichroic on a bespoke cast bronze base
Dimensions (approx): 45 cm diameter x 20 cm high (17.7 in  x 9.8 in) 
GBP: £4250 / USD: $6485 / EUR: €5940 (Approx currency conversions)

Enquire about this piece:
 +44 (0) 207 403 2800  



Watch the video above to see Cathryn Shilling and Amanda Simmons at London Glassblowing for their show, Gravity, in 2014.


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