Wednesday, October 17, 2012

{FEATURED DESIGNER} Simone McCluskie - A Touch of Glass

A Touch of Glass is a fun play on words; it's a great name for an even greater online store and local designer.  Simone McCluskie is the brains behind A Touch of Glass, a Brisbane based business that specialises in, yes, you guessed it, glasswares!  These beautiful creations are like nothing you've ever seen before.  Simone confesses that she "very rarely [has a] set design in mind" before starting - which is incredible to me.  One of the things that attracts me to handmade and those who create is the idea of making something wonderful from nothing, and Simone does just that.  So sit back, take 5 minutes to yourself and be inspired by Simone's story.

<3 Amanda 

How would you describe your work?
I’m told my glass has a retro look about which would make sense as I’m very into the 60’s mod culture, but don’t intentionally set out to have that look.
I work free hand, very rarely having a set design in my head before I start. I just stand at my table, look at the colours of the glass in front of me and go from there. Sometimes a design may spring out of a piece of glass that cut incorrectly in the first place (that happens a lot) and that will then inspire a design.
All my pieces are unique, but I will make similar pieces in the clear range but even these will never be the same as I don’t measure strips or keep patterns.

How did your Etsy shop come into being?
I discovered Etsy from a work friend who is from the US and was then reintroduced to it by Brisstyle. When I joined you needed to have an Etsy shop. I think it’s a great site for getting a wide audience to see your work and I have a lot of US fans. I have only had half a dozen or so sales on Etsy, I guess because the shipping is costly but I have shipped to the US and received orders from the US to send to family in Australia.

Who or What inspires you?
I am inspired by the colours of the glass I use and as mentioned earlier I love retro styles. I also obtain inspiration my from little group of Brisstyle buddies as we all have the same highs and lows and it’s great to have that network of friends that really understand.

Do you ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ as part of your creative process?  If yes, how is your art / craft eco-friendly?
I have been known to remove glass window panes from recycle bins in the past but don’t tell the council.  People get very upset if something of mine breaks at the market but because of the nature of my work I can just re melt it and start again.  I plan to experiment with Pot Melts in the future which is putting lots of scraps together and see what happens when it all drips down and melts together. You do need to be very careful though as Glass is very snobby, it will only mix with it’s own type of glass.
Another recycle plan I have for the future is my husband beer bottles as an awful lot of those go in the bin each week and I feel this is an untapped source of material I am missing out on. I don’t plan to do the flattened bottles that are at most markets but you will need to watch this space to see what does transpire.

Can you describe your studio / work area? (you can provide a  pic for inclusion on blog if you wish.)
My studio used to be our dining table (not very Health and Safety compliant) it them moved onto a table tennis table (kids weren’t happy with this set up) so my husband has made me a table in our garage. The only problem is he’s made it for his height and not mine so I have to stand on a block of wood to work. It’s not very glamorous and the lighting sucks but it does for now. 

What is your favorite thing in the shop at the moment?
I love my new Union Jack platter mainly because it worked! When I first fused it, it spread to far and dripped over the edge of my shelf. I needed to cut the edges off and re fuse it. I then thought it was going to be too big for the mold but it has worked and I’m very happy with it.
I have a second favourite which is a candle holder that never made it into the shop. This was originally made out of left over strips, just playing really  but turned out like a piece of beautiful coral.

Do you have any other places that people can view/purchase your work? 
Online Store
Twitter @simonemccluskie


Hot Fudge said...

What a talent and what stunning creations. They would go to the top of my Christmas list.

Tote said...

Very nice design of glass. I like it very much.