I grew up in Sweden and moved to the UK in 1995, following my heart, as I had fallen in love with an Englishman, John. We live in a small village in Hampshire with our two teenage sons. We met when we were both working for IBM – I spent 30 years working in IT as a technical leader, providing technical support and managing technical support groups.
People might assume I have left my technical background behind and ‘unleashed’ my creative side, but I actually think that in my role at IBM I was constantly having to be creative with my problem-solving … and working with glass is incredibly technical! So perhaps I like having a balance between being technical and creative, and I do thoroughly enjoy following design processes and working with clients to realise their vision.
I have always loved glass – in Sweden, blown glass ornaments were always extremely popular – but it was when I was pregnant and on maternity leave with my second son that I started to ‘play around’ with glass and glass fusing – a friend had been doing a course on stained glass and I decided to buy myself a little starter kiln, just 12x12cm, and to have a bit of fun with some of her offcuts. Well, that was it, I loved it and I have never looked back … and that little kiln is still going strong, although it has been joined by two rather bigger ones to suit the range and size of pieces that I work on now.
Much of my glass work takes inspiration from my childhood and young adulthood on the West Coast of Sweden, from roaring seascapes and plentiful marine life to the World Heritage site of Tanum and its fantastic rock carvings. I find it interesting how my Swedish upbringing and surroundings express themselves in my art, looking back to childhood memories, but that it is also influenced by current experiences and the beautiful Hampshire countryside around me.
My background in the corporate world means I am used to working on projects and specifications and I am very client-focused – so I work in a structured manner, keeping you updated on the progress as well as keeping to deadlines! For larger items such as splashbacks or shower walls I generally suggest doing a 30x30cm ‘test tile’ first so that you really see what the final piece will look like. And, for some projects, it is a good idea to create a mood board, to see what will work best where the piece will be going and – for an indoor space – with the existing furnishings and décor, as well as understanding where the light, both natural and electric, comes into the room. I really enjoy working with people and seeing how my glass art can reflect (excuse the pun!) their personality and style.