Patience, love of color and an observing mind are the key ingredients of Ruth Shelley’s successful kilnformed glass art. For over 25 years, she has been exploring the flow of glass when heated and the reflection and refraction of light as it hits her glass objects. Dropped vessels create an interplay of light, form and color evocative of the natural-world characteristics experienced on the West Coast of Wales.
Camping in her van in Aberystwyth on Cardigan Bay, Shelley watched an impending storm develop. Its transitioning colors inspired the artist’s Stormy Seas collection. Cardigan Bay, an endless inspiration with its craggy cliffs, wide estuaries silted up with spits and bars, and the occasional island also impacted the artist’s Into the Deep series, which reflects the changing weather patterns and light experienced there on the coastal profile of Wales. A series was born from and named after a connection to Mwnt Beach, where the artist feels most at home and inextricably connected to the earth. Even during Covid lockdown, Roath Park in her hometown of Cardiff influenced Shelley’s Winter Lockdown Walk with its chromatic foliage.
Although coming from a background of textiles, Shelley has attended many masterclasses including those at North Lands Creative Glass, UK, and Bullseye Resource Center, Portland, Oregon, which enabled the realization of her ideas in kilnformed glass. She was presented with the Glass Sellers Award at the British Glass Biennale 2015 and won the People’s Prize from the Contemporary Glass Society in 2017. The recipient of many Welsh Arts Council awards, Shelley is a member of the Contemporary Glass Society and the Makers Guild of Wales. Her work can be seen in many UK galleries including London Glassblowing, Contemporary Applied Art and Albany Gallery in Cardiff, May 6 – 29, 2021 with Maggie Brown.
To find out more about Ruth Shelley’s work: https://vimeo.com/160445687