Cornish glass artist captures the world in colour
Julia Mills’ intricate and captivating works in the medium of glass have become well-recognised examples of a jubilant and colourful response to Cornwall’s natural beauty. Each carefully hand-made piece harnesses the astounding natural light of the peninsula, incorporating dynamic abstract forms alongside shapes from nature and the seashore.
Julia first found inspiration in Cornwall in 1999 and has lived and worked in the far-west ever since. Having spent many years building a loyal following in her galleries, first in the foodie-haven that is Porthleven and most recently in Mousehole, a picturesque fishing village close to Penzance, Julia will be operating from a large, purpose-built studio at her home from January 2014, in order to concentrate on bespoke commissions.
Julia is excited about this new phase. “My work has been developing in fresh and exhilarating directions for a while now and, as much as I love being in the gallery, it feels like the right time to dedicate myself to ambitious new projects. I am looking forward to working closely with clients, architects and designers on new commissions over the next few months.”
From her home perched above the busy fishing port of Newlyn, Julia finds inspiration in the ephemeral light of the coast. “I love walking along the seashore,” she explained, “a lot of my inspiration comes from the constantly shifting interface between land and sea. Working on large-scale pieces for private homes and commercial clients such as restaurants will give me more freedom to create unique work in response to my surroundings.”
Using the highest quality handmade glass sourced from around the world and enlivened by natural lines, tiny bubbles and intricate textures, Julia creates contemporary artworks full of colour and movement. She works with the techniques of acid-etching and sand blasting to manipulate and craft light as it falls onto the glass, experimenting with translucence, colour combinations and organic forms. Larger pieces incorporating lead-work made with the help of Julia’s colleague and fellow artist Heather Frary. Each piece transforms its surroundings with multi-faceted, colourful highlights and mesmerising reflections.
Recent commissions include wooden-framed wall pieces with unique designs, round ‘pilchard barrel’ windows, internal door panels and external glass features. Julia’s work featured in a recent prestigious development at Rock in North Cornwall, which has since been described as the fourth most expensive property in the world.
With more scope for individual projects, clients will now be able to visit Julia in her studio to discuss their own bespoke piece of glass art. Avid fans of Julia’s work will still be able to purchase smaller pieces via her website or at various popular galleries including The Lighthouse (Penzance), The Square Gallery (St. Mawes), Sandpiper Gallery (Mousehole) and the Cornwall Crafts Assosiation Galleries at Trelissick and Trelowarren.
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