I love all types of glass art, but it is glass fusing that has captured my heart and imagination. I love how glass is such a constructive medium to work with; how I am able to transform sheet glass into wonderfully tactile and aesthetic artworks.
I am inspired by the qualities of glass, the way it can be either transparent or opalescent in nature, or both; and how heating these types of glass in a kiln generates depth and interest in a finished piece. I have recently begun working with reclaimed glass also, to rescue glass from landfill and give it new life, is a joy.
I love what I do, my favourite part is opening the kiln, sometimes after days of waiting. That moment, when I find out how the glass has melted, and if it's behaved how I engineered it to, is always a thrill.
“Believe you can, and you're halfway there” – Theodore Roosevelt
Originally from Putaruru in the South Waikato, now residing in Cambridge with her husband and two children, Jill Matthew fell passionately in love with glass art during a two-year recovery from a serious illness. Until then, she had enjoyed a career in nursing, but having to learn to walk again gave her a 'life's too short' moment, and she decided it was time to change her focus.
Her interest in fused glass was born when, as a boredom buster during her recovery, she started off melting glass with a tiny microwave kiln, swiftly growing to two bigger kilns.
Jill works from her home studio in fused glass; a medium which is both challenging and rewarding. Fused glass, is the heating of glass layers, powders, or shapes of glass in a kiln to many hundreds of degrees. The processes to produce one piece may involve several firings - many hours long each. She uses many techniques to make her pieces, and it is an involved process of designing, cutting, assembling, multiple firings, then coldworking to a quality finish.
A few years on, Jill’s passion continues to grow. While still retaining and using her first “real” kiln, Fawkes, she now fuses in a very large glass kiln - 'Margo'. She has work in outlets around NZ, and has been featured in a book by New Zealand author Marilyn Jessen – ‘Her Space: She Sheds, Back Rooms and the Kitchen Table’.
"Love Jill’s work! It inspires joy. Such a range of price points to choose from. Love my rainbow and stars. Thinking the trinket dishes are next."
Fiona, Cambridge, NZ