Catherine Mahé Fused Glass Artist
Catherine is a fused glass artist who produces unique pieces in the most glorious colours from her garden studio in Altrincham. Catherine’s creative genius was first awakened on a visit to India about twenty years ago. The vibrant colours of the textiles, the spices and the decorations that Catherine experienced there made a lasting impression on her and her appreciation of colour. Catherine can still recall the striking effect of the pinks, oranges and gold worn by a group of Rajasthani women against the pure white marble of the Taj Mahal. Her love for mixing strong colours was further developed by a trip to Guatemala where she loved the bright colours that are used in repeated patterns in traditional textiles.
One of Catherine's beautiful bowls
These visual experiences are still reflected in the geometric shapes, repeated patterns, lines and vivid, often clashing, colours which are typical of Catherine’s work.
Catherine’s first creative venture after completing her travels was to teach herself to create colourful mosaics. As she became more proficient she began to introduce found objects like stones and coloured beads into her work. After becoming very interested in the work of Sonia King, the American artist who used glass in her mosaics, Catherine was inspired to make her own glass inserts. She googled ‘kiln’ and was soon the owner of a 30cm by 20cm kiln in which to fuse glass. Gradually Catherine’s fascination with the process of fusing sheets of coloured glass and moulding them into shapes overtook mosaic making and she began to focus on designing and making beautiful fused glass vessels and sculptures.
Catherine buys sheets of bullseye glass from America and fuses the sheets together in her kiln at temperature of up to 805 degrees centigrade. The glass is then cooled down slowly and ground and fire polished to produce a matte or shiny appearance as desired. Finally, it is slumped in a mould to make dishes, candle holders or one of Catherine’s many designs.
Catherine and a student in her garden studio
Catherine originally trained as a teacher and still teaches French at Withington Girls’ School. She uses this teaching experience to run glass fusing workshops in her studio. The one day courses are taught in small groups of four -with a minimum of three- so that every participant can receive personalised tuition and encouragement. The courses are very popular but Catherine has two courses with availability in June and August
Catherine takes commissions and her work is exhibited in galleries and other venues around the country. Her work will be exhibited at the Arc Contemporary Crafts Gallery in Chester and Leeds Craft Centre from April.
Watch out for Catherine and her work at the Little Northern Contemporary Craft Fair at Altrincham Town Hall on May 7th.
For more details of Catherine’s work and her courses please visit her website here .