Cathryn Shilling

1957, United Kingdom

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Cathryn Shilling began her arts career as a graphic designer but went on to study glass after moving to Connecticut with her family. On returning to the UK she studied kiln formed glass at Kensington and Chelsea College and blown glass with Peter Layton at the London Glassblowing Workshop. She set up studio in London in 2007 from where she has gone on to create a huge body and variety of work.

Shilling experiments with colour and technique to produce beautiful one off sculptures. Her innovative pieces push the glass beyond our usual comfort zones. With some sculptures, glass rods are woven together like fabric, mimicking the flexibility and movement of cloth. The apparent frailty of the glass is balanced by the strong dynamic forms, differing levels of light picking out layers of colour. With other works, bubbles are trapped in swathes of watery hues. Her colour palette and choice of forms are very much informed by the various natural states in which water is found: icebergs, waterfalls and whirlpools for example.

Shilling’s work is shown and represented in collections globally. She was winner of the V&A’s ‘Inspired By’ award for glass in 2009.