Vessel Gallery London - Contemporary Art-Glass Sculpture and Decorative Art. Exhibitions, Sales and Commissions.

Heather Gillespie

1984, United Kingdom

Having gained her degree from Edinburgh college of Art in 2003, Gillespie then moved to Kamenicky Senov in the Czech Republic. She lived there for a year and studied the art of 16th-century copper wheel engraving, an archaic process that is no longer taught in the UK.

If one were to fuse the aesthetic of Art Deco motifs with Iceland’s volcanic landscape, the result would be Gillespie’s mesmerizing pieces. She applies her labour-intensive and precise deep cuts and patterns to hand blown glass vessels, bowls and lighting pieces, all unique and expertly handcrafted. The interaction of the material with light and the possibilities of optical illusion by means of her skilful cutting, lend themselves beautifully to her contemporary abstract imagery.

In the artist’s own words;

“Before creating a piece of glass, I produce a series of sketches and designs. Once the glass has been blown, I begin the process of cutting and polishing the glass to a high standard, ready for engraving.

I am primarily interested in the 16th century art of copper wheel engraving. Being self taught, I lived for a year in the remote village of Kamenicky Senov in the Czech Republic. I spent my time studying techniques, refining my skills and perfecting my craft. Copper wheel engraving is a satisfying and rewarding process but there are only a handful of engravers in the U.K. who are practicing this craft, producing exquisite work. The craft of copper wheel engraving is, unfortunately, no longer taught in any U.K. institute”

Gillespie has won many prizes, awards & grants including; 2nd prize in the David Peace Prize (2006) | Crafts Council Next Move scheme award (2007) | Arts Council Grant (2008) | Thomas Lyte Award (2011) | and most notably The Balvenie Master of Crafts (2012)

Her work can be seen in numerous public and private collections globally including a prestigious commission for Nokia. Gillespie’s work is in the permanent collection of the Kamenicky Senov Glass Museum.

Further information

Lighting & Artworks Catalogue

Artist portrait courtesy of the artist.