Glass Reflections
Cambridge 7th to 9th September

Presenting Author:
Mel Howse

article posted 20 Apr 2015

Mel Howse

Mel Howse is a British glass artist, designer and maker of public art commissions, and primarily in the mediums of glass and metal. Mel's portfolio embraces art that is integral to exterior and interior architecture, and the sense of place. Her design style is progressive, innovative, and intentionally utilises contemporary industrial techniques.

During the last decade she has been creating her work in factory environments, aiming to take part in her work as a designer and maker despite scale ? and enabling her to continually re-evaluate her experience of the materials.

Mel became a Queen Elizabeth Scholar for her contemporary work with enamels, and in 2013 became the first winner of the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust's Award for Excellence.

She has over 20 years' professional experience and has undertaken a huge range of commissions in the UK including most notably: the 500sqm art glass fašade for retailer J Sainsbury's in central Milton Keynes; carved glass doors at St Nicholas Arundel, securing a Sussex Heritage Award; creation of The Art Bath in cast iron and fired enamel; and recently public art for the developer Affinity Sutton and architect Conran & Partners, which forms part of the fašade to their mixed use development near Brighton.

Creative Industrial Vitreous Enamels

Mel Howse
Vitreous Art Ltd, PO Box 642, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 9HT

Industrial enamels have presented creative opportunities to explore opacity and transparency using fired industrial vitreous enamels on float glass on steel. These factory processes have made working decoratively over large areas practicable and artistically progressive; using light, colour and texture.

The decorative use of enamels on a large scale within the architectural environment enhances our experience of our surroundings; each responding to temporal light conditions and to diverse functionality, including the need for durability.

Art in glass has long responded to developments in architecture. Some of the most symbiotic, creative and contemporary glass pieces harness the light within the body of the art. The physicality of the vitreous surface, as well as the totality of creative design, contributes to the behaviour of the host material.

I have spent most of the last decade designing and working with industrial glass manufacturing processes.

I will show some of the enamelled surfaces I have created, from the commercial fašade, through doorways, and into the bathroom.