Sarah Quick is our Exhibitor of the Month for September. Lots of you will know Sarah from her fantastic fused glass and textile work. And, of course, from her very popular workshops!
Where were you born? How long have you lived in North Somerset?
I was born in Weston and lived here until I got married when I moved to London and then to Swindon, I moved back to Weston with my daughters, Hannah and Charlotte, in 1993 and have lived here ever since.
Were you ‘crafty’ as a child? Can you tell us about something you made? Do you still have it?
I’ve always enjoyed making things and my grandma taught me to knit and crochet when I was young and my mum taught me to use her sewing machine to make clothes. I don’t think I still have any thing I made as a child but my mum kept Christmas decorations I made for many years past their best to put on the Christmas tree!
Do you have any formal training in your crafts?
I started my training in fused glass at Nailsea when Weston College ran adult education classes there. I started with stained glass but the class after us was fused glass and the teacher used to bring the trolley of their finished work in and it always looked good, so the next year I started the fused glass course and continued for 4 years until all the adult education classes were stopped.
Do you have a studio/office/workroom? Is it clean and tidy or a bit of a mess and muddle?
My workspace is my kitchen table and I usually end up with nearly all my glass supplies all over the table while I’m working in a tiny space. I only tidy everything away when I’ve got visitors coming and my daughters have learned that if you don’t want glass in your feet then always have something on them in the kitchen! I always work with either the TV or radio on as I can’t stand the house being quiet.
Your designs are often bright and colourful. Is that reflected in the decoration of your home?
Although I love to use bright colours in my glass my house is quite neutral with splashes of colour in the curtains, cushions etc. and I do like my house to be tidy (unlike when I work).
As well as your beautiful glass work, you also have your needle-felting hat… are there particular times/seasons/moods when you choose to do one or the other?
I do like to make my fused glass all year round, but I find my felt making happens randomly when I’m in the mood as it can take a long time and a lot of messy soap and water to make a piece, this means that I need a whole day free to felt make, and this doesn’t happen very often. I’m a member of the International Feltmakers Association and our region meets in Clevedon every six weeks for a day of feltmaking, learning new techniques and cake eating!
Your workshops are always so popular – selling out months in advance, what’s the best part of these for you as a tutor?
I’m lucky that my glass workshops are busy and for me the best part is meeting all the people who take part (some people return many times for different workshops), and seeing how pleased people are that they can produce a really good piece even if they think they are not creative.
Is there another craft/art that you’d like to have a go at?
I have always wanted to be able to paint, and Dad and I went to some evening classes for a while but we were never going to be able to paint a masterpiece but it is a skill I always wished I had.
What other jobs do you have/have you had?
I have lots of different office jobs working for local authorities and Thames Water before I had my children, but for the last 22 years I have owned and managed a pre-school nursery which I love (apart from all the paperwork), no two days are ever the same and I love seeing the children grow in confidence and learn through their play.
Can you tell us your favourite Artist (in any medium), musician, TV programme, book, place, colour and food?
My favourite glass artist has to be Chihuly and I have been lucky enough to see some of his large installations. I’m not a huge music fan but have always like Simply Red. One of my favourite TV programmes is the Big Bang Theory and my guilty watch is Neighbours and is the only soap I watch. I loved Hong Kong for the mix of people and cultures, and have just returned from Krakow and I would recommend anyone to visit as everyone was so friendly and the sights and buildings were amazing. My favourite colour(s) are all shades of blue, as my glass pieces show and my last meal would be a baked goat’s cheese starter, chilli con carne and anything chocolate to finish, all washed down with some Champagne!
Thank you, Sarah, for that insight into your busy life! If you’d like to see more of Sarah’s work, including new work created especially for this month’s exhibition, do have a look at the window display.
If you can’t get to Nailsea, there is a big selection of Sarah’s work available in our online shop. Click on text to follow the link.