Turning wood and glass into works of art – Louise Durham

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Louise Durham creates driftwood and glass sculptures in a workshop at the edge of her garden in Shoreham-by-Sea, where she lives on a houseboat.

Louise Durham decided to choose driftwood and glass as her artistic medium while on a “meandering quest” of creative exploration. “Groin wood is really beautiful,” she says. The two of hers came together because there was wood in the garden, and it was obvious to me what to do. It’s about mixing colored light. ”

The driftwood acts as a natural frame for the colored glass, and Louise says that’s key to how the pieces are formed. “Ever since I started working with glass, I’ve been interested in glass framing. Good hardwood looks beautiful.”

Louise often lets the wood itself shape the shape of her pieces. “Sometimes wood suggests a certain shape or style of design.” But sometimes, while beachcombing, the concept inspires her to explore a particular shape or size. She says, “If I have an idea for the glass I want to make, I go find the right wood for it.”

Louise’s glass journey began about 10 years ago when she took a short evening course in Brighton. “Once I bought all the equipment, I set up a workbench next to my bed in my rented attic,” she fondly recalls. “I had a lot of fun alone time until the early hours of the morning, listening to music. I still feel the same feeling every time I walk into my workshop. The lights and music come on and everything starts to unravel.”

Louise qualified as an occupational therapist in 2000 and went on to become an artist after founding Moore Arts, a charity that provides creative workshops for people with mental health problems. Louise was born in Johannesburg, but she grew up in Surrey before moving to a houseboat in Shoreham, where she now works and has a workshop in her garden, which she says is her “inspirational” place. I sometimes teach one-on-one. “The wood I use is shaped by elements of the Sussex coast. Some are inlaid with barnacles and shingles and are literally part of Sussex. The light and beaches of Shoreham play a huge role in my work. It’s making an impact.”

When Louise receives a commission, she focuses on the client’s favorite colours, combinations and shapes. “I also always want to know where the piece is going. Do I need a stand or do I want to spike it into the ground? With a stand, you can take the piece inside, for example. She continued, “My work looks beautiful even when lit up at night. You don’t have to wait until the sun’s rays are perfectly aligned behind you. However, for me, it’s my work that holds the most magic.” This is the time when I am doing this.

In the past, Louise has exhibited as part of Brighton Festival, Adure Festival and last year was also part of the Louise Art Wave Festival. She is currently exhibiting her work at Sussex Prairie Gardens and is just about to have an exhibition at The Garden House in Brighton until next year. Her work will return to her prairie garden in Sussex from May to October next year.

For more information about Louise and her work, or to talk about commissions, please visit: www.louisevdurham.com or call 07969 387808. Louise Durham, 13B Riverside Road, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, BN43 5RB

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