I discovered stained glass almost by accident.
I’ve always been a maker. As a child I’d spend hours on the dollshouse that my Grandfather built me, from decorating the walls with pictures from magazines to making furniture from matchboxes and accessories from toothpaste tube lids. But the opportunities to do any sort of arts subjects at my school were limited and I got pushed into the sciences, which I did very badly in.
Eventually I ended up at university doing English and Drama where I spent time studying in New Jersey and decided I wanted to be a Stage Manager. I trained at Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff and worked for 6 years primarily in theatre for young audiences – youth theatre, children’s theatre, theatre in education – which I still love today.
I wasn’t the best Stage Manager in the world! I was really good at the organisational side of the work, and at prop-making, but I’m too much of a panicker to be any good in the rehearsal room or running the show. So I took a sideways step and started running the education and learning departments of various theatres. I channelled my desire to make into various domestic crafts – sewing, knitting, decorating cakes etc.
20 years and two children later, I decided to treat myself by learning how to make mosaics properly. The course I had found was full so, not wanting to spend another year not doing things for me, I booked onto a stained glass course run by Naomi Brangwyn. I haven’t looked back since.
I find glass a fabulous medium to work with – I love the colours and the textures, and the way it changes with the light. I use the copper foil technique which is very process-heavy, but I make all my own designs and I usually incorporate pieces of seaglass that I pick up on local beaches.
I sell my work online and theough various local makers markets, including Fram Makers Market where I met Andy from Unruly Print, the face behind Makers Market from Home. I love the sense of community that markets bring, as well as the chance to talk to customers directly, and this one is no different. Bonkers, but it works!
Watch Hassina’s Midday Makers interview on MakersMarketFromHome IGTV.
Hassina’s work is also featured on: www.madeinsuffolk.org