Hi, my name is Emily Johnston and my business, Emily Johnston Glass was established back in 2012. I work with cold glass, which is cut to the desired shapes and forms and then fused together carefully in controlled heat. My favourite type of glass to use is Dichroic, which means literally, two colours. This is the stuff that changes colour in different lights, and makes each piece so different from the last.
I started my pieces through working in a workshop as part of my job was to find ways to recycle and reuse broken and scrap pieces of glass. One idea would turn into another, and people were asking me to make certain things for them, which evolved into the hearts, stars and jewellery that I make today.
All my processes have been a work in progress, and what I wasn’t taught in my workshop job, has been (mostly painstakingly!) self taught! I use a lot of trial and error, and I prefer a hands on approach as opposed to a planned one.
My work is an extension of me- I love to use colour in my work, as more often than not, I don’t wear much of it! My jewellery started off as a simple way for me to add some colour to my outfits, and glass is amazing for doing this. I also have a love of unique and affordable artworks that fight the mass produced!
I love the countryside, and there are many places in and around Somerset that inspire me. Waterside and field wildflowers in particular draw me in, and I try to show this alongside my love of abstract colours and patterns. Occasionally I like to counteract the abstract with some controlled geometric patterns! But mostly I like the random colours and patterns that glass can produce by itself. It’s a layered medium, that you can add lots of detail into, and I like things that have something new in each time you look at it.
Living so close to the peace of the countryside, yet a stone’s throw from the chaos of towns and cities is amazing. It gives me the freedom to be in the middle of the buzz of people, or the chance to escape civilization for a few hours. This definitely influences the way that I work, as working with glass can be peaceful and calculated, or manic and challenging! I love to look at the architecture in Bristol, and the street art has definitely impacted the colours I use in pieces.
To date, the best thing about my art career has been the liberation of working for myself, teaching myself new things and developing a new perspective on how I look at everyday objects and problems. Looking to the future, I’m moving slightly further down south, and taking in and being inspired by even more of the beautiful South West.