Meet Ruth Shelley

Ruth Shelley grew up in a mountainous area of Mid Wales, where she was surrounded by inspiring landscapes. She studied Woven Textiles at the Dyfed College of Art, after which she started her own textile business. She moved to glass after a period spent exploring India and South-East Asia researching colour and textiles. 

Ruth won the Glass Sellers Award at the British Glass Biennale in 2015 and featured there again in 2017. She exhibits widely nationally and internationally and has been awarded several Training and Project Grants by the Welsh Arts Council.

About The Work

Ruth specialises in kilnformed gravity-dropped vessels. She cuts multiple strips of glass, arranging them in complex layers and patterns which are fused into a flat sheet. The sheet is then suspended in a kiln on an open mould. Through controlled heat the glass becomes fluid and gravity stretches it to the floor of the kiln. It is then cut, polished and sandblasted to produce the finished vessel.

Having always passionately loved travelling, often on a motorbike, Ruth enjoys the exposure to new sources of inspiration which ignite her imagination as she observes the interplay of light, form and colour within the surrounding natural world. This evocative imagery is transformed in her artwork where her layering of transparent and opaque colours seeks to ensure her vessels are as true to nature as possible. The vessels are a travel log of memories; a synergy of observation and emotion.