Artist – Jill Matthew
Originally from Putaruru in the South Waikato, now residing in Cambridge with her husband and two children, Jill Matthew fell passionately in love with glass art during a two-year recovery from a serious illness. Until then, she had enjoyed a career in nursing, but having to learn to walk again gave her a ‘life’s too short’ moment, and she decided it was time to change her focus. Her interest in fused glass was born when, as a boredom buster during her recovery, she started off melting glass with a tiny microwave kiln, swiftly growing to two bigger kilns.
Jill works from her home studio in fused glass; a medium which is challenging and rewarding. Fused glass, is the heating of glass layers, powders, or shapes of glass in a kiln to many hundreds of degrees. The processes to produce one piece may involve several firings – many hours long each. She uses many techniques to make her pieces, and it is an involved process of assembling, multiple firings, then coldworking to a quality finish.
A few years on, Jill’s passion continues to grow. While still retaining and using her first “real” kiln, she now fuses in a very large glass kiln – Margo. She has work in outlets around NZ, has regular visits from a tour bus group, and has recently been featured in a book by New Zealand author Marilyn Jessen – Her Space: She Sheds, Back Rooms and the Kitchen Table.