A Shropshire artist is celebrating after reaching the regional finals of the Rural Business Awards.
Jill Bagnall, who owns Fusing Ideas Glass based at Worthen, near Shrewsbury, is the Midlands finalist for the Best Rural Creative, Artisan or Crafts Business.
Mrs Bagnall, who launched her business four years ago after learning to fuse glass eight years earlier.
Mrs Bagnall’s artistic talents started with garden design before she moved into fusing glass which has seen her create a wide variety of handmade products from bespoke coasters and ‘tableware’ to unique pieces of art glass including her popular tapestry glass pieces.
Fusing Ideas Glass exhibits at contemporary craft events and art fairs across the region and beyond.
“I have always loved craftworking; particularly hands-on crafts.
“Glass fusing was originally just another craft I tried. I soon followed up with more advanced workshops and was smitten. Glass is surprisingly tactile and the colours are mouth-watering.
“Now I host my own creative glass workshops at my studio. Many people have come to me for their first experience and enjoyed it so much they have returned to learn more and to make bigger pieces.
“Creating is an amazing form of therapy.
“As children we play creatively throughout our childhood but as adults we forget to take time to play and relax – time for ourselves is so important – and with our busy family and working lives we don’t always get that chance.
“I attract all sorts of people to my workshops. Small groups of friends, mother and daughter bookings, couples – people really do find it an escapism and therapeutic.
“Although you are playing and it sounds trivial, your mind is totally absorbed so you forget about the stressful things of life for a while at least.
“I’ve recently started running workshops for youngsters too, using pre-treated glass.
“I sometimes describe it as ‘fuzzy felt’ with glass. Children enjoy it and make lovely picture tiles.”
Mrs Bagnall added: “I’m looking forward to celebrating with the other Shropshire-based finalists – Shropshire is a very creative, talented county and this is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate our rural businesses.”
The awards attracted thousands of entries from rural businesses across the UK. Midlands Finalists will attend the ceremony in Nottingham on October 4th.