A researcher at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is creating a pioneering way to incorporate holograms into her glass sculptures to produce truly groundbreaking works of art.
Charlotte Wilkinson’s creations have already been recognised at the British Craft Trade Fair, the biggest of its kind in the UK, where she was named Craft and Design Magazine’s ‘Best Newcomer’.
The award cited Charlotte’s innovative work with holograms as well as the overall quality of her craftsmanship, the presentation of her work and her business acumen.
The Design Crafts graduate said: “I am really, really flattered to have received the award. I honestly could not believe it. It gives you a huge confidence boost to know that your new work is being recognised and the public are responding to it.”
Charlotte is studying holography and glass blowing for her PhD at DMU with the aim of mastering exciting new ways to take holograms into the crafts industry.
Her area of research is the effect of hot and cold glass processes on the holographic image. This is because holograms are usually created on flat sheets of glass and Charlotte’s challenge is to develop existing techniques to create holograms on curved surfaces.
She will be designing and making sculptural glass pieces and jewellery that have holograms coated on the interior and exterior surfaces.
She said: “It is very hard work and I am only just starting to get my head around it. The more I research the more fascinating it is. I find the whole thing quite incredible.”
Charlotte is currently a member of the Imaging & Displays Research Group, now part of the Leicester Media School in the Faculty of Technology.
Her supervisor, Professor Martin Richardson, a world-renowned expert in holography, said: “I am delighted Charlotte has been recognised with this major award. It provides evidence that technology and art can be successfully integrated through research.”
Charlotte has had connections with DMU since she took her Art and Design (Foundation Studies) at the university in 2010 and says she ‘fell into’ the world of glass blowing.
She explained: “I came to DMU because of the workshops. I always liked to be very hands on. I was originally going to study Fine Art but discovered Design Crafts meant me doing more work in those workshops.
“Then in my second year I met Jill Ellinsworth, who was the technical instructor on the course. She was so passionate it made me excited to be there. Her fantastic support and the teaching she gave us made me fall in love with the subject.”
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After completing her degree Charlotte returned as an artist in residence at DMU and then began her PhD.
Charlotte studies for her PhD part-time – it will take another four years to complete – as she also runs her own business called Charlotte Wilkinson Glass.
“The business is going well,” said Charlotte. “I started running it full-time last February. It is quite scary becoming self-employed for the first time but winning awards really reminds you why you did it.”
You can view and buy Charlotte’s works by visiting www.charlottewilkinsonglass.com.
Posted on Thursday 10th May 2018