Katharine Coleman studied engraving techniques with Peter Dreiser 1984-6 and was shortlisted for the Jerwood Applied Arts Prize 2003 (Glass), awarded an Honorary Mention Prize at the Coburg Glass Prize 2006 and the Glass Sellers inaugural prize for Engraving on Glass 2007. In 2009 Katharine was awarded an MBE for services to glass engraving. She engraves on clear lead crystal forms, overlaid with coloured glass, blown to her design. Once blown and annealed, the top surface of the glass is cut and polished to allow one to see inside the piece, which is then engraved. The engraved decoration reflects and refracts onto the inner surface, creating an illusion of one body floating inside another. The inspiration for her work ranges from natural history to the modern urban landscape.
‘For many years, I have been interested in the optical properties of glass and how engraving on the glass surface may produce unexpected and fascinating effects on and in the glass itself. I rely heavily on the skills of glassblowers Potter Morgan Glass to realise my designs in colour overlaid crystal and enjoy the challenge of joining hot glass design with cold working. Japanese art and design, the famous engravings of Ernst Haeckel and modern architecture have all informed the subject matter of my work, as has what the American philosopher Thomas Moore so eloquently described as “the beautiful ordinary”.’ – Katharine Coleman
Public collections include:
National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg, Germany; Alexander Tutsek, Munich; Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; Shipley Art Gallery; Kamenicky Senov, Czech Republic; Corning Museum of Glass, New York
In December 2015, The Gallery hosted All The Year Round, a solo exhibition from Katharine Coleman. Twelve new works in glass were specially created for this exhibition, one to represent each month of the year.