Pearly's Glass Art

Some of Pearly's stained-glass crafts in
this year's Christmas collection
In my recent visit to the UK, I noticed that my sister Pearly’s home in Chinnor, a village close to Thame in Oxfordshire, was decorated with a larger collection of her glass art.  The house is situated in a cul-de-sac and because her stained-glass art displayed against the glass wall of the upstairs landing is like her calling-card, visitors will have no trouble in locating her!

Almost everywhere I turned, there was a piece or two of her glass art.  On the mantelpiece above the fireplace, the window sill, the upstairs landing and hanging on the walls of the conservatory where plenty of sunshine shone through the stained glass pieces.  The rear wall of the conservatory is adorned by a mobile hung with a variety of smaller sun-catchers that showed off her versatile designs.  In every room, there was some decorative ornament that Pearly created in her signature stained-glass style and I particularly enjoyed the vase shaped design that she hung against a mirror because its reflection added to the beauty and charm of that particular piece!

A vase shaped design hung against a mirror!
Every year, Pearly comes up with a new range of designs to add to the popular pieces for sale at summer fairs and Christmas bazaars.  With the help of her son and his friends, they would set up stall for Pearly to display her stained-glass crafts.  As most people are seeking unique knick-knacks for gifts and mementoes, her products are always sold out!

Customers who are curious about the craft often chat with her about it and Pearly is happy to tell them how she started on this hobby which turned out to be a small industry in her own backyard.  As her products gained popularity, she is generous with her knowledge and also offers to teach this craft in day workshops.  This is by appointment only for small groups and a minimum of two people.  Such hands-on learning sessions are personalized to suit the individuals who are encouraged to work on designs that mean something special to them.

A letter rack with a stained-glass design

Pearly also welcomes commissioned work that is tailored to the customer’s requirement.  She told me about a lady who wanted a unique piece of artwork created to present to her husband for their wedding anniversary.  With a clear understanding of what is meaningful for this couple, Pearly created a piece of stained-glass artwork that totally pleased the customer!

I’m not surprised that Pearly was able to meet the customer’s requirement because – unlike some of us (ahem!) – she is naturally gifted in art and crafts!  I remember growing up as teenagers – when girls were going crazy over pop stars, collecting and putting up poster pin-ups – Pearly, our middle sister, borrowed the portraits and used 2B pencils to sketch them out on drawing block paper!  The sketches turned out to resemble the pop stars quite accurately – especially the areas around the eyes…

Stained-glass sun-catchers hung in a mobile
on the rear wall of the conservatory
In the early years when she was doing stained-glass craft as a hobby, Pearly presented me with two small sun-catchers that were specially made for me.  The design of the bigger piece was a view of the horizon with the sun shining overhead that she said was a wish for me to reach greater heights of achievement in my writing career.  In line with the Christmas season, the other piece was a design of a little angel.

Her suitcase must have been very carefully packed because she came home for holidays with these precious glass gifts.  Our parents also received two beautiful pieces that are now proudly displayed in a place of honour in our home.  Others who received her stained-glass crafts may be looking at them differently now as she is developing her art with new and contemporary designs. 

During our recent stay in the UK, Pearly told us that she was going to attend the wedding of her god-son in the coming weekend.  One of her gifts to the newly-weds was a custom-designed painted glass jar and while we sat around chit-chatting, she grabbed her paint and brushes and started on the outlines of her design.  I watched in fascination as her hand moved with steady confidence and a swirly design took shape. 

That jar Pearly painted for collection of tips
still in use at the Village Centre Coffee Shop
On the day before our departure, Pearly gave us a treat of a typical English lunch in the Village Centre Coffee Shop where she used to volunteer some years ago.  On the counter, the glass jar that she designed for the collection of tips – was still in use there!

Before we left for home, our elder sister Ruby and I accompanied Pearly to the stained glass supplier’s shop in a nearby town where she shopped for a variety of colours that she planned to use for her next batch of designs.  These raw materials were put to good use and she turned them into pretty designs for sale this Christmas season.  

These are probably displayed in some homes in the UK or elsewhere (where they were presented as gifts!) because I learnt that they have all been sold out!  For more info and designs, visit Facebook page for Pearly’s Stained-Glass Craft.

A scene that Pearly designed with stained-glass
A design that features a variety of sea shells

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