Artist Rena Holford was one of the very first people I met when I moved to the North East of England in the late 1970's.
We were in our teens. We both worked in fashion, both modelled and a few years later we pursued different careers in the decorative arts. I stencilled, she did faux painting. We both appeared on television programmes showing how to transform homes with paint and imagination. We were brought together occasionally to present live shows about the decorative arts. Rena is now a world renowned glass artist and our paths crossed again at a recent meeting for The Art Tour. I have mentioned Art Tour before, it is an open studio event across Northumberland. Over the years I have followed her career with interest she has been involved in some interesting, varied and high profile projects
Rena's glass art is based on images from cave paintings and of her own horses, she creates equine figures in kiln formed glass which are given colour and texture using various techniques. She sculpts other animals too but her passion is horses.
When her daughter's beloved horse Silver died Rena created a glass portrait which incorporated the animal's cremation ashes. She has made similar artworks for other bereaved animal lovers. Rena uses photographs to get the likeness of the animal then adds the ashes which glisten and glow when fired into the glass.
Rena's studio, Hagg Hill Glass is open this weekend and next. Her work is shown at various galleries and venues, visit her site for details of them.
Rena is an accomplished horse woman with a riding centre and livery business which is run with her family. She tells me that she has bought some 'quiet' horses so that riders that have lapsed through lack of confidence (me) can regain their nerve. I could be tempted.