Oriel Hicks takes inspiration from her Scillonian surroundings, whether it is the azure seas, the local flora and fauna or simply the clarity of the light. The glass manufacturers who make her raw materials restrict her palette, but her own imagination makes up for this in no small way. Her work develops in a creative curve, where one idea evolves and transforms into the next. Glass, and all its diverse possibilities, fuels her enthusiasm.
Oriel trained for five years at Reigate School of Art in Surrey, specialising in traditional stained glass techniques, mosaic design and glass fibre relief panels. Her windows can be seen in many of the local churches on the Isles of Scilly and she also designed and made two windows for the Little Harbour Children’s Hospice near St Austell.
She has simplicity of design which belies the work involved, using vivid coloured glass, whilst still letting full natural light fill the building. She had occupied her studio, Phoenix Stained Glass on St Mary’s, since 1991.
Shortly after the millennium, she invested in a fusing kiln which melts coloured sheet glass to make bowls, panels, sculptures and many smaller items. As this technology was not available in her student years, much of her work in this era is self-taught. She is constantly experimenting and pushing the boundaries of the material and this has enabled her art to retain great individuality.