Mariana’s studio is behind her home in Hollybush, shared with her husband, Simon Watts, who has designed and built their earth-sheltered house. Mariana states “Our little hillside is a paradise to us, with all the birds, animals, trees and plants we enjoy every day. The natural world around our house inspires my work.
Texture is all-important in the plant world. I am constantly surprised by the individuality of leaves, flowers and stalks even within the same plant family.
I like to achieve this in my glass. There can be an element of surprise when you lift one of my pieces and run your hand over the surfaces – the top displays what I call a gentle roughness, like the delicate, almost furry softness of a leaf, then the underside is polished and glossy, like lacquer.”
The process of transforming plants into glass is complex; Mariana uses glass powders and artist’s brushes, and fire in her kiln several times until she achieves the desired details. Each piece is unique and can not be reproduced.
Mariana also makes splashbacks, wall tiles and decorative panels and wall lights. They are bespoke works of art but also very hard wearing and easy to keep clean.