Visiting the LAF artists: Cathy Allen, jeweller

By Sally Pudney on 10th February 2016

Today I started visiting the artists who will be exhibiting at this year’s Lexden Arts Festival, and first up was Cathy Allen, who is a jeweller and lamp glass bead maker.

Cathy exhibited with us first in 2015, and I am looking forward to seeing what she will be exhibiting this year! She told me that she has invested in some new pieces of equipment, including a gas torch which heats to a much higher temperature. This means that she will be able to work using a different type of glass, which apparently is equivalent to Pyrex glass, but coloured, and with which all kinds of lovely effects can be achieved. Her exhibits this year will have a theme of spring violets and purples, and will incorporate lots of shiny glittery glass (rather than the matt effects she showed last year), as well as her trademark silver clasps, in necklaces, bracelets, and rings which are adjustable to fit most finger sizes. She showed me some lovely examples including a bracelet which had beautifully coloured barrel shapes sections all in shades of violet with a textured silver ring and bar fastening.

Cathy is very involved with the Suffolk Craft Society and Suffolk Open Studios, being on the committee of both and fulfilling various administrative roles within these groups. It made me realise how much work goes on behind the scenes to organise Open Studios and how lucky we are in the Colchester and Tendring area to have someone willing to undertake all of this.

To see examples of Cathy’s work, and find out more about her, check out her website at

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