Reading’s Award-Winning Kitchen Design Experts

Tina Easton working

The power of a statement splashback

At Elements Kitchens, we bring you inspiration and ideas which serve to bring out your unique personalities, bring your dream kitchens to life, and give your friends kitchen envy.

One way in which we do this is to work with local independent businesses and creatives. Tina Easton, a bespoke glassmaker based near Basingstoke, is one of these creatives. In the following article, we look at Tina’s background and some stories behind some of her glass splashback creations.

Tina Easton | Glass by Tina

I grew up in Sweden and moved to the UK in 1995, following my heart, as I had fallen in love with an Englishman, John. We live in a small village in Hampshire with our two teenage sons. We met when we were both working for IBM – I spent 30 years working in IT as a technical leader, providing technical support and managing technical support groups. People might assume I have left my technical background behind and ‘unleashed’ my creative side, but I actually think that in my role at IBM I was constantly having to be creative with my problem-solving … and working with glass is incredibly technical! So perhaps I like having a balance between being technical and creative, and I do thoroughly enjoy following design processes and working with clients to realise their vision.

I have always loved glass – in Sweden, blown glass items were always extremely popular – but it was when I was pregnant and on maternity leave with my second son (18 years ago) that I started to ‘play around’ with glass and glass fusing – a friend had been doing a course on stained glass and I decided to buy myself a little starter kiln, just 12x12cm, and to have a bit of fun with some of her offcuts. Well, that was it, I loved it and I have never looked back … and that little kiln is still going strong, although it has been joined by four rather bigger ones to suit the range and size of pieces that I work on now.

Let me talk about a few interesting glass splashbacks that I’ve made:

Examples of Tina’s glass splashbacks

Flower cup inspired splashback

This one started by a client showing me a mug she picked up in a charity shop and she then asked me if I could make a splashback based on the design… but make the background of mixed greens. I always offer to make clients as many 30cm x 30cm sample tiles as they’d like (at cost). This helps as one can then put the sample tile behind the cooker to get an idea of what the full-sized splashback would look like. I start with sheets of glass that I then break into shapes and stack to make a design before fusing it in a kiln where the layers are melted together. This gives you much more depth and movement in the finished splashback than you would ever get in one with a printed motif.

After giving my client the sample tile, she decided that a darker hue of mixed greens would pick up the racing green of her range cooker. At the end, I also shaped the sample tile into a platter so the client had a useful item and a good story as well.

Social seahorse series

This seahorse design was for a client in Cape Town, South Africa. It started as a digital sketch that I then hand drew and placed enamels on top in layers of clear glass. I then created a paste of powdered glass in different colours and dabbed those into the different sections of the seahorse. Lastly, I fired it all on top of a sheet of white glass in the kiln to integrate everything and create a smooth surface.

My next challenge was to get it the Cape Town in one piece! Fortunately, the very helpful flight crew on my flight allowed me to take it onboard as a carry-on and they found space in a cupboard, so we both made it there.

I posted about this splashback on social media, and was then contacted by another client, in England. She wanted a splashback with that sort of seahorse, but maybe three as her splashback needed to be much wider. She also wanted a mottled background. As you can see in the image, I created three seahorses with slightly different sizes and positions, so they don’t look like exact copies of each other. As an extra touch, the glass paint between the layers creates some small bubbles that help to give an under-the-sea appearance.

Curved meadow splashback

This splashback was taking inspiration from the fields surrounding the cottage with a sparkle in the butterfly as a jewel in the picture. The shape of the top of the splashback also follows the curved shape of the extractor fan, which shows that a variety of shapes and even cut outs are possible with bespoke designs.

There are so many ways in which your kitchen can be designed to give it a personal feel and help support local creators and businesses at the same time.

If you’d like to explore the options available to you, then we’d love to invite you to the showroom to discuss your dream kitchen in a free consultation with one of our kitchen design experts.

For a free consultation call us on 0118 959 9919 or you can email us at [email protected].

You can find out more about Tina by looking at her website Glass by Tina.

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