From Dreya’s studio in Newquay, the crashing Atlantic surf and its changing moods are at the core of Dreya's inspiration. Having studied Architectural Stained Glass at university, Dreya’s adoration for the ocean led her to become a professional, world record holding kite surfer. Deciding to change her career path to be slightly more land based, Dreya returned to her first love, art. Now as one of Cornwall’s most prominent artists, Dreya has created her own trademark language in glass, through colourful, eye-catching pieces that focus on the ever-changing sea and nature.
What made you decide to start Dreya Glass, and what's the inspiration behind it?
Quite simply the inspiration is that I love glass work and wanted to create art. I studied architectural stained glass at university and always wanted to get back to my glass work, so I started experimenting with glass fusing with a small kiln in my garage. The small kiln is still in the corner of my studio but I have a BIG kiln now, which enables me to make pieces up to 120cm x 95cm in size!
What did you do before creating Dreya Glass?
Gosh, many things! From wing walking to professional kite surfing, where I set a world record kiting from Watergate Bay to Dungarven in Ireland. Immediately before that, I ran the shop at Lusty Glaze beach.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Everywhere! Daily things I just see, others artist’s work but mainly the coastline and the ocean. I also love to experiment with new techniques and they often speak and suggest ideas to me, which aren’t always coastal themed. For instance, I’m working on a cityscape range at the moment.
What have been the biggest challenges/achievements, or your favourite story on your journey so far?
Taking the fist step! I suggested to my poor, wonderful husband that we sell our house and buy a plot without planning, give up the shop on the beach and move in to my parents while we build a house and I start a new business. My poor parents too, I totally took over their garage until the studio was built!
How would you describe Dreya Glass in three words?
Gosh to me its, reflections, that is what made my heart beat when I first picked up a coloured piece of glass and saw the refection it cast on the wall.
Coastal, its what inspires me and glass is the perfect medium to represent water, it's transparent, you can look at it or through it, it reflects light in a similar way and it is actually a fluid!
And love. I love what I do, from the process of designing, through to making something physical. The fact that people are willing to pay money for my creations is a source of daily wonder and I’m very, very grateful.
What is your connection to Cornwall?
Its simply where I grew up, it created who I am. I was born in Africa and often think what I’d have done, or who I would’ve of become, if my parents had chosen to move back to say Birmingham or London.
Do you have a special spot in Cornwall that inspires you?
Watergate Bay. I spent my teenage years there, I learnt to surf and kite surf there, started my first business there too, the Kiteschool. It was the end of my kites surfing crossing from the Isles of Scilly and the start my crossing to Ireland. We also got married at Watergate!
What's next / any exciting plans?
I am hoping to open a small gallery in Newquay at the end of March. It’s a huge step and a big commitment.
Shop Dreya glass here.