Nathalie’s journey into stained glass began back in 1995 when after practising Fine Art in France and working as a guide in both the Musée d’Orsay and the Modern Art Museum of the Pompidou Centre in Paris she moved to the United Kingdom to study stained glass art in Swansea and later in Wrexham.
She moved to Shropshire in 1998 after finishing her studies and being presented with a two-year Journeyman’s Award from the Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass. As part of the award she acquired a fully equipped stained glass workshop at Coalport China Museum, Ironbridge and was mentored by Alfred Fisher. She also received a grant to start a business as a Stained Glass artist and artisan; which is how Couleurlive began, although it was named differently then.
Between the years of 2003 and 2009 Nathalie took a break from her work for health reasons and during this time channelled her creativity into writing and storytelling and spent a great deal of time at her allotment. She continues to write stories and considers Stained Glass a form of storytelling on behalf of the clients and colleagues she works with.
In 2018 when thinking of how to mark the 20th Anniversary of her studio one of Nathalie’s priorities was to celebrate the many hours spent at her allotment and the vital part this played in her healing process. This led her to start the project ARTYchoke; a series of square Stained Glass cartoon designs that celebrate the beauty of home-grown crops created using photographs Nathalie had taken of her own crops from her allotment. She has completed one commission, two series of designs and is working on a third series. Nathalie is planning more exhibitions of the cartoon designs after displaying some at The GreenHouse Café and The River View café in St Mary’s, Shrewsbury.
2019 saw the completion of her Arts Council England funded project Marga & Collections; a permanent artwork inspired by Margaret Agnes Rope and Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery’s ‘Hall of Rocks & Minerals’ collection. The project was delivered in collaboration with the Museum and KAE films, who captured the whole process from the story of creation, through to the design, workshop activities, talks, tours and demonstrations and the making of the artwork itself. The window is on permanent display at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery.
Following the 20th anniversary of her studio, Nathalie set herself the goal of expanding her teaching offering and in the past few years she has done just that: she started to deliver them more frequently and with more structure, invested in more equipment and made infrastructural improvements to her studio to accommodate more people.
When the Covid-19 outbreak happened, with support from Arts Council England, she quickly adapted by launching an online shop and delivering Online Mentoring in Stained Glass Crafting and offers this in both French and English. She also made use of the slower pace and dedicated time to improving her Stained Glass Painting Courses, making essential improvements to her studio and focusing on new and ongoing commissions and event planning.
Summer 2021 has been an exciting time for Couleurlive; in June Nathalie was delighted to take part in the very first Glass Festival at St Mary’s Church in Shrewsbury as part of the Shrewsbury Arts Trail. Where she exhibited her work and gave talks about Stained Glass painting to visitors of the festival. Here, she met Alex Whiteley of the Shrewsbury Biscuit Podcast who she later welcomed to her studio to chat about her career as a Stained Glass artist and artisan. In April 2020, to mark the Centenary of the British Society of Master Glass Painters, Nathalie was invited to create a panel for inclusion in their virtual exhibition, her panel titled ‘Are we becoming Medea or the Earth Mother?’ was then selected for the touring Centenary exhibition which runs from 17th September 2021 to Autumn 2022.
Looking to the future she hopes to continue working on private commissions and collaborative works with other artists and existing educational bodies.