Claire Russell was born in Gloucestershire, England. She developed her inherent creativity with a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, followed by a BA (Hons) degree from the University of Gloucestershire.
In 2000 Claire began picture framing as a hobby, framing paintings for her mum, professional artist Christine Russell SWA UA. During this time she also started to design websites for many professional artists and art societies, notably, the Society of Women Artists and The Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers.
In 2002 she established a bespoke picture framing business, which included the skill of frame restoration and fine gilding.
Working with gold leaf became a passion and she started to experiment, developing a range of designs on glass panels, vases and dishes, which she regularly exhibits at her studio. In researching gold leaf design, she became intrigued by the ancient and beautiful art of Verre Églomisé.
Verre Églomisé is a French term simply meaning ‘gilded glass.’ The gold leaf is applied to the glass using gelatine based adhesive resulting in a mirror-like, reflective finish into which designs are then etched. The technique dates back to the pre-Roman era, but its name is derived from the 18th-century French decorator Jean-Baptiste Glomy (1711–1786) who was responsible for its revival, subsequently giving his name to the procedure, ‘Églomisé’.
The size of gold leaf (3x3”) naturally attracted her to drawing in miniature and she set about seeking interesting subjects with plenty of detail and contrast, which would work well with the medium. The image is sketched out in pencil first, before etching through the gold.
After many years of working with the Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers as webmaster and Executive Secretary Claire was inspired to submit three pieces of work, all of which were accepted for the annual exhibition. Encouraged by the favourable response she received she was encouraged to submit a further five pieces in the following year’s exhibition. She was awarded the ‘Gold Bowl Honourable Mention’, for her Praying Mantis piece: ‘I’m Watching You!’
In 2016 she was elected an Associate member of the Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers (ARMS), and was again awarded with a ‘Gold Bowl Honourable Mention’, for her lizard piece: ‘Balancing Act’.
In the same year Claire also had two articles published in the summer and autumn editions of Artists & Illustrators magazine. Claire has also exhibited and sold works in the U.S. with the Miniature Society of Florida (MASF) and more recently had her work accepted and hung at the Royal West of England Academy (RWA) ‘Drawn’ exhibition.