As J&C Mirrors, Claire Kirkup and Jay Svenson use reclaimed glass to make cool pieces.
When Upper Hutt couple Jay Svenson and Claire Kirkup are looking for special materials for their upcycled mirrors business J&C Mirrors, they know where to go – straight to the garage of Jay’s glazier dad Ian Svenson to raid his treasure trove of vintage obscure glass.
“We both really like vintage and secondhand shopping, as well as art, and started making mirrors with reclaimed materials for fun,” explains Claire, whose day job is at Upper Hutt arts centre Whirinaki Whare Taonga.
“We love its nostalgia and reusing materials that just don’t get made any more.”
Jay learned his skills with glass from Ian early on, making fish tanks out of leftover glass to sell for pocket money, and these days works as a glazier himself. As well as giving old mirrors new life, the pair make creative pieces using a mix of shapes, colours and textures.
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“We’re inspired to create things by the patterns and colours we see in everyday life and in other people’s art,” Claire says.
The geometric pieces are a particular favourite of Jay’s: “I love how they can change depending how you look at them.” “Mirrors are great for bouncing light in dark spots,” adds Claire. “As a gift, it’s a safer bet than guessing your friends’ taste in art.” You can find J&C Mirrors on Instagram at @jandcmirrors and via online marketplace Chooice.
Jay and Claire’s favourite things
Seinfeld Lego: Seinfeld and Lego are Jay’s favourite two things, so buying this set of Jerry’s apartment was a given when it was released.
Tretchikoff: Artist Vladimir Tretchikoff has an amazing life story and his work is synonymous with the vintage style we both love.
Kintsugi: This Japanese practice is about seeing the value in broken things, so we both love it. This plate was Jay’s nana’s and it broke when we moved in together so we mended it.
Old radio: We love music and listening to it on different formats. Claire’s dad found this old radio and got it working again for us.