Archive for November, 2010

Studio Blues

Yesterday I managed to grab some time in my studio. I had a very industrious morning and ran around sorting out things that had been passed up for a few weeks,  due to the hectic schedule I find myself caught up in. At last, in the afternoon I headed out to the studio to seek solace with my torch. As the  kiln heated up I had a quick tidy, I rummaged through a box of silver glass that had yet to be unpacked. Blue was going to be the colour of creation for the day, and silver compliments blue glass so nicely.  I had big hole beads in mind, decorated with delicate wisps of silver glass. These beads are going to form part of  my new Orexis range. And here they are today, cooked and cooled, fresh from the kiln, truly beautiful blues.


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It is over Ten years now since I began my journey  in to the world of Art Glass, actually –  it is probably longer than this, if you count collecting glass marbles that I won in the school fields that is.  Oh,  and don’t forget my little trip to Murano and the beautiful black glass ballet dancers that I managed to bring back with me, stuffed in to my suitcase and double wrapped with towels to protect them from the impact of baggage handling, on their journey back to the UK.

Just for the record, I was in my twenties when the glass ballerina’s entered my life, they lasted for over twenty years, and survived several house moves including an international one.  Until one day, they met an untimely end.. ..and were rather rudely catapulted off a very high mantlepiece , with a cushion thrown by my toddler. Tears were shed and words spoken.

Let’s hope that this stained glass window,  that I made five years ago lasts longer than those little ballerinas. It sits as a Transom window between hallway and kitchen in a Victorian house in London. My studio at the time was packed up, as we were about to move house again, and I had to work in a very cramped space.  I can remember having to put everything away each time I finished working on this window, which seemed to make it take forever to complete, though in reality it probably didn’t make a great deal of difference.

These are the only photographs I have of this piece, but I thought that you might like to see them. The photographs show how different the glass colours look, depending on the light of the day, one view from the hallway and another from the kitchen.  They really do look so different,  and if I hadn’t told you, would you think that they really were the same window?

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Cute Critters!

Today I am going to introduce you to the world of glass Critters!

I started making these about five years ago,  as part of a monthly challenge to improve my skills at the torch.  They seemed impossible at first, and many ugly forms of glass, resembling something rather unpleasant stuck to the end of a stick, emerged from my kiln.

My children begged to keep all of these, the good, bad and ugly, for their collection, and I am glad now that they asked to do this.  On reflection,  it is always good to keep practice beads and sculpture, because a few years later you can look through them to how you have improved, and hopefully marvel at your accomplishments.

These little Critters are good lessons in heat control for a lamp worker, requiring you to keep the bead evenly hot, top, bottom and middle, while shaping, forming and decorating.

They make great little charms too, for phones, pencil cases, and handbags.

I am not  tempted to show you the early ones though,  spluttering coffee over your keyboard will make it stop working…. but here are some I made more recently.

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Yesterday I was feeling a little Christmassy, I was drawn to the transparent red rods  that were winking at me in the corner of my studio. Firstly, I created these cogs, some are just over 4.5cm in width, a good size to make a statement piece within a necklace. Also, a couple of cogs a little smaller,  for perhaps,  some funky earrings.

It would be a little dull,  if I had stopped there, so I added a sprinkling of  pixie dust and some silver wire to the mix. I was pleasantly surprised by the result.

I have a gift in mind for these beauties, though I will have to keep one for myself too, as I am an obsessive collector of hearts.

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