Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Making Waves

We've been in our new home by the sea for a few months now and my studio is up and running at last.  Our first coastal winter has certainly been an experience, the force of the wind and waves is hard to imagine when gazing out on a gloriously sunny day like today, roll on the summer!

So inspired by the stormy sea, I set out to make glass waves which capture something of that movement and power. This small wave has had three firings and is set in a hardwood block. The larger wave below has had just one firing so far, I'll add more layers of glass and frit to give it depth and texture. It will be fixed to a white board for wall mounting.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Discovering Crochet

What's a glass fuser to do?...

While my glass making kit is all safely packed away in storage for another few months I really felt the need to make something, preferably something that didn't take up too much space or require new equipment... So I decided to give crochet a go. A lovely friend found a learn to crochet set in a charity shop and I was hooked, literally! There are some great tutorials on YouTube for left handers, perfect as most written instructions are for right handers and my sister gave me a beautiful book on granny squares. So after a few practice squares my first completed project was this pink bag, then I made the blue one for my sister.

It's so addictive the main problem now will be having too many projects on the go at the same time - I've got a blanket and a cushion cover started and already have the yarn for my next bag on order!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

All packed up and nowhere to go!

We moved house two weeks before Christmas, not ideal but we managed to get the contents of house, garden and studio packed up and into storage in various locations. Thanks to the amazing guys from the removal company all went without a hitch. So now we have a temporary address while we have our new home renovated. It's all very exciting and just a little bit scary, the architect's plans are amazing, let's hope the planning department think so too.

I said goodbye to my little studio in the garden and look forward to having a new space this summer, I'll probably have serious glass withdrawal symptoms by then!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Pot melt success!

I've been thinking about trying a pot melt for ages, with so much scrap glass in the studio it was time to give it a go. The technique allows you to combine compatible glass (same COE) in a pot and heat it to a very high temperature. As the temperature of the glass rises and becomes liquid it runs out of openings in the bottom of your pot. The thick drip can result in a radial pattern that spirals outward onto a prepared kiln shelf or container. 

I was convinced the kiln shelf would be ruined with molten glass everywhere so used a terracotta flower pot saucer to catch the liquid glass which I prepared with kiln wash and lined with a piece of thinfire paper (conflicting advice online for this but it worked for me).  The flower pot was loaded with about 1.3 kg of scrap glass in clear and shades of blue and green. 

This is the resulting disc of glass as it came out of the kiln, there was a raised spot in the centre where the glass flowed from the pot, which I ground off and then fired the disc again at full fuse.

And finally slumped over a spherical dish mould.  I love the spiral pattern formed in the glass, will definitely be trying this again.  My top tip is don't open the kiln too soon (like I did), the thermal shock cracked the flower pot, so next time I'll let the kiln cool down for a day after the firing schedule has finished.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Market on the Green, Beckenham

This weekend we were at Market on the Green in Beckenham, Kent, an event organised by Copers Cope Area Residents Association. It was our first ever outdoor event and chance to test drive the new gazebo. My first panic came on Friday night when I realised our pitch was on hardstanding not grass - perfect as far as exhibiting glass is concerned, nothing worse than a wobbly table but I didn't have any weights to hold the gazebo down. Luckily our neighbours came to the rescue with the loan of some weights.

Then we had 'technical issues' connecting to our card payment system and had to drag our technical expert (youngest son) out to solve the problem.  However, despite some minor stress we had a fantastic day, the sun shone and was a great mix of stallholders and entertainment. The Market is in a perfect location and very well organised, we hope to back again later in the year.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

A Green and Pleasant Land

I've been working on this glass panel landscape for weeks now, adding more detail and firing again, it's hard to know when to step away and consider it finished.  It isn't a picture of anywhere specific, I didn't work from a photo but a picture in my head of peaceful rolling hills - somewhere calm and tranquil. I'm sure there are many places around the world just like this but think my picture memories are probably from childhood holidays in Ireland.  Sometimes we all need to get to a green and pleasant place, even if its just a picture in our heads.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

A Vintage Fair

So much of  current design trend is vintage influenced so I thought I'd give a vintage fair a go. I had a stall last weekend at A Gloriously Vintage Day Out at Mount Ephraim, near Faversham, Kent   There were some fabulous stalls and exhibits throughout the house and garden and despite the forecast, the weather stayed fine all day and an excellent day was had by all.