Plans well in hand for the Glass Jewellery Courses I’m going to be running in Bedford.
Planning to run the first one on 25th March in Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire, providing, that is, that I survive the Silver Jewellery Etching workshop scheduled for 18th March at Raleigh House in Bedford!
Some of the lovely stuff created by last years’ workshop students:-
Catch me at Alfred East in Kettering with Northants Guild until 7th January and also at
the National Centre for Craft and Design in Sleaford, Lincs
Dial House Gallery, Kimbolton Cambs,
Ideal for those unique Christmas presents!
Dropped off some glass with Angela at the lovely Wood End Gallery in Pertenhall near Kimbolton on Monday.
The new exhibition runs from
9th April to 22nd May
I spotted some very nice little textile keepsake bags and some gorgeous carved stone sculptures. There’s a selection of paintings, prints, pottery and lots of other work on show.
Cast Glass Vessels
Very difficult to keep my purse in my pocket, but pop in if you’re in the area. Wood End is just off the A660 Kimbolton Road about 10 miles out of Bedford.
Etched and Enamelled Copper, Porcelain, Silk, Reclaimed Leather, Silver
Happy New Year
..and a great start to the new year. One of the things on my agenda was a reworking of the original glass Spit. Still inspired by the enamelling workshop with Jessica Turrell in July (for which I missed Fibre East – sorry Hilary!) and driven by a submission deadline for TypeSet, an exhibition taking place in 2016 at Zoom, Milwaukee, I’ve had nose to the grindstone for the last couple of months and managed to get 3 brooches and a neckpiece (virtually) finished for the 1st January deadline. Relief! Zoom looks really interesting and it certainly rang all the right bells for me.
TypeSet is an exhibition exploring the connections between art jewelry and literature and jewellers who embrace text, story, and history in their work were encouraged to apply. Not sure if Spit fits the bill but worth having a go and crucially a great driver for me to get Spit 2016 started.
So with some work currently in the Dolby Gallery in Oundle,
Spit 2016 on the table and a couple of greenware vessels waiting to be fired for the start of Maker Mark Legacy 2 the new year is off to a flying start……
After the excitement of last weekend’s Open Studios (lovely to see everyone, thanks Pru and Paul for the lemon cake! Great news Pasqualina on finding somewhere for your looms) it’s almost back to business as usual.
The fusing exercise was a useful reminder of the joys of cutting glass!
And some useful results from using frit. The Bullseye French Vanilla powder fruit I used in the opaque grey didn’t come out cream but actually gave a dark shading to the grey, while the coarse grit did actually impart some subtle cream shading. The combination of pale lilac over pale green did result in the desired transparent grey. Despite all the complex cutting and more extensive palette, not to mention the fancy shape cutting I actually prefer Snowdon 2008! And trying an opaque grey and Uroborus Ivory instead of my usual black and French vanilla? Definately don’t like the end result with the grey. So end of glass cutting for the moment, time to move on….and on to……..clay. yeah 😀
Now that the studio is finally up and running I’m desperate to fire up the kiln again. I haven’t been in a position to make any new glass since 2012. I thought the easiest thing to do would be to cut, fuse and slump a bowl. Although I’ve been doing workshops helping students discover the joys of fusing I haven’t actually made a traditional cut and fuse bowl for about 5 years! So having dusted off my good cutter, grozier, breaker, safety glasses etc and after a quick trip to Tempsford Glass for some Bullseye Tekta for the base, I was set. Many moons ago I made some sample blobs of Bullseye and Uroborus colours and they’ve been so useful for deciding on palettes. But what to make?……..Having just been up Snowdon again I thought it was time for another Snowdon bowl with a design for 2015.
It’s actually been quite fun getting back into cutting. After 2 days of cutting and handling my thumb print is unrecognisable to my ipad!! Only one instance of blood letting, swiftly stemmed with the good old tissue and masking tape combo (works every time and so much quicker and less messy than plasters)!
Aiming to get at least one bowl done for the next Open Studios at Ivy Lodge on the weekend of 3/4th October but as always once the ‘glass’ brain was engaged suddenly I have a few ideas for designs. I’m trying to remind myself this is just a warm up for the real main glass event. There were a few things that I planned but didn’t have time to do for ICD 10 3 years ago, including something special for Diana Princess of Wales. Watch this space…..
The plan was to go and see this highly recommended exhibition of portraits at the Serpentine on Saturday, then I thought I’d add on a visit to the Handweavers Studio in North London. It’s been a while since I visited this emporium of yummy yarns. So long that it turns out they’ve moved, to close to the Emirates stadium and since Arsenal were at home on Saturday I decided it would be wiser to abandon the studio on Thursday and hit the smoke instead.
First was the Handweavers Studio down Seven Sisters Rd. Ahhh. Heaven. You walk through the door and you’re immediately confronted with colour colour colour and the smell of yarn and wood. My apologies to the staff for all the undignified squeaking, squawking, muted screams and headless chicken type running up and down the aisles. They were wonderfully patient and helpful. There was silk, bamboo, kapok, corn and nettle yarns and tops. Tencel, horsehair, high twist wool, cotton, cotton, cotton, yum! I left with a tactile low profile crocodile wood boat shuttle for my Ashford Knitters loom and some bamboo and silk in a beautiful light grey teal. I’ve used a lot of aquamarine and apatite in my jewellery this year, colours I think lodged in my mind from the colour of the sea at Harlech.
Bamboo and Silk from the Handweavers Studio to add to my existing collection of sapphire silk, and blue and silver chenilles.
Then to the Serpentine. Quite probably the best exhibition I’ve seen this year. Lynette is a brilliant portrait artist. Paintings of people for the most part leave me fairly unmoved, except some of the more contemporary efforts in the National Portrait Gallery. To stand in a room full of rich mysterious portraits painted in a deep but vibrant oil palette where the subjects were contemporary black men and women without a palm tree, mango tree, wooden shack, market basket, musical instrument, loin cloth, colourful costume or noble expression in sight was truly a joy. I loved the challenge of the direct gaze in some of the paintings, but even more intriguing were those where the subject, heavy lidded, remained looking down or away. I wanted them, willed them to raise their eyes so I could see whether they were the person I imagined them to be. Even more intriguing, none of the subjects are real people and Lynette spends no more than 24 hours on a painting. My favourites? Citrine by the Ounce, Coterie of Questions, Friday 4am, An Education. Google her until you get a chance to see the real thing. Sadly the exhibition at the Serpentine has finished and I’ve no idea when she will be showing again in the UK. No surprise, it turns out she’s a Saaff London girl!
Another beautiful day for the Open Studio weekend at Ivy Lodge. On Thursday when I should have been getting on with the new Lace necklace (decided to use some Botswana Lace agate stones for the first time) I was scrumping apples at an undisclosed location! All in a good cause, the Apple crumble cake and the Apple and almond tart went down well yesterday.
Today’s visitors get to sample both along with some Pimms and lemonade. Peter and Paula are both busy throwing on the potters wheels next door, Clare is busy making some more felt vignettes to replace the ones she sold yesterday and Audrey has
done wonders (on the theme of ‘Red Hot Summer’) in the greenhouse.
well I guess it’s back to work…..
Can’t believe I got up at 7am this morning to travel in to London in this miserable rain. Aghh I must be mad. Still, Mr Huggins also braved the early morning misery to drop me off at the station in time for a mocha and a pain au raisin sugar injection and so to the third and final day of Experimental Enamelling with Jessica Turrell at Morley College.
Really wanted to play with the wet process enamels on copper but focussed on prepping 1 piece of copper and 2 pieces of steel to take the ceramic transfers. Partially successful after firing, some crazing on the enamelled copper, definitely needs more research.
Jessica demonstrated lots of techniques and samples I really want to try. Under firing for a beautiful crisp finish, combining etching and enamelling, flux and firescale, working back into the enamels (when less becomes more). A little food for thought about the aesthetics of using non-precious metals (something to follow up in ‘Raw’ perhaps). Next thing I knew it was 4pm and we were going through our own samples. Everyone had found something to explore, so many lovely pieces, why does everyone else’s bits always look better than your own?!
So was it worth giving up a weekend? Definitely. Three days seemed initially like plenty of time but really it’s just about enough time to get a feel for some ideas and go away and work on them. The 5 session course would certainly give you more scope to sample everything. Jessica shares a lot of information, technical and practical, in an enjoyable way in an easy and comfortable environment. I definately recommend doing this workshop if you can, it’s not just for jewellers.
Work tomorrow! ……… how was your weekend?……….
Had an interesting day doing wet process enamelling on steel and sampling on-glazes. Different effects from powder enamelling on Copper.
It turns out many of the tools and materials are the same as those I’ve been using for glass and ceramics! Pumice for degreasing, Diapads for rubbing back, on-glazes for colour, hollow things for dribbling wet stuff, syringes, plastic pipettes, stencils made out of weird things you’ve collected, felt right at home!
Students have travelled from all over to do this class at Morley, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Dorset, suddenly Bedford doesn’t seem such a trek! And nice to bump into a couple of people I met last year on Anastasia Young’s stone setting course at CityLit. Last day tomorrow, hoping to also try some transfers tomorrow. Have all of this in the back of my mind for moving on with ‘Spit’, especially if I can combine it with some etching.