Apple Crumble Cake & Botswana Lace Agate

Posted on August 16, 2015

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…..


Experimental Enamelling at Morley College

Posted on July 26, 2015

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?……….

Enamelling on Steel

Posted on July 25, 2015

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.