Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Freshly baked glass

It's feels like the kiln has been going non stop for days and these are the latest fused glass brooches to come out of it. I'm fully embracing the vintage style that is popular at the moment. The brooches only started out as testers for the cake stands I've made, however as they've been so popular I've made lots more and this time I've done some earring and pendant sets too.

Right now the kiln is on again with cake stands slumping into their molds. I'll take some pictures and show you these tomorrow before I take them to Handmade High St in colchester.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Cast Glass sculptures

This is a project I started weeks ago only to, frustratingly, run out of plaster in order to finish it...don't you hate it when that kind of thing happens? You are on a roll and then BAM! you run out of the essential material you need.

So my plan for this years Maldon Arts Trail is to create a body of seaside themed work in a range of glass techniques. I have already made a copper foiled piece of 2 sailing boats and another copper foiled piece that includes seashell printed sections. To go with these I am making miniature glass sculptures using glass casting techniques and this is what I started and was then forced to stop.

Last week my order of plaster arrived and since then I've been waiting for a rain free day where I could get out into the garden and make my moulds. I prefer to do them in the garden as I can make as much mess as I like and not have to spend ages clearing it all away....especially with all this rain we are getting which has its advantages for washing mess away.

With the models laid out in the tubs I quickly mixed the plaster, and seriously depleted my stock of it in 1 foul swoop. I carefully poured the plaster into the tubs and then spent a while knocking and shaking them to remove as many air bubbles as possible. Then comes waiting for it to set which takes about 30mins before you can take it out of the tub. The fiddly bit it removing the model but this is what you are left with....a mould all ready to dry out, have glass put into it and then go into the kiln. I'll leave that til next week though so that the moulds are properly dried out.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

The reveal...

So here it is....the image that is hidden in the glass picture in the previous post.

I'm not sure what I'll do with it from here but that doesn't matter at this stage, it's all about the experimentation :)

Monday, 11 June 2012


Ok here's a little tease for you all.....

This is fresh out of the kiln this eve but it's a picture in disguise. I'll give you a little clue.... It's a well known person.

Answers on a postcard please.... Or just comment below

All will be revealed tomorrow :)

Will or won't miss, which is which?

At times like this there are many mixed feelings going around in my head about school.
Some things I know I'll tutor grp, yr10 who were just growing as independent artists and other things that overpower those and I know I am glad to leave behind.

I'll leave you to work out which is which in my photo collage.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Endings and new beginnings

Times are a-changing here at glass HQ and that means sorting, organising, packing, unpacking, decluttering and generally finding space for things I hadn't anticipated having here.

So this wk I ventured into school with a friend and boxed up the majority of my things ( still another car load to go tho I reckon) and as I unloaded it into the kitchen created a small ...ok large amount of chaos. Boxes boxes n more n more stuff.

I asked the question on Facebook of where to put it all and have to say my sis came u with a grt plan.... Put it in the spare bedroom and if it's not been used in a couple of yrs then bin it. I like her thinking :)

So I sat in the kitchen decanting useful folders, filling up the recycling with non useful bits n pieces, putting all my books into the study and then hid the left over boxes in the loft cupboard in the spare bedroom....

Bye-bye school *happy waving goodbye*

Tuesday, 10 April 2012


Every artist, crafter or designer needs to experiment with ideas and techniques in order to get better and to develop their work. It's something I teach students every day at school and even try to encourage them to take chances / make mistakes. If they don't give things a go how will they ever know how to explore ideas and experiment? ....and ultimately how to get better.

Since January I've been 'playing' with new ideas and trying out new are some of the results of my efforts so far. I've still got lots and lots of other things to try out :)

Monday, 9 April 2012

beads to bracelets

You might have seen posts on here or facebook about the new beads I've been making, well over the bank holiday I've been turning them into bracelets....that was until I ran out of toggle clasp findings :( 2 are completely finished but the others will have to wait a while until I can get to the shops for more sterling silver.

I've been refreshing my skills and getting used to the heat within this flame as its different to the torch I'd previously been hiring. Now its time to try something more tricky and to get reading more of my Corrina Tettinger book- aka the lampworkers bible!

Using all that black and red got me here's what I tried and I am so pleased with them. I didn't expect them to survive but now I know it works I'll give it another go.

Sunday, 8 April 2012


Spring has sprung and in typical British fashion it's raining on a bank holiday we are in the middle of a draught as it's not rained for so long and just as everyone has time off the weather is rubbish.
Right I'll stop being quite so British and not mention the weather again!

The garden is full of cheerful flowers which are half hiding my metal duck sculpture, the nursery is selling young strawberry plants (I'm hoping they fruit either side of my current can't have too many fresh strawberries in summer can you )and in place of a monstrous bamboo I've bought a budlia to plant.

Each yr I try to find unusual Easter eggs to give to my family and this yr spotted the eggs with other sweeties in the chocolate yum yum. On Thurs I took them over to my sister only for her to laugh, run into the kitchen and give me the same egg in return :) great minds eh
Happy Easter everyone :)

Monday, 2 April 2012


Back in feb I went to the Essex bead fair and bought myself new beadmaking equipment. It hadn't taken me long to get fed up with Mapp gas and after running out of bottle 2 I realised it was going to be more economical to buy the proper tubing and regulator so I could use a full size bottle. Who knew that this would be so tricky though? I took myself to b&q and bought a mini bottle thinking it would make my life easier as it was small enough to carry, yep I'm a little weakling ;) however I'd not banked on the fact the fittings didn't go with my regulator!!! It took several hrs to realise it though and a few fb messages, tweets and phonecalls! Then good old dad came to the rescue telling me I had a bottle of propane in the shed!!! Typical huh.

This eve I finally got round to a lengthy play on the new equipment and refreshed a few basic skills of dotting before giving a new implosion bead a go. I saw it demonstrated a few wks back at a lampwork day at Glass From the Past in Billericay. The 1st go was too small to see the full effect and the 2nd didn't attach properly to the mandrel :( you can see it in the picture as a large disk with dots.

Oh well now for try number 3 as my mandrels are now ready to go again :)