Archive for April, 2010

Phew….another fab course..thank you Andrea

Friday morning

Wow what a week, I was going to post earlier than today but I’ve been a bit busy, again. This week I had the pleasure of attending another course, this time with the marvellous Andrea Guarino who came over from America to teach at Creative Glass. She has now gone to Zurich to their Swiss head office to teach a couple more classes. We had a fabulous 2 days with Andrea, who showed us how to make several of her bead designs, mainly to teach the techniques she uses to alter the appearance of the simple Effetre glass palate. We learnt some reactive¬† twistie recipes and some neat tricks for colour reactions. We also got to play with some of Jim Moores’ fabulous tools, something I’ve been intrigued by for a long time, and we loved them so much that we had to have a tool lottery to fairly decide who could buy what tool. I fortunately got second or third dibs and got the tool I was desperate to own, a large one and a half inch lentil masher. I was seen stroking this tool at some point and there is a photo of me doing this lurking on t’interweb somewhere. Andrea is great fun and a very generous teacher, and I’d thoroughly recommend going on one of her courses if the opportunity arises.

The course was also made very memorable by my friends who attended it. We had a real blast, and all got on very well with each other and Andrea, the guys at Creative Glass haven’t ever heard so much laughter at one of their courses before. Unfortunately the down side of all this is that I’m rather weary again, having had 2 intense days of tuition, a late night out for a meal with the lasses and 2 days manic driving back and forth to Rochester. Oh well, it was so worth it.

Today I’m catching up with stuff, listing more goodies on Etsy …. keep an eye out for new stuff during the day……and getting really stuck in to sorting my work for the Bank Gallery Exhibition that we set up in 11 days time. Oh and I have to check how my laminate floor will look when put in my studio.

Some photos of the course with Andrea

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Yet more new beads

Friday afternoon

More new beads…..I persuaded Rick to take some photos last night after he got back from band practice, and I’ve listed 4 new sets on Etsy today. Photos below. Unfortunately he forgot one of the angles that I like for each set so the poor duck will have to repeat the process tonight. We also have the exciting prospect of a trip to Ikea at some point this weekend to get flooring for my studio and some shelves to put the glass on.

I had a dream of what my studio would look like when finished and it’s gradually changing into something that I hadn’t envisaged and that I’m not so keen on. I know that practicality should come first, but I’m still a bit sad. But, it will still be lovely and I can’t wait to get back in there and start melting glass again. I also can’t wait to get the new torch that I fell in love with at Flame Off last weekend. It’s a HUGE torch, with a mahoosive flame that melts boro like chocolate. It has a large burner with a Minor burner on top, and you can light one from the other and swap easily between the two flames. Unfortunately this poses another problem in my studio because the flame is so much longer when you have it turned up for the boro. At least I found out at this stage so I can tweek my layout to suit it or install some type of flame insulation opposite where I decide to position it. I’ll have to wait a couple of months before I invest in it as I will also need another oxycon (the machine that extracts the oxygen from the air to supply my torch).

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I’m back….(a bit like ‘Here’s Johny)

Tuesday morning

Where do I start? Lots has happened here and globally, so what should I talk about today? I decided to write a list of possible blog topics, and it hasn’t really helped, so maybe what I’ll do is give you a very quick run down of what’s new? Or should I? Maybe I should keep all my stuff and eek it out over a couple of weeks to keep you coming back in suspense. Or is too much suspense bad for your health, now who was it who wrote that, was it Douglas Adams?

So here’s what’s been going on, the lounge is still full of my studio equipment and glass, but not insulation boards or plasterboard, Easter came and went, I went on a course then attended Flame Off with Dickie and DD and now I’m so shattered I can’t believe it. Oh and a big volcano went boom and stranded lots of people all over the world including my uncle who lives in Madison Wisconsin and whom I saw yesterday at my parents house. There, I’ve said it. But of course there’s all much more to it than that, and I’m rambling, probably because I’m so tired.

The last few days have been so peaceful, and the sky so clear and lovely. I heard my first plane in days, about 10 minutes ago, and 5 minutes ago looked up in the sky to see a plane very high up leaving a contrail across the huge expanse of clean air…although it probably isn’t, it would be nice to think it was after 5 days rest from aeroplanes. Maybe there should be one day a year across the world where nothing flies anywhere, wouldn’t that be great? They would have to choose a certain 24 hours across the world so it all happened at once, but I think that would be a great idea. Many people have forgotten just how noisy all that daytime background noise has got, and it was a real pleasure to go outside at my parents and not be bothered by City Airport, Stansted, Heathrow or Gatwick noise. It was just so peaceful. Lovely.

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I moved out today…out of the studio

Saturday evening

The grand studio refit started today. After 2 days of teaching lovely students Thursday and Friday, I spent the day packing up (again) my beadmaking glass, tools and equipment and moved out of my new studio so we could begin the proper fitting out of my studio that was delivered last May. I can’t believe I’ve nearly had it a year, the time has gone so fast, and it seems really mad that this is the first time in 11 months that I’ve had the time to be able to stop making beads and concentrate on getting the studio to the standard that we planned last year. If they had delivered when they were supposed to I would have had the time last April to do this. But such is life, you just have to get on with what life hands you and try not to whinge (or however it’s spelt… I think that should be spelled, as Spelt is a type of flower…or should that be flour? Oh it’s OK I do know how to spell, I’m just mucking abaaate). I seem to have amassed a large amount of stuff, and lots of mayonnaise jars of glass. Actually it’s interesting to see what jars I have down there, as they are a potted history of what we eat over the years and show our changing preference for the few cook in sauces that we use. We seem to have moved from ‘Bertolli Roasted Vegetable sauce’, to ‘Sharwoods Tikka Masala’ through to’ Dolmio Bolognaise with Extra Onions and Garlic’. I even found some baby food jars hiding the odd dead spider and a HUGE beatle with jaws, which we think must have got stuck inside the slippery overhanging edges.

Our lounge is now full of jars of stringer and glass, 2 oxy cons, chairs, my pink Maxine (kiln), and various boxes of bits, and a huge stack of insulation boards and chipboard flooring. The plasterboard is in the garage thank goodness or we’d be sitting on it. We’re having to eat from trays on our knees…we normally sit at the table and eat as a family. We’re having to be really careful where we put the jars of stringers on the floor so that we don’t poke our eyes out with them! Oh what a good Easter we’re having.

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