This is a watercolour of my visualisation of my MA Final Project - the now commissioned piece for the reception desk of the new Bolsover Street hospital outpatients department. The storyboard detailing the whole project, the model, a sample panel, background notes, and the obligatory 'critical appraisal' (which I have done in unconventional manner) are all awaiting inspection in the MA room. Downstairs in the gallery, I have laid out my giant goblet and my Four Seasons quartet - the hanging committee will make the final decisions today about where everything is to go, but I am again in prime position - the first thing you see on entering the gallery. How do I feel, now it is all over? A bit flat. But I am taking my new motto from what the Isle of Wight blower said at the weekend: 'My best work will be done tomorrow.'
28 August 2008
25 August 2008
It was nice to be in Stourbridge again - a happy place for me. Lovely to see Brierley Hill colleagues - I reached a tally of 19 of them, about 9 Farnhamites, 4 Westminsters and at least 30 other assorted meet-and-greet friends from glass circles. Of course everyone interested in glass would be there, but it did seem amazing when I didn't know anyone four years ago at the very first biennale. Pictures show a glass frock, 2 biennale pieces, amazing Egyptian glassblowers, and Isle-of-Wight demo. I fell for the microwave kiln-lette demo and bought one, which I look forward to using. The biennale winner was a fellow MA from Farnham, as was the student runner-up prize, which is very chuffing for Farnham and so good news for everyone at the college (or would be if the press release had acknowledged it). A weekend of parties with barbecues, chocolate fountains, lots to drink and lots to look at and talk about. Really enjoyed it.
19 August 2008
Three readers of this blog, plus personal married-to advisor said go for the shorter (better proportioned) goblet. Reader, I didn't. Somehow it seemed a bit squat when I had all the parts assembled. I had every intention of taking the advice - not least because I wasn't sure the whole thing would stand up with the extra part of the stem, and a very tenuous joint to the foot. It was standing when I left college yesterday. I felt literally sick with anxiety as I pieced it together. Not totally unlike the chalk working drawing.
I don't think I have explained its purpose. It is for the MA Final Show as an installation goblet: 'We'll teach you to drink deep ere you depart' [Hamlet] and it will contain a cocktail of research notes, exhibition catalogues and sketches – all absorbed in the course of the two years. This both represents the MA exploration and refers to a mild obsession with wineglasses that this blog testifies has been a themesong.
10 August 2008
Here recording a trip to the City of Culture through a handful of pictures of glass S happened to take. From top left: a glass shelf in the Bluecoats gallery (good crafts outlet); Victorian architecture reflected in glass opposite; stained glass panel of St George and the dragon in the monumental St George's Hall; Piper/Rentiens lantern of the Metropolitan Cathedral; Gathering Light exhibition of International Women's Glass Workshops; 1929 sandblasted doors of the Phiharmonic Hall. Nothing glassy in the Klimt exhibition. Interesting few days; lots of tramping about.
06 August 2008
After two days of grinding, spirit-levelling, fitting, pondering, being frustrated, wondering what I am doing, etc, etc., I have arrived at a dilemma about my giant goblet - here shown roughly photoshopped in two versions. I wanted it as large as possible to make a statement, but are the proportions better if I leave out the long stem and stop at the baluster section? It looks a bit odd and floaty in the picture, but I left myself in as an indication of scale. I rather wish I had taken the bits home now to ponder over, because I can't go in next week as they are having a deep clean on my regular days. I didn't because I was so exhausted by the end of the 2nd day and felt I'd risk dropping it if I tried to take it to the car. That did happen to me once.
03 August 2008
In the same order as the pâte de verre blanks. And with the 'germ' pieces inside - this is how they are being exhibited at the Final Show. At the time of making, I thought, ho hum. Does this add anything to the originals? I'm a bit disappointed and it's my own fault. They are rather chunky and heavy. I should have stuck to my first plan which was to open them out more. On the other hand that would have taken longer and really I might then have outstayed my welcome and my gaffer would have said he had to get on with his own work. And summer could have had some twist - I said not to because I wanted the sun to stay as it was. There is one bonus - the extra glass is creating nice optical effects and you can see the ghost original reflected three times.
01 August 2008
Me doing the easy bit again - couldn't get a picture of me blowing, which is a shame because I like the fact that my breath has at least inflated my work. I've called in a long-outstanding favour at London Glassblowing, and again learned a lot about different techniques. I now see more clearly how I can prepare my pieces more effectively. Spring broke off on the punty because the green pulled out, but autumn and winter I think are going to be very nice and summer went a whole lot better than expected. So it's three seasons now. Or where has my springtime gone? Actually I don't think I showed it, but I was half crippled with back pain by the third bowl and can't move today.