28 January 2005

First really nice bowl

Wait till you see this.

Yes, I'm pleased. It's the extra evening classes, of course. A breakthrough? But it is also a case of one step forward and two back, because I haven't been able to repeat it.

27 January 2005

Why do you have to wait for pictures to be posted?

Because at this college we can neither upload nor download any files. So that means I can take pictures with my (now indispensible) digital camera, but have to wait until I am home at the weekend to post them up. I suppose they think we'd be sending out porn. It's mildly annoying. The major use of the camera is to record processes - e.g. I have a kiln firing downstairs and I have simply photographed the position of each object inside th ekiln so I can then record what happened to each one later. Much quicker.

25 January 2005

Form & function

Today's design class examined design from the point of view of functionality. We passed round three water-jugs; examined them aesthetically and also poured water from one to another. The classic, honest (Woolworth's) jug was hopeless as a pouring vessel. Spilled everywhere. Then working in pairs, we designed something that we thought would work.

The winning one (mine and Orietta's) will allegedly be made and auctioned off in order to raise money for our exhibition revels. It wasn't so much a design as a negotiated effort based on trading features each of us liked. I wanted a blue swirl to represent water and she wanted a reflective disk to play with the light.

23 January 2005


”cameo” This is one of the muff-ends (yes, yes -- lots of words in glass you can't use nowadays: look up glory hole on Google and you won't get glass refs) slumped wide side at the top. Is it a failure? Or can I make an 'art' stained glass panel out of it? Watch this space

22 January 2005

Kiln experiments

We have now learned how to program the kilns and so are allowed to book them for our own work. I have got in early and nabbed kiln no. 8 on Thursday to fill with experiments to see what I can use my lenses with, at what temperature they fuse, but retain their optical quality, and what circumstances make them break. I first tried fusing at 680 degrees - which wasn't quite hot enough as they just about stuck, but had not melted in. So I put them in again last thing on Friday at 720. Above are 3 of 18 experimental trials - a plate of colours; fusing on trails from the hotshop & copper wire ladies.

21 January 2005

Cameo slump

I thought I might be able to fuse the broken bit of the cameo I did in the kiln. Didn't work (maybe I simply lost the chip on while putting things in the kiln). Here's the pic Stephen took before I ruined it. Never mind, I've got an idea for some buttons now.

15 January 2005

Fragile Cargo and other animals

I hardly saw home this weekend. Saturday was taken up by an inspirational Anglo-Hungarian seminar at the Glass Art Gallery, with artists showing slides of recent work. Here are 4:

[from top left]: Juliana Stoney, Max Jacquard, Sally Dunnet & Tibor Budahelyi

Then on to 'Meet the Makers' at Daniel Katz' gallery at 13 Bond Street. Just a couple of pics of this (took more, but difficult to balance your drink, snap and write down names):

Lesley Wildman - made of borosilicate lampworked - very delicate. Stepan Pala: Blue window (2 giant lenses, like mine, connected by 4 rough blocks of blue colour. What's all that about?

And on Sunday to the V&A Collect exhibition. I liked this lustre bowl by Sutton Taylor and a screen by Keiko Mukaide. A lot of blobby things there.

14 January 2005

Back for a week and no post!

I know. It's just that it feels like a waste of time sitting in front of a computer when there are workshops to use. So, galloping through this week:
1. Whether or not to exhibit a piece I haven't yet made in the Stourbridge 'Bridges' Performance Arts show. Nice thing there is getting to know other colleagues involved a bit better.
2. Experimentation with my collection of ophthalmic lenses that Stephen found on a skip (my Christmas present from him). I can do things with this haul. Pix show a few ideas - 2nd row have hot glass trails running across them (not easy to do).

3. Figurine and cameo from last term (I broke the cameo after working on it for 2 hours as I carried it upstairs. Someone more experienced than me said, 'I no longer worry about breakages because I know I can just make it again.' I didn't feel that.

4. Getting back into the swing of things and trying to avoid the whingers -- I know how they feel, but it's a waste of time; I'd rather get on and do things. Complaining takes energy out of you and then you can't work that day.
5. Maybe, just maybe, they are putting on an evening class in hot glass and because the general public isn't coming in droves, we found we could enrol for it. I confess, I am a bit of a stirrer in this. The College didn't think to ask us -- we who are there and would really appreciate extra time in this, the most difficult, area. The thinking processes here are baffling.

All in all, a positive return to college life. Still sampling hors d'oeuvres, but I think I will allow myself that luxury as I won't have access to these facilities so easily again.

03 January 2005

Holiday reading

Thanks to Jo at my publishers (A&C Black) for getting me these books at a huge discount. I've been reading them over the break and recommend them all: the two by Keith Cummings are particularly useful and have excellent diagrams. Here is the hotlink direct to the publisher's ordering pages -- except for the last one which is from the V&A (very 'arty' and not as practical).