27 February 2006

Why did I bunk both my classes today

Because there's too much to do at home.
Have been trying to create a studio so I can use my kiln. Here's where I've got to -- floor sanded but not varnished. I didn't do that bit, but I have spent all day clearing up. Will have to have fireproof bit for the kiln, and good ventilation. No sink in the room -- but I can run up or downstairs. Can have quite a big table though. The trouble is, I like it all empty and minimalistic like this, with my basketerium as tool containerage -- but I know me; it can't last.

24 February 2006

Fixtures and fittings

I think I am going to go for holes drilled through the lenses and joined with tiger tail 7-strand cable (nylon-coated stainless steel) fixed with crimps. Secured within a stainless steel frame at the top and bottom. So they'll move a little but won't chink against each other.

I gave my presentation [NB it's 12 Mb] to the group yesterday and got some useful feedback. But it wasn't as stimulating as I'd been hoping. I'd worked quite hard to get all my information ready and put it all into PowerPoint -- because that's the way I am used to doing these things -- but I wondered afterwards if it made me come across as too confident and therefore a bit off-putting in terms of feedback from my fellow students. In fact, I am just as uncertain as others who wear their hearts on their sleeves -- and for whom the rest of the class turned on the taps of encouragement to gushing levels, whereas I seemed to experience a weak trickle.

20 February 2006

Today's classes

A very mixed day. Best bit was taking my pate de verre piece out of its mould. I rather like it. Then I made a mould for a pair of ampersands I am planning to lost-wax cast. I feel I must use the opportunity of being amongst casting people to learn how to do it, but in all honesty I didn't enjoy it. It's not my thing.

At Morley College, we had a demo on doing faces which I shall try out at home. I simply can't get on with the equipment there. But at lunch-time we had an inconclusive and not very fruitful conversation about my article in the Guild Newsletter. Wondered if I was nailing my colours to the wrong mast.

19 February 2006

Alluding to the River Fleet

First go at doing a visualisation of what the reception area will look like with the glass river in place. You'll see less of it from the lifts, though, which is a pity. Not sure if I've said before -- the bend of the Fleet as it flows almost under the building has approximately this sort of a meander. Bit of poetic licence.

18 February 2006

Currrent crop of goblets

Least worst trio of the ones I blew on Tuesday - 3 fell on the floor; one was complete rubbish and 1 is quite nice except that the foot cracked off (retrievable by 'cold fusing' a disk onto it). The point, though, is that I did have fun doing them and I did start to remember how to ride the bicycle.

17 February 2006

Site-specific project

I'm just back from my last visit to the offices before everyone moves in. Looks quite different with the divisions and furniture in. And I had not realised there would be blinds outside the window. They lifted at 3 p.m. Was that because of the light or was someone operating them? All sorts of things one doesn't think about. Also, the reception desk is going to obscure some of the wave form (I cut out paper shapes to get an impression of it). On the other hand, it is all visible from the kitchen area so maybe it's quite nice that you see parts of it and don't know at first how far it goes. I think I am going to need to make it more colourful than I at first thought. Subtlety will be a bit invisible.

16 February 2006

Glassmaker's Supper in Brierley Hill

I was invited to this supper -- food all cooked in the kilns -- and it was really nice to see old friends and renew glass contacts at the IGC. Two courses were running all week and Bill Gudenrath demonstrated Venetian blowing techniques working all on his own. It was electrifying. What skill! I'd spent the day making a few more goblets in Martin Andrews' workshop with Damien. Was just getting back into the flow of it when I had to stop. Still, 2 reasonable drinking glasses resulted. And I took home some boxes of cullet to play about with in my kiln (still not used yet).

13 February 2006

Co[]ect Exhibition

Lots of pieces at the V&A that were trip-wires for other ideas. This is Keiko Mukaide (whom I always seem to like). Not terribly original or well made, actually, but it made me think I could coat the rims of some of my lenses with opalescent lustre or dichroic film and see if I could get any of this sort of effect.

Spoke to an Australian and an American glass artist -- both of whom were very informative about the techniques they used.

Worth going.

10 February 2006

Alison Kinnaird at the Zest Gallery

This isn't my picture, but I am sure Alison Kinnaird won't mind me reproducing it. Her talk last night was very interesting and she was very generous in telling me where she gets her stainless steel frames made. I have sent off to see if this is something I could do for the site-specific project. But, oh -- I did realise last night that I can't ever catch up for 30 years of not drawing. Her engraving is not just innovative, because she is using coloured light to give these effects, but she can really draw. And handle the tools. Just a twist of the copper wheel and there's a shoulder or a leg with real verve and movement. I feel my 'Inspired by' plate is pathetic now I've looked closely at this work.
I made the right decidion to skip the art lecture in favour of this one.

09 February 2006

Pate de verre

I could get to like this -- mould-making aside. But once we'd done that bit, I really started to enjoy what I was doing. We'd not done this egg-shell technique at Brierley, and I'm certainly interested in doing it again, now I know what's involved. Trouble was we had only an hour to do the fun bit before it had to be in the kiln -- then everything cleared away in time for a lecture on the History of Art in Ten and a Half Chapters. I'm afraid I've bunked. Off to a talk by Alison Kinnaird on her wheel engraving techniques.

picture courtesy of Ana

V&A plate now finished after hours scraping away at it. Can't photograph it.

06 February 2006

V&A piece nearly ready

I did this drawing of Shiva, God of Dance, years ago. Proved to be the missing link in my 'Inspired by' design. That and some platform shoes by Biba (which I can't post up because the pic is not my copyright).

Anyway, I've been nose to plate pretty much all week - I needed to show it to Freddie at Morley College today to get a bit of feedback. Got the odd tip -- but whether I can improve on the faces according to her suggestions, I don't know. I'll spend tomorrow on it and then send off my application. Might as well have a go.

01 February 2006

Life drawing

Do I dare to post these? I haven't been engraving much and it's because I felt I had to stop to do some drawing. But I've just started my V&A-inspired plate. This is it drawn onto the glass. Will I have time to do it in time, though. It's Cinderella dancing with her kitchen tools.