28 April 2006

The lion and the unicorn

Since this blog is seen through glass, first mention of our trip yesterday to St George's Bloombury (Hawkesmoor) is of the fine windows inside the church which I inspected with renewed interest in the technique of tracing black and silver stain. But the real excitement was climbing the scaffolding up the tower to see the restored lions and unicorns fighting for the crown at each corner of the stepped pinnacle. And not a bad view of the British Museum from the gantry. Spectacular!

Then on to the gallery at Morley College for the PV of our glass engraving students' show.

20 April 2006

V&A Inspired by ...

My plate has been accepted for the exhibition in May. When I delivered it, I passed by the stained glass gallery and was inspired by this fragment. The exaggeration of the features is something that would work well in glass engraving. I also inspected the use of tracing black and silver stain with informed interest. Painting with glass enamels is an art in itself.

17 April 2006


We have been over-Eastering in the countryside in a extraordinary folly of a house -- imaginative in every way. In almost every room (our personal bathroom included) were glass chandeliers and sconces. We dined by the light of the second. I'm quite converted to the way the glass droplets reflect the light and create a drama in the room. Not hitherto my taste. Very interested, too, that the droplets all have drilled holes with the wire threading through rubbling straight against the glass. What does this tell me about my piece?

11 April 2006

Another blow in Stourbridge

Am just back from another session with Martin - four goblets and then supper at the Spice of Lyeffe. Good fun. One of the goblets is fairly respectable. But why is it that when you collect them from the lehr next day they always seem smaller than when you were blowing them. A serious downsideof my wineglasses is that very few of them hold enough wine.

07 April 2006

Assessment day

Why is the educational system so stuck in political correctness and assessment-criteria box-ticking? I was happy to lay out my stall of maquettes, designs, trial pieces and notes -- because it's useful to have deadlines; that's the real world. But the tutors had to focus on the paperwork that is required of them. It's not their fault and indeed I sympathise; they must be champing at the bit over it as much as I am. Trouble is, it leaves no time for what I'd understood 'group feedback' to be -- a moderated space in which all of us could look at each other's work and react to it. What 'group feedback' appears to mean is how does the group perform as a group and what are the perimeters of a level playing field in which there are equal opportunities. Ergo, someone like me who can afford a second-hand kiln is obliquely disadvantaging those who can only come to the classes. Is this a penalty point? And decided point against anyone who can write academically because the essay we have to hand in next term is specially tailored so it is accessible to anyone dyslexic or partially sighted. So -- did I hear this correctly -- it can be partly drawn and it can be recorded rather than written. Chicago-Vancouver rules for the Bibliography? Not at WAES.

02 April 2006

Not happy with my design

Top picture shows window layout with the window itself in the background. And whoops, who is that portrait of a little girl with pigtails? It's me when I was 10. Intense or what! Second pic is me thinking, Well, will I do it in the window after all? The reception space seemed so nasty last time I went -- dark, tatty and ... So here's a photo of a paper maquette I've done transporting the same idea to two white walls, one in the reception area, and one beyond, but visible as people come from the lifts. It's technically more complex. But I'm thinking about it.

01 April 2006

Guild of Glass Engravers London AGM

All very proper and done by the book - decisons, proposers and seconders and all that. Then we had a discussion on sources of inspiration led by Josephine Harris. Quite interesting to see what magazine cuttings people had brought with them and what they intended to do with them. I did my usual copying pictures copyright issues anxiety thing -- which fell on deaf ears. Forgot to take a picture, so here's one of my new room with my engraving things -- except for the drill shaft itself which has gone to Mr Kagan to have new bearings fitted and so that he can try and make me a fitting to hold the pin-drill-bit that I need to make tiny holes in my lenses.