31 October 2006

Visiting a Brother

Glass events this weekend included Salisbury Cathedral's wonderful stained glass windows -- understated and refined -- and a visit to Bro. Sally Pollitzer's workshop. This is a room divider she has in her kitchen. Nice effect. Fun looking at her acid etching experiments.

Unfortunately, our car broke down on the way home and is now in hospital, probably never to recover. So it's day returns to Farnham for me -- 2 and a half hours each way. Won't be able to keep that up.

26 October 2006

Week 7

We're half way through this term and I have finally had an MA tutorial. We seem to have agreed that my project (wineglass/shoe) had sufficient academic rigour so I am going ahead with it. What I don't want to do, though, is get into the whole business of mind maps. Been there; done that and it doesn't work for me. The point being, I suppose, that I have to knuckle under and overcome an ingrained disaffection for academia. Also had a chat with the glass supervisor whose favourite question is 'why?' Why do I want to blow drinking glasses? I don't know. Because I don't know if I can. I just can't seem to leave it alone. I suppose I want to see how far I can get with an impossibly difficult medium. And I did have a bit of a break-through this week.

21 October 2006

Bloomsbury Festival

Glitzy afternoon and evening -- has this got anything to do with my glass MA? In the sense that being open to inspiration is what it's about, then anything is. Went to Open House at the Horse Hospital, Artworkers' Guild, Foundling Hospital, Dickens's House, a light festival in Coram Fields, culminating in acrobatics on the walls - yes, the walls - of the Brunswick Centre. Then down under the building for a champagne reception. This would make a superb exhibition space and is allegedly relatively inexpensive. Plenty of food for glass thought.

19 October 2006


It's hard work, but someone has to do it. I'm researching the cocktail glass for a project that I am currently titling 'Why is a cocktail glass not a shoe?'. So I took Vita off for an evening of learning how to mix cocktails in the Bombay Sapphire Glass House - also to see the exhibition of last year's shortlisted glass art. I'm thinking of trying to design a glass for the next one. Posted by Picasa

18 October 2006

Work in progress

Quite a good day today; divided into groups of about 10 and then everyone gave a 10-minute presentation of their work and aspirations. General discussion ensued. I found it very interesting, though it was always the same suspects doing the talking. I think this will bed down as we get to know one another. The MAs all seem a talented and thoughtful bunch of people and there isn't the usual annoying wild card anywhere in site. Most unusual. Posted by Picasa

16 October 2006

Making art fun

This is me on one of the bicycles provided at Battersea Power Station for the China Art show. The art itself (almost all faintly tedious video apart from a wall caging in 30,000 apples) wasn't as exciting as experiencing the building itself.

After that we went to Origins at Somerset House (formerly Chelsea Crafts Show -- and why didn't they keep at least part of the old title. 'Origins' indeed! Sounds like Accenture, or Consignia-type naming - don't get me started! Anyway, a good crop of finely crafted items. A real relief after Frieze.

14 October 2006


The red bit marks my spine at T6 where the vertebra has been completely crushed intoa cake slice. I learned this week that I am officially 'deformed'. A bit of a facer. I have been wondering how I can make a glass piece to express how I feel about it.

The MRI scans are rather attractive.

13 October 2006

Seen at the Frieze Art Fair

Went to Frieze with 2 MA colleagues.

I really liked these two. A concave stainless steel, well, mirror, really by Anish Kapoor and a dichroic light sculpture by Olafu Eliasson. For the rest ... call me old-fashioned but I just couldn't see the point. A lot of porn, lots of repeating ideas clumped together in identical frames, gaudy daubs by people who didn't seem to know what paint is, and above all badly made stuff rather poorly presented. Two examples below: Some badly glued together twigs that the gallery chap spent ages trying to get to stand upright; responding to a question, he said it was a sculpture representing 'fragility and hesitation' ... hmmm. And the other picture is of visible workings of a not-very-interesting moving sculpture. I suppose they think people don't actually look at art in its setting.

11 October 2006

Working solo

Monday afternoon, Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning I spent working on my own in the hot shop. The Artist-in-Residence tried to teach me how to bring myself a punty, and I did manage to punty-off a few times, but never on centre and not at all successfully. I don't think I am going to manage very well without a partner. But I don't really mind practising getting a good gather and a good bubble for another week or two. Everything is still too thick at the neck.

06 October 2006

Third week at Farnham

Last week's two sandcast pieces, partially cold-worked. Three more attempts at sculptural forms are in the lehr. I've also boxed two blown items -- not many, but I'm not concerned about keeping them just now; it's time to get more fussy about what's worth putting away. The secret of getting going at this college is to collar someone to give you an induction to each workshop; otherwise you can't do anything. So I've now notched up the hot-shop and the first cold-working room. So that's 2 more cold-shops, the kiln-room and the plaster room to go. It'll all happen.

02 October 2006

Rainbow omen

This is the third autumn running -- at the start of a new academic year -- that I have seen a rainbow. I saw this one as I drove back from college and it obligingly waited for me to turn off to Catherington so I could get out and photograph it. Surely a good omen. cf 29 September 2004 (rainbow over Malvern Hills) and 3 September 2005 ('Rainbow over Istanbul', scroll down).