31 January 2007


I thought if I stuck to a repetitive task this afternoon I might get somewhere. So I tried to get the hang of the footboard -- made about 30; all too small; all off-centre; all too thick. And the footboard Stephen made me for Christmas is all burnt - banged up my my mishandling. Slightly demoralising.

30 January 2007

Professional context lectures

Today was the first of 9 MA talks - we thought on Innovation and Creativity, but I think the lecturer hadn't quite 'got' who we were and that he was talking about corporate politics to a bunch of would-be craftpersons. I was interested -- because it had resonances to my CLA days -- but I don't think it can have been much use to some of the group. Still, I probably ought to take advantage of what's on offer. Can't blow all day.

29 January 2007


Joined the first years for their metalwork induction and learned how to guillotine sheets of mild steel, bend it on the rollers, use the box and pan folder, and the spot welder.

23 January 2007

Working in pairs

Things are looking up in the hot shop. There's a new Canadian artist-in-residence who is not only very nice, but very happy to work with us. The two pretty second years and I have been working together for the last two days. We're going back to basics and trying to master cylinders, cones and the basic bowl shape. The girls say they've never been taught how to set up for each of these. I have to confess that we did do it in Turkey - but that's a year and a half ago, and besides, that was in another country. Everyone shows you differently in any case. So I've been trying it Chris's way. Quite a reasonable little jug - and another one in the lehr. Today is the first time I have partnered anyone (pictured) for a whole session since I got here. Makes a huge difference. I must just get brave and ask.

19 January 2007

Here we go again

Another tipsy trio -- the middle one leans over at a drunken angle. To be christened tonight when a friend is coming to supper who will, I know, angle to get me to part with it.

17 January 2007


Pix: laying out murrine; blowing them into a vase; my first attempts at using a footboard and a cup and stem that broke at crack off.

For the last two days we have had masterclasses in Venetian techniques - goblets, murrine, cane and so on. All morning, demonstrations; both afternoons, we tried out goblet-making for ourselves. Right up my street - what a joy! Loved every minute of it, and we who were there were very lucky -- just three and sometimes four of us with two tutors there to help. This was such luxury compared to my usual working alone - though I did ask for (and got) lots of tips for solo working. I have to say, most of my 'goblets' were 'floor models' - but we were all pretty much in that boat. And I learned such a lot. These are going to be my first ones with a foot using my new foot-board, and two were blown. Very wobbly, probably won't stand up - but I had such a good time. Slightly shocked that only 3 out of a pool of about 40 glass students took up the opportunity.

15 January 2007

4 days this week

I'm staying down for 4 days as the next two weeks are going to be a bit curtailed. I've been trying to blow a bit larger today and last week - actually trying to do a salad bowl but not really succeeding. Still, OK little batch gathered up - some of which I shall sandblast. It's a bit fierce, the sandblaster - I'm also cutting through to the white on a blue plate for a special order. Mistakes - which aren't correctable.

13 January 2007

Not feeling blue

I - amazingly - sold this sandcast today. I called it 'Blue Breezes'. It's actually landscape, but this program doesn't want to show it that way round. I've also taken (another) commission for a blue engraved plate. So I am distinctly not feeling blue. I don't know if I should or should not be selling stuff I make at college, but why not? I can't keep it all, and people keep asking me to. Remarkable how many people actually like wobbly glasses. The Farnham bunch would disapprove, I feel sure.

12 January 2007

Trying new things

I thought I should do something in the kiln room and the plaster room this week. You get to see what other peole are doing and that's instructive. I have a little commission to make a mask in glass - but what I came to realise was that I was not enjoying all the processes of making a clay model, then a plaster cast, cleaning up and all that's involved before you even start on the glass part of it. So I shifted back to the hot shop, where I had fun. I hadn't lost ground over the 3 weeks break and thought I might try larger and thinner, and perhaps more bowl-shaped. Loads of 'floor models', but a few got boxed.

08 January 2007

2nd term begins

Here's my research assignment - all ready to hand in tomorrow. Can't wait to get back into harness. Much as I've enjoyed the holiday -- going to exhibitions, photographing my egg collection, socialising and, above all, eating and drinking -- I feel I've been treading water for the last week. Question is: is it back to blowing, or do I start a new theme. My glass-blowing tools that I've bought myself for Christmas won't arrive till the end of the month.