31 March 2007

End of term

Not that they have 'terms' as such at Farnham. But I'm off now for 3 weeks. Finished on a high, by blowing these 2 entirely solo. Non-glassmakers won't be impressed, but it is a milestone for me. You do really need an assistant to board the top of the bowl (that's why these aren't flat), to bring you a bit for the marise, to open the garage where you park the bowl and then have to pick it up with one hand if you are working alone (that's why these are off-centre), to bring you a bit for the foot (that's why these feet are a little small - though I did footboard them myself). And best of all, my supervisor congratulated me -- up to now I've rather thought he wasn't in the slightest interested in what I'm doing. Perhaps I'm wrong. It's astonishing how bucked a senior person can feel by a tiny word of praise.

27 March 2007

A bowl of feet

I spent a whole day practising making feet with my footboard and just about started to get the hang of it, though I burnt the footboard too much. Very tricky. Actually, I lie. It wasn't the whole day. But 2 entire blowing slots.

23 March 2007

Screen printing induction

I might as well learn everything I can while I've got all the facilities of a well-endowed art school at my fingertips. So here I am about to let UV light etch my design onto a silk screen so I can print my own decals (transfers) so I can print onto glass. I hadn't realised that this could bring my old text and glass ideas back into the frame. Lots of potential here. And yes, I am cutting myself up into smaller and smaller pieces and I can't possibly do everything, but so what! I'm here to have fun and find things out.

22 March 2007

Drinking together

On Tuesday evening the artist-in-residence and I decided we would both make a goblet and take it to the pub the following evening to drink out of. We've been unsuccessfully trying for some time - he is more of a perfectionist than I am. I forgot to photograph the 2 we made, but they're waiting for next Tuesday when we might try again. But I did practice using the footboard the whole of yesterday and was beginning to make some reasonable ones. I also managed to assemble one small sherry glass all by myself, having made all the parts separately and garaged them. It's just a question of working out how to glue the bits together with hot glass rather than with UV glue. Glue is a lot easier.

18 March 2007

Aldosterone receptor engraving

This is intaglio engraving - pretty deep cut on a fairly thick blue cased plate and is a commission for an endocrinologist friend. We came to the idea of doing an enzyme molecule together -- it came out of general discussion on what they would like. How nice to get away from the 'robin-on-the-bough' style of engraving. But must have taken me a full-time week to do. Still, a new departure and it has worked.

Jaunty drinking fellows

Two more 'unorthodox' wines -- and a third from last term have 'fallen off my shelf'. Not literally, but I am only allowing myself a single row of my own goblets on our dresser and when it's full I have to give away some old ones. These two are actually from last week, so they never made it onto the shelf (poor things). But finding a good home with my friend who paints pet portraits.

17 March 2007


As I had no blowing slots this week, I spent some time monoprinting. Mostly using my 'good bones / bad bones' designs in preparation for screen-printing on glas next week. But I also tried to get some marbling effects going. It's an interesting technique, because -- like marbling -- you at first think, it's all too easy to get a pleasing effect, but as you progress, you realise you aren't getting the textures or contrasts you really want. So there is some skill involved.

15 March 2007

Becoming Jane

Yesterday, I took my lunch and went and sat in a playground outside Jane Austen's house (about 20 mins away from the college) and looked at the view she must have seen everyday and felt I was 'Becoming Jane' (in fact, I already am). It was a lovely sunny day, and the first time I haven't gone at it hammer and tongs in the college workshops on one of my Farnham days. It was good to be a bit relaxed for a change. I need to stop diversifying and decide what, in glass, I am going to concentrate on.

13 March 2007

Worshipful Company of Glaziers & Painters of Glass

To Glaziers Hall last night for a lecture on the V&A collection of stained glass. Somewhat dry and curatorial, despite some charming medieval roundels that he showed. Almost the best thing was that the Hall had an original of the John Roque'1746 map. Never see the whole thing together before.

10 March 2007

Engraving day

Spent the day at the London branch of the Guild of Glass Engravers. The format for the day is always a slideshow of work by a practitioner (Amanda Lawrence); lunch; and then we all get out our engraving gear and the speaker comes round and talks to you about your work. A bit like Tuesdays at Farnham -- only more relevant to my own concerns.

09 March 2007

Last week's sandcasting

Three versions of my 'cracked vertebra'. The clear one had deep engraving on float glass -- which should not have been compatible and ought to have cracked. I wanted it to crack. There's no accounting for the things glass will or will not do sometimes.

05 March 2007

Real marbling

Went on a day's marbling course in Radnorshire this weekend to learn how it's really done. Here's my ink floating on a bed of moss size ready for feathering. It did occur to me that one could devise adjustable combs for glass to imitate some of the effects we learned, though you'd have to be pretty quick about it while the glass was very hot. How did the Egyptians do it? Anyhow, we all enjoyed the day and it's given me ideas - not to mention lots of paper for covering notebooks.

02 March 2007

Marbling effects and frilly edges

I've been continuing my experiments with swirling 'marbling effects' and complementing them by playing along with the uneven factor. Intentionally -- but can't honestly claim total control. I quite like them, but hubby does not. A new kind of jug, I said. A new kind of wobble, quoth he.
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