25 September 2007

Life drawing

Second week of life drawing was a little better than the first, but it is such hard work looking and thinking. And I don't know why I am posting this drawing as now it's on my screen I can see everything wrong with it. However, this blog is about logging my MA journey and it's got wobbly wine glasses and wobbly drawings as part of the warts and all process.

23 September 2007


The Brick Lane hub of the Design Festival - which was 100% East last year. Just a bit post-grad-showish. It's expensive exhibiting at these things and I felt unsure how many people were going to get their money back. Picked out a luminous optical fibre material called Glofab (top pic); a chandelier made of torn plastic bags - a companion to yesterday's rice noodle one; and the reincarnation chandelier (bottom) which is made of Indonesian animal bones and recycled wood. There were a couple of whacky wineglasses which I photographed for my collection, but I seem to be waning in interest on that front. Temporarily maybe.

22 September 2007

100% Design

I must have been at the show for 4 to 5 hours. A huge number of ideas-triggers - very inspiring. Pictured are a chandelier coated with Japanese rice noodles (very glassy) by IDEA ; shoal of ceramic sardines chandelier by Scabetti; Orofors crystal LED chandelier by Zero - [note to myself: I've got all the information somewhere]. But lots more including Sharon Marston optical chandeliers and Bocci chandeliers. To follow up personally:

  • Vitrafoil - peel on glass printing
  • Magscapes - magnetic wallpaper (not terribly attractive but clever)
  • various stainless steel mesh suppliers
  • Vitrulan - fabric made of glass (amazing)
  • Material Works - unusual stuff
  • modulor - more unusual stuff
  • materials - stuff for designers

Then on to the Bombay Sapphire installation at the Trafalgar Hotel (disappointing) but I did at least then see the Alison Lapper plinth in the Square.

21 September 2007

London Design Festival - 1

Did the Southbank circuit yesterday, starting at the Zaha Hadid exhibition at the Design Museum, where I was inspired by a chandelier looking like a swarm of insects, made of black jet beads strung on nylon cable. Couldn't get a decent picture of it. Then to the Oxo Gallery, the Bankside Gallery and various things in and outside the Festival Hall, including these hugely OTT Swarowski chandeliers. One of them appears to be wearing a wig. Impressive bits of glass, but not exactly original nor beautiful.

19 September 2007

Start of Year 2

After enrolment I spent the day joining the pre-dips' life class. I don't want to publicise my faltering charcoalings. It would be good for me to join this class. Helpful teacher who says I can slip in and out as I want. There are 4 glass MAs starting this year, so we are now a cohort - which is good. Poor things, though, they have been set a 3-week project to foster team-building across all the MA disciplines. I can see why this is theoretically a good idea, but I'm glad we didn't have to do it. Then some quiet solo blowing in the evening.

16 September 2007

Open House Weekend - Day 2

Another glass-encrusted day. Went to the top of the 'Gherkin' (30 St Mary Axe) to ogle the stunning views all round (with good cloud appreciation opportunities to boot). Also seen (but not allowed to photograph so here's one like it off the web) a set of totally beautiful chandeliers in Mansion House, which are cleaned once a year (remember that for the forthcoming hospital brief). Talk about wow factor! I don't think any modern installation can match those.

Took in a bunch of City churches, and an old Turkish Bath. Also no. 1 Poultry (built by Stirling) where we saw further views of the City (without stumping up £4.50 for a beer). Then on to Bart's Hospital West Wing to see the newly commissioned art, which included rather boring neon lighting round the stairwell window-frames. And this wood-incised wall in the cafeteria, which made me thing someone else thinks circles are pleasantly healing symbols for a hospital.

15 September 2007

Open House Weekend - Day 1

Star venue was Bloomberg in Finsbury Square because glass featured everywhere as a metaphor for transparency. All offices, breakout areas, TV rooms etc (but not the loo) were in glass boxes so everyone can see what anyone else is doing. Even the 'art features' - 13 giant-sized fish tanks with completely stunning tropical fish in them - were chosen so people could see through to the other side. These cost, we learned, £200,000 each one once populated with plants and sea creatures, and there are two marine biologists on the payroll. Orange, I discover, is the colour of creativity (orange sofas).

Also visited the offices of a structural engineer, a private house development in Barnsbury and an old milliner's factory in de Beauvoir Town.

12 September 2007

Professional photography - finished

And here's what Simon Bruntnell took. Wants to use a detail of it in his 2008 calendar. Which is rather nice.

11 September 2007

Professional photography

The professional photographer at work lighting my piece and taking really good pictures. It's actually quite interesting comparing two proper photographer's work: the one taken in the crypt itself is less sharp but has more of a sense of drama. Good to have both effects. I've not seen the close-ups of the one's we did yesterday yet. Up in Stourbridge. I went to see my old pals at IGC as well. Then on to the Glass Sellers' Prize - wouldn't have chosen the one they picked myself. Which shows how arbitrary it all is. Richard Jackson, Triune IV

05 September 2007

Window jewellery

I installed this piece of 'window jewellery' today and got paid something like real money. All of which I will be spending next week on professional photography and a glass-blowing lesson. I think my coinage 'window jewellery' is apt: it is small-scale and rather delicate and an adornment that catches the light in a very feminine way. The client is very pleased.

04 September 2007

Using the workshops

Had a slight altercation with my superviser today - very slight. Nothing I wanted to do seemed to be available. He said there was no problem about working in the workshops these last few weeks. Here's a typical picture of what almost all of them look like. I've got documentary evidence from July, August and September. You can squeeze through to get to bits of equipment, but it's not exactly conducive to creativity. And certain supplies have run out. If I were paying my own fees for this third semester, I think I would be feeling a little sore.


Went to the Dali exhibtion at Tate Modern not really expecting to be inspired by anything as I don't think I really understand Dali. The films were perhaps the most interesting works on show - especially a sequence done for Disney and only put together in the last few years. And these shapes in this painting 'Inaugural Goose Flesh' (like, why?) seemed to have something glassy about them. Ideas for sandblasting or engraving maybe.

01 September 2007

Having a blow - part 2

Here's what I blew on Tuesday - 'assembled' on Friday. Yes, still stuck in the wineglass groove. So what! I like them; my family and friends like them - and it's not a bad start considering I haven't done any blowing for 6 weeks. I think perhaps I will spend less time in the hotshop this coming year and exploit other possibilities. It's hard to tear oneself away from it though.