28 August 2008

All work presented

This is a watercolour of my visualisation of my MA Final Project - the now commissioned piece for the reception desk of the new Bolsover Street hospital outpatients department. The storyboard detailing the whole project, the model, a sample panel, background notes, and the obligatory 'critical appraisal' (which I have done in unconventional manner) are all awaiting inspection in the MA room. Downstairs in the gallery, I have laid out my giant goblet and my Four Seasons quartet - the hanging committee will make the final decisions today about where everything is to go, but I am again in prime position - the first thing you see on entering the gallery. How do I feel, now it is all over? A bit flat. But I am taking my new motto from what the Isle of Wight blower said at the weekend: 'My best work will be done tomorrow.'

25 August 2008

International Festival of Glass

It was nice to be in Stourbridge again - a happy place for me. Lovely to see Brierley Hill colleagues - I reached a tally of 19 of them, about 9 Farnhamites, 4 Westminsters and at least 30 other assorted meet-and-greet friends from glass circles. Of course everyone interested in glass would be there, but it did seem amazing when I didn't know anyone four years ago at the very first biennale. Pictures show a glass frock, 2 biennale pieces, amazing Egyptian glassblowers, and Isle-of-Wight demo. I fell for the microwave kiln-lette demo and bought one, which I look forward to using. The biennale winner was a fellow MA from Farnham, as was the student runner-up prize, which is very chuffing for Farnham and so good news for everyone at the college (or would be if the press release had acknowledged it). A weekend of parties with barbecues, chocolate fountains, lots to drink and lots to look at and talk about. Really enjoyed it.

19 August 2008

I must be mad - continued

Three readers of this blog, plus personal married-to advisor said go for the shorter (better proportioned) goblet. Reader, I didn't. Somehow it seemed a bit squat when I had all the parts assembled. I had every intention of taking the advice - not least because I wasn't sure the whole thing would stand up with the extra part of the stem, and a very tenuous joint to the foot. It was standing when I left college yesterday. I felt literally sick with anxiety as I pieced it together. Not totally unlike the chalk working drawing.

I don't think I have explained its purpose. It is for the MA Final Show as an installation goblet: 'We'll teach you to drink deep ere you depart' [Hamlet] and it will contain a cocktail of research notes, exhibition catalogues and sketches – all absorbed in the course of the two years. This both represents the MA exploration and refers to a mild obsession with wineglasses that this blog testifies has been a themesong.

10 August 2008

Liverpool glass

Here recording a trip to the City of Culture through a handful of pictures of glass S happened to take. From top left: a glass shelf in the Bluecoats gallery (good crafts outlet); Victorian architecture reflected in glass opposite; stained glass panel of St George and the dragon in the monumental St George's Hall; Piper/Rentiens lantern of the Metropolitan Cathedral; Gathering Light exhibition of International Women's Glass Workshops; 1929 sandblasted doors of the Phiharmonic Hall. Nothing glassy in the Klimt exhibition. Interesting few days; lots of tramping about.

06 August 2008

I must be mad

After two days of grinding, spirit-levelling, fitting, pondering, being frustrated, wondering what I am doing, etc, etc., I have arrived at a dilemma about my giant goblet - here shown roughly photoshopped in two versions. I wanted it as large as possible to make a statement, but are the proportions better if I leave out the long stem and stop at the baluster section? It looks a bit odd and floaty in the picture, but I left myself in as an indication of scale. I rather wish I had taken the bits home now to ponder over, because I can't go in next week as they are having a deep clean on my regular days. I didn't because I was so exhausted by the end of the 2nd day and felt I'd risk dropping it if I tried to take it to the car. That did happen to me once.

03 August 2008

Four Seasons - blown out

In the same order as the p√Ęte de verre blanks. And with the 'germ' pieces inside - this is how they are being exhibited at the Final Show. At the time of making, I thought, ho hum. Does this add anything to the originals? I'm a bit disappointed and it's my own fault. They are rather chunky and heavy. I should have stuck to my first plan which was to open them out more. On the other hand that would have taken longer and really I might then have outstayed my welcome and my gaffer would have said he had to get on with his own work. And summer could have had some twist - I said not to because I wanted the sun to stay as it was. There is one bonus - the extra glass is creating nice optical effects and you can see the ghost original reflected three times.

01 August 2008

Three Seasons

Me doing the easy bit again - couldn't get a picture of me blowing, which is a shame because I like the fact that my breath has at least inflated my work. I've called in a long-outstanding favour at London Glassblowing, and again learned a lot about different techniques. I now see more clearly how I can prepare my pieces more effectively. Spring broke off on the punty because the green pulled out, but autumn and winter I think are going to be very nice and summer went a whole lot better than expected. So it's three seasons now. Or where has my springtime gone? Actually I don't think I showed it, but I was half crippled with back pain by the third bowl and can't move today.