10 December 2009

Consulting rooms

One of the pictures in the consulting rooms at the hospital. Most are in the more restful blue tones, but I rather like this one and wouldn't mind somehow acquiring a copy. I wonder what the first patients, entering the room next Monday, will think.

29 November 2009

Installation day

This morning:

This afternoon:

the second one is quite close to my design visualisation

Getting out of the lifts:
1st floor
ground floor
lower ground

And the champagne is on ice.
Framed close-ups from my glass are going into the consulting rooms, but I haven't seen those yet.

28 November 2009

Rainbows over Bodmin Moor

Regular readers of this blog will have noted that each autumn, at the start of each glass year, I have seen a rainbow. This time, while glassblowing in Cornwall, I saw two. A good omen, I thought. Some chunky stuff sits in the lehr annealing for 4 days and I have hopes that there are some winners in this lot. I can't go to Cornwall again until I make some serious sales.

cf 2 October 2006 (rainbow over the South Downs);3 September 2005 ('Rainbow over Istanbul', scroll down) and 29 September 2004 (rainbow over Malvern Hills). Can't find the 2007 and 2008 ones but I know they were there.

19 November 2009

Chase Auction

This vase sold at the auction in aid of a children's hospice. Interesting because now both my 'pinch-edged' vases have sold, even though as we were making them we thought they weren't completely working. I like the idea of hand-shaping the contours of a vessel, but realistically I think one would have to make a shaping jig to do it evenly. And that just isn't financially viable.

18 November 2009

Echoes in Ely

Two charming details from panels at the Stained Glass Museum in Ely Cathedral (a wonderful eyeful in itself, glowing in autumn sunlight as we arrived and then bathed in magical lighting as we left). Top: a 1930s artist (silly not to take the name down) and a sweet little medieval rebec-player - illicitly snapped. Fun looking at glass with other glass-makers, because each of us saw something to share with others and knowing about the techniques involved made it a richer experience. Very nice to get up close to stained glass windows as well. Earlier in the day we'd agreed to hold another Glass Echoes exhibition in September 2011: venue as yet undecided. We'll somehow contrive to keep the echo theme.

10 November 2009

at Windows

Anything that has a glass connection has a place in this blog. That could be just about everything, but I have to have some limitations. I think Galvin at Windows counts (just as Murano did). 28th floor of the Hilton and we sat at the window for out 40th anniversary of the day we met. And had:
pink Pommery champagne
amuse bouche of butternut squash mousse with parmesan froth

J: oysters with cucumber, ginger & ponzu dressing
S: seared scallops, pumpkin purée, pomegranate, wild chickory, smoked bacon and maple vinaigrette

J: venison on a bed of stranded Savoy cabbage, potato mash swirls and delicious sauce
S: pigeon with beetroot mash and other bits
a very good Rhône (their cheapest at £27

pear tarte tatin for 2 (enough for 4)
coffee with petits fours

an anniversary platter of chocolates (which we took home)

02 November 2009

idfx magazine

I'm in an article on recycled glass in November's idfx magazine - not a journal I know, but it looks worth getting. I wonder if I will get any approaches as a result of it. Good publicity - in theory. And I told the journalist about Zest - which shares the page - so that's nice. Not sure either of us would have known about the article if I hadn't asked. Also it's a shame a magazine on design doesn't credit the photographer.

29 October 2009

Reception piece finalised

This is now the final arrangement of the 17 disks (representing the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae) for the RNOH reception desk. We spent an afternoon yesterday tweaking, moving, adjusting the curves and swapping some over to get the right balance. It will now be marked up for these exact positions, the glass carefully removed, then the stainless steel will be sandblasted and brushed to a silky sheen, reassembled (protecting against scratches) and the glass cleaned and gently silicone-fixed into the clips. Then it will be disassembled again and packed ready for installation on 22 November. I can't wait. Now it's getting so close, I just want to have the whole thing safely delivered and handed over.

24 October 2009

Koukan take down

When I arrived to take down the exhibition, I was convinced it had all been to no avail, but the gallery owner gently guided me round and said, Would I like to see all my red dots? What red dots?, I said. And she, with a face like the cat who's got the cream, showed me 5 dots and spaces where something had been removed and sold. I couldn't have been more astonished.

21 October 2009

Artists' talks

We did our artists' talks yesterday to a crowded (! huh) room of about 10. I redeployed some of the PowerPoint I'd done at Zest - which at least interested the gallery owner, so maybe just worth doing. A passer-by actually enquired about Hamlet's goblet (my giant wine glass which is in the window) and said he'd come back. But I don't believe he will. One just has to think, 'You never know. If you don't put yourself out there nothing happens.'

19 October 2009

New ideas

Here's one of Gudawer's photographs of glass details - he's slightly manipulated this one. We've printed up 20 A4-sized prints of different ones to have in the gallery to attract some of the architectural clientele. I'm sure there's a lot of potential in these if one could just find a designer wanting to fill large white walls with some colour and verve.

16 October 2009

Win some; lose some

The good news is that one of my pieces taken by a gallery in Corning has sold. The bad news is that my duo show at the Koukan Gallery opened yesterday and only 4 of my invitees came. Nothing sold for either of us. The good news is that I swapped these fine earrings for one of my pieces on show. I would have done this anyway, but it was a nice venue for seeing my work. The not-so-bad news is that I didn't sell at Art London, though much admired, they told me.

08 October 2009

Art London

Last night was the private view of Art London - very champagne and Chelsea set. I have two pieces on the Zest stand and I don't suppose I'll have many opportunities to exhibit in the same space as the likes of John Piper, Elizabeth Frink and Damien Hirst. So it's quite nice. There was nothing on show I would truly have liked to own and some of the prices were goggle-worthy. A lot of meticulously executed still-lifery.

03 October 2009

Construction in progress

We had lunch in the workshop in Cambridgeshire where the metalwork for my RNOH project is being constructed. This is how it is looking - not yet finished, but it was in my contract that it should be finally approved by the Commissioner before installation. Which it was. We'd changed the fixing method since they had seen the prototype and I was confidently nervous. Another couple of days now to fit the last pieces (17 altogether, representing the thoracic and lumbar disks of the spine). Then, when I've made my last tweaks, it will get a brush polish and be taken down ready for installation at the venue in mid November. Oh, and the Opera House eggs went into a pear and almond tart which everyone said was outstandingly delicious. A good day.

01 October 2009


It's sometimes challenging to make everything in this blog glass-related. Lunch yesterday at Gordon Ramsey's fine dining (and oddly named) Murano just squeezes in, though the, um, 'chandelier' with bits of glass in it pictured above wasn't very Murano-glass-ish and didn't match up to the superb cuisine (exquisite amuses bouches including risotto marbles, basil sorbet, pesto truffles, lemon and earl grey ice). The second picture I can't justify, but must blog it because these are the free-est-range eggs you can think of - laid onstage at the Royal Opera House last night during the dress rehearsal of Carmen - calm hens all right. We're having them for supper tonight (the eggs, not hens). OK, I'll serve them on a glass plate.

28 September 2009

Space and Place conference

The Contemporary Glass Society conference was at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park which was autumnally beautiful - shame not be indoors really. However, the theme was architectural glass and I found it inspiring and informative with good speakers and lots of information and chat. Didn't take many pictures, but one I did take was (illicitly) at the Park's special exhibition on Peter Randall-Page because his sketchbooks were inspirational and prolific. I work in a different way, though I sometimes think the real artist sketches all the time, which I don't. The other pic shows painting using the effects of colour on smashed glass.

24 September 2009

Martini glasses again

Went to see the Bombay Sapphire martini glass finalists and winners for the 4th year running. I still keep forgetting to note when the entry date is so I can try for it - though I know from the kinds of shapes they choose that I don't have a chance. It's always the same, somehow. The winner was a classic shape this time - a bit understated, but (as the barman told me as we had our first [of 5] cocktail) it held 7 fluid ounces, which is a proper martini's-worth, whereas most of them were too small.

19 September 2009

The stolen glass

We've just been to Paris (again) and dined one night at Le Verre Volé; a wine shop that also serves food just by the canal near the flat we stay in. Somewhat quirky but I couldn't resist the name. Other interesting glass in various museums. I was a bit inspired by some glass by Maurice Marinot seen in the otherwise pretty dreary museum of modern art, which made me reflect on the kind of work I am doing. But what really got me slavvering was not glass, but the ceramics and lacquer in the Musee Guimet. The craftsmanship and the fine eye for pleasing shapes. And the sense of humour in this crab and shrimp - I loved it.

03 September 2009

An international week

I have been invited to be in two exhibitions in Europe this week. In November/December my jewellery will be part of a large recycling project in Madrid's Moda Shopping Centre; and in March/April next year as part of a small group exhibiting at the Aventurijn Gallery (left) which specialises in contemporary glass art in Eastern Netherlands. Both invitations came this week. And today the Koukan Gallery confirmed that they'd like me again for a duo show in October - though I do rather feel it's a bit soon after Zest and I'm not sure it is wise to do it.

30 August 2009

Trip to Copenhagen

We've just spent 5 days in Copenhagen where we saw quite a bit of glass, but my cameraman didn't click any of it except these rather nice bowls seen in a gallery in one of the main streets. Although we thought it an expensive city, the glass and furniture in this shop didn't seem hors de combat. I forget what these cost, but they seemed reasonable. I wonder if we don't price ourselves out of the market in the UK.

Lots of interesting pieces in the Kunstindustrimuseet including this classic 1920s glass lamp by Wilhelm Wagenfeld which we've got.

21 August 2009

Design - Solo Show 2nd party

Lots going on glasswise even though I haven't blogged for a bit. I have commissioned the metalwork for RNOH and am currently arranging my chosen pieces on my studio wall at half life size. I've done about 8 versions (of which this is the current favourite) - tissue paper on top of that to draw out the metal structure. We've jointly come to some possibly better solutions. Though at the closing party last night for my Zest show, I looked at the prototype hanging there and thought it actually does work rather well. Nice visitors drinking fizz - but no buyers. Total sold = 5, which apparently isn't bad for the time of year.

24 July 2009

Artist Talk evening

Just one screen from my PowerPoint presentation last night. I talked about the motivation for design and about how my pieces are made. Lots of illustrations. Packed house. I was very conscious that it was hot and people were crammed into a small space - so I romped through. But I think people were interested. The whole thing is at this link on my website.

16 July 2009

Zest private view

Three (rather yellowish) pictures of my exhibition just as the private view was beginning. In one of them you can just see that I am dressed to match one of the blow-up photographs. I thought these looked very good. Lots of compliments from all who came, but the red dots were very sparse. It's early days, of course, and probably largely a non-buying guest list. Perhaps the architects and interior designers come during the day. More online at Zest.

14 July 2009

Exhibition preview

Just 4 of something like 30 pieces that are going into my show at Zest opening tomorrow. Having a solo show is pretty scary - and a very great deal of work. Just signing and packing them all up and loading the car took a whole day. There are some pieces I am very happy with and some that are quite nice. But one just doesn't know how it'll be received.

07 July 2009


My collaborator at Blink Art has been working on details of my glass to create abstract pictures. I'm completely thrilled with the results. Top one and last one are in the exhibition, the larger one blown up to 1 metre wide - I have to say, they look fabulous.