Saturday, 24 July 2010

Carnival dragonflies and a ballotini obsession.

Ever since I went on a masterclass with Nick Mount at the International Festival of Glass in Stourbridge in 2008 I have had a "thing" about Ballotini cane.

Making Ballotini cane in the hot shop is great fun, the photos below show the (abriged) process from one of Nick's demos.

Having pulled some simple white-encased-in-clear cane you fuse 5 pieces of that cane together and pick it up on the end of a blowing iron, your assistant then pours hot motlen glass onto the top of your canes which pours down your canes, encasing them, then you add more molten glass to the sides of your canes building up the mass into a more cylindrical shape, the whole piece is now shaped into a cylinder and then another iron is attached and the glassblower starts to stretch the glass and starts twisting the pattern before handing an iron to the assistant so a long piece of cane can be pulled.

Now it doesnt look quite so impressive a making process on a torch but you can make equally gorgeous, if a tad smaller, canes. (Insert Blue Peter style "here is one I made earlier" - the picture shows the cane just as im starting to twist and pull it out, its diameter at this point is approximately 13mm)

I had a lightbub moment while preparing for Art in Action, needing to make some sculptural work to take with, and having been wanting for a while to make some sculptural dragonflies (It was August last year I first had a go, oops been a while) I decided Ballotini would be perfect for dragonfly tails so I have now another new obsession, dragonflies with Ballotini tails.

This one is one of 4 with a rainbow ballotini tail and I made them up into a bright Carnival theme mobile for Art in Action but unfortunatley it was too windy to display them.

I also have black and white varieties of dragonflies made so I guess when my "studio" is done im going to have lots of them hanging around the place !!

...and no I havent forgotten I said I'd tell you all about my studio goings on, and I will... later ;o)

Friday, 23 July 2010

How Fab ...

Is this -

It was given to me by the lovely and very talented Charlotte Hughes Martin at Art in Action and I wanted to post about it separately as I thought it deserved its own special post, after all a chameleon engraved on a beer bottle is very cool. I have a special place in mind for it in my new studio... but more about that later this post is for the Chameleon bottle !!


Monday, 19 July 2010

Art in Action

.....and relax.

Yep shows over, a slightly frantic whirlwind few days between setting up last wednesday and then everything packing up last night. Having visited Art in Action before to watch the demonstrators and look round it was quite odd at first to be on the other side of the action but we settled in ok and as there were two of us (Lou Cloke and I) both on the stand then it did mean over the weekend I got to have a bit of a look round in some of the other tents. We may (cough) have also found the belgian waffles and the home made scones too in our look round ..

One of the highlights of the event for me was getting to meet so many lovely people, not just the members of the public who came to say hello, as well as the customers and friends but my fellow demonstrators too as they were all unfailingly cheerful and friendly. It was great to look round at everyones work so without further ado here are some of the pictures I took

First off a picture of my cabinet with my work in it. I was quite pleased with how this looked but I do have some ideas Im keen to work on for some changes for future events.

Next up is one of Abigail Stradlings gorgeous jewellery pieces, these little treasures are liquid filled with tiny inclusions that all move around, great for someone like me who loves jewellery to fiddle with !

These next two have been engraved by Charlotte Hughes Martin and I think they are just fab

Ema Kelly of Duck in a Bucket had some wonderful quirky pieces but this little caterpillar plant support was my favorite, he's so cute !

I took lots of photos of Emma Cavell's work in progress as she had some very photogenic bowls of broken china and glass about and it was great to watch her assembling them into her work, so a couple of pictures here and I will pop some more on Flickr

Emma working-

and one of her finished pieces -

Neon artist Sarah Blood has something I want LOTS you can see it in the picture below of her working, yes that great big hunk of metal there is a torch, or to be precise it is a ribbon burner ! So it can be opened up to get a flame all along that egde ! Think of the possibilities !! and Sarah was lovely enough to let us look at it and not to complain about me drooling lol !!

And this is one of her pieces, neon antlers !!

Now this artist is someone you will all probably know, Sarah Hornick. I was spoilt for choice taking photos of Sarah's work which was as gorgeous as always and very popular with all the visitors.

I loved what Sarah did with this button to make a necklace -

The image below is one of my favorites of the fabulous fun pieces made by the very lovely Simone Bremner (queen of lemon meringue pie and pavlova making, so watch out for a future post on us going to stalk her !! :o) )

And lastly but far from least these are pictures of Zoe Garner's work. Zoe works with boro and makes some amazing things, including the start of the chain that you can see hanging up !! The bottom picture also shows Zoe's awesome torch a rather huge and fabulous creature from GTT. (Yep, more torch envy !!)

I hope you enjoyed that quick (ish) fly through the glass tent. I do have other news to share too so I will be back again soon.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Day 2

Well I was full of resolution to blog each day of Art in Action but it didnt quite work out that way. We set up on Wednesday which was busy but also quite fun meeting the other people in the glass tent and I have to say everyone, Art in Action staff, and fellow demonstrators was so helpful and friendly that it was a great start to the event. A huge thank you particularly has to go to Diana East who was amazing and helped so many of us through lots of little (and not so little) panics.

Yesterday was quite busy and despite taking the camera I didnt get chance to get any photos so I hope to make up for that today and Im going to try and get some photos of the other artists that are demoing. Im sure that himself, who has been persuaded into coming along as a helper, will also get some photos of me demoing or of what I make so I will have those to share with you too !

If you are coming along to the even, we are in tent 30, right inside the "door" so do come and say Hi !

Friday, 9 July 2010

the preparation continues

Im getting there, I have a list (and I know that does not surprise you) and I'm ticking everything off as I get it done. Some of the sights currently to be seen around the house (I have rather taken over, not so much as a windowsill is safe..)

There are Ear Bobs sunning themselves on the office window-

Mini Hearts awaiting painting in the kitchen -

A selection of my new business cards, tags and Bob cards from those lovely people at Moo in the back bedroom -

and...Oooo ... What is this ??? Something curious lurking in the vermiculite in the garage... Any guesses as to what it is ??

Thursday, 8 July 2010

And here they are

.. as promised following yesterday's excitement here are the beads. They are just over 30mm so you can imagine these are pretty tiny pattterns so I'm really pleased with how they have come out.

All the patterns are slightly different, and as you can probably see I'm still feeling Sari inspired and I really enjoyed doing these. So much so I decided to do some more complicated designs on the last couple -

These will all be coming to Art in Action with me next week as Im still on a mad crazy rush making lots of pieces to take with. Todays task is sculptural though and I have some fun plans for what I'm going to make so look out for more pictures tomorrpw.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Im so excited....

I even have the "Im so excited, and I just cant hide it ..." from the Pointer Sisters song going round my head !! I have to confess this is down to beady things though before you get any ideas about it being to do with the rest of the lyrics of that song !!!

I have been painting beads again and *oh my* I am so so excited to see if they look the same when they are fired. I have done some teeny tiny ultra detailed little patterns on these lovelies so keep everything crossed for me that the kiln fairies are kind to them and I'll share them in the morning when they come out.

...Off to dance excitably round the kitchen...