Thursday, 26 May 2011

Evolution of a studio

As my studio is now finished bar a few little details I thought it would be fun to share how far it has come from when I first started lampworking.

My very first "studio" was in the corner of our kitchen, with the things I bought at a taster session. I made one very simple (very bad) set of beads on this set up -

The set up was then packed away in order for us to move house. Once we were settled at the new house I took a couple of weekend classes with the very lovely Diana East, whilst I was away on the first one himself was busy in the garage building and I came home to this - 

My kiln arrived shortly after and many happy hours were spent in there. We did decide however that a little more space was needed, so another bench was added to make an L shape -

There was then a jewellers bench added to the right of the picture, and I worked with that set up then until just before Christmas last year. That was when we started the renovations and added more benches to make benches on 4 sides and I had a move about, setting up both my torches on the new bench. Then a couple of weeks ago the builders came and built me a new wall, added a ceiling (the space was double height) and I spent a lot of time with pollyfilla and paint. My torch area now looks like this with the new wall behind the torches - 

My bench is the one on the right and my glass storage sits to my right -

The rest of the studio is still needing a little work but as soon as it is all done I'll take some more pictures.  It is a lovely place to work, very light and Im really looking forward to having it all sorted and indulging my ocd in organising everything !

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Taking a break ..

Having spent the last few days (Weeks ? - it feels that way) covered in pollyfilla and paint as the studio gets all its work done, yesterday we decided to take a day out. Himself was talking about the Horniman Museum mid week, which I had never heard of so I google'd it and saw the info about the "Bail: Dancing for the Gods" exhibit and mentioned that I would like to go, so yesterday off we tootled.

The Bali exhibition was fantastic, masks and costumes and shadow puppets and patterns, Oh the patterns !! I spent ages admiring the pieces and taking photos. There is also an amazing musical instrument collection and you can even play some of the instruments (great fun, although I bet the security man who had the job of watching that room turns the volume down !!). But what stole the show for me was the Jellyfish.

Yes Jellyfish.

I hadnt realised there was an aquarium when I looked at the website, having been a tad engrossed with with Bali pictures, but when we got there and the ticket lady said there was an aquarium I had to see (Entry is free to the museum but the Bali exhib and the aquarium you do have to buy tickets for).

The Jellyfish were magical. Despite taking lots of photos, they mostly turned out terrible. These were transparent jellies as you can see in the picture above, and they were so graceful moving about in the tank, visible where the light caught them but almost invisible when they moved out of the light. I was fascinated.

Himself took this short film of them -

So, amazingly, Im now liking Jellyfish (amazing considering when I was little I was stung by one and strangely enough haven't been very fond of them ever since) and Im thinking its quite possible at some point Im going to have to try and make one in glass. Maybe I'll just need to pop back to the museum for a bit first... 

Wednesday, 11 May 2011


I have mentioned before that I have a total addiction to the Hipstamatic app for the iphone, I love taking photos with it and do so rather a lot. I also love to look at other peoples Hipstamatic shots and today I saw these photos by Jason Wills and was blown away, I really really love the idea (so simple !) and how well its been done (not so simple lol !) and had to share, you can find Jason's "gridstamatic" set on flickr here

Monday, 9 May 2011

Torch withdrawal symptoms

Im starting to get torch withdrawal symptoms, it seems like so long since I have been able to melt some glass. I know in reality it hasn't been that long, it just feels that way.

The reason for lack of torchability ? ... that would be because of the arrival of the builders, or rather the preparing for them, and then sorting out after them, they were actually here only for a fraction of the time I thought it would take and I have spent considerably longer sorting out than they were here for.

Builders ? Im sorry, I shouldnt tease, they have been to do the final bits and bobs on the studio and wow does it look different !! Its taking me a little getting used to at the moment, in part because it is not finished - I still have my bits to do, painting and suchlike, so my tools, the kiln and torches etc are all packed up which makes it look unfamiliar but also because the acoustics in there have changed (new ceiling will do that !!) so it feels kind of odd although Im sure once I have settled everything back into its places it will feel like home again in no time.

There will be lots of pics of the studio and its evolution shortly so for now im going to share something else I have been upto whilst out of torching, more polymer clay, this piece is a pendant, an i think it may be a "keeper" !