Saturday, 28 March 2009

Stained Glass Window....... A3 size

Where's my step ladder? I need to hang up some bunting. YES! I have finally finished my stained glass window. The main part off it only took a 4/5 hours, but the glass painted cockeral has taken nearly a week to dry off completely. It's all worth it though as I am very pleased with the result- the course was enjoyable too and I got more than a little hooked. I had big plans for the beginning of this year to get a kiln to expand my horizens with glass work, and enrolled on a course to learn a few basics of fusing glass and stained window work. Getting the gallery/workshop shelved the kiln idea, as we sensibly sank the savings into stock and fittings. I thought about cancelling the tuition, but have always been a sucker for learning something new and exciting.  And what things I learned- niblets, fids and groziers hold no fear for me now! Lead was stretched, shapes cut and held with nails, and soldering completed with halfmoons ( after the first couple of joins anyway!) Cementing in place was probably one of the messiest tasks I have ever done, and for a while I was concerned the window would not clean up....but a handful of chalk dust does wonders I found. In between drying and setting times I fused simple glass pieces into pendants and coasters using various grades and colours..... Monsieur Lalique, eat your heart out non?  

Some of you may be wondering 'why, with an artist's wealth of inspiration to pick from, has she chosen a  football logo, and Spurs at that too!' I'm laying the blame entirely on my stepson. He has done so well at school recently getting into every exam with A grades, that it was only right and proper to do a special one off for him. He was officially 'chuffed'.....ahh, the way to a young lad's heart!!

Monday, 23 March 2009

Sands of time...

Where did we get to? I remember.

I'd posted a couple of photos with almost no explanation previously, with a promise to remedy that. Well as I haven't actually done anything since then on those pieces, I'll postpone the 'whys and wherefores' until a later date. I could make some waffle up as you know, but that comes far too easily; if there is no challenge then it is hardly worth doing! You will just have to wait until I pull my finger out and get on with it all.

So what have I been doing?  Playing shop!

It's all well and good selling our wares, but it does mean I then have to replace things, and at a furious pace at the moment. I can see the merits of having other people's work in at times like this! This last week has been a blur of lamps, glass cards and getting silks ready. I still haven't gotten round to finishing off any oil paintings yet and I really need to do some local scenes. Oh well, I'm sure it will all work... just as soon as I figure a way to clone myself (wish I'd listened harder in science class now!)

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Stained glass window.....

Short blog post alert!

Just a quickie to show some works in progress. I promise faithfully to explain what on earth they are when I have a half hour spare! Until then, let your imaginations run riot.... enjoy!

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Disintegration Manifestation, or sumfink........

A couple of weeks back I was nosing around blogland feeling a little bored and in need of some high jinx. When I am in this mood I look up people I follow for one reason or the other, and then wander off through their links. I wouldn't go so far to say I'm cyber-stalking, but it does guarantee I stumble across interesting and art related blogs a lot more easily than just random meanderings. Well, what did I find.....

Over on Harry Bell's Boogie Street blog (that phrase reminds me of a heady mixture of those scrummy Haribo sweets, and the guilty pleasure that is the Baccharat song of 'Oh yes Sir! I can boogie'!) there was a great entry under 'Parcel Post' which I read with interest. Have a look see if you can, as not only is the art great but Harry has a nice turn of phrase too, so it really is an enjoyable blog.

His blog is especially nice though if you finish this blog first!  

It was about an art idea posted by a fellow blogger Seth from involving making up bundles of all sorts of things and then burying them, submerging them, hanging them up etc. outside to 'disintegrate' basically. Once you have made up your bundle you stick it wherever you want and leave it there in the rain, snow and shine  until May 1st. You post a photo of your homemade package with contents on your blog, submit a link to Seth at The Altered Page ( full details are posted under 'Disintegration Manifestation, about halfway down the page ) and then come May Day, open your bundle and take a photo of the result to post on your blog. What marvellous fun! There are so many people now doing this that it has become a huge participation ( or should that be 'precipitation!') event, which I always enjoy joining in with. I have to admit I like the science of it all too. So here are my bundles- well, I couldn't just do one now, could I? And at the very least if I don't have any work to post come May 1st I'll have back up photos of old rotten grot to stick online as in-fill!


Bundle 1- paper poppy, shiny penny, a winning £2 lottery ticket exp., thick gold leaf sheet, felt floor protector, a cream mount, 2007 diary (I only wrote in it twice-Samuel Pepys I'm not!) glass slide, miniature card and envelope, pink and white tissue paper, purple and white chalk pastels, red oil pastel crayon, 2 wooden stretchers, string and a neon blue hairpiece bought in a moment's madness! Wrapped up and buried half-submerged in soil.

Bundle 2- a silk painting experiment, gluten free fruit loaf ( ooh, if anything deserves to disintegrate...), a ginger and lemon teabag (yum,) a toffee eclair sweet ( given them up,) chocolate biscuit (sob, given them up,) coffee (wail, given it up,) washpowder tablets ( cannot do without them!) A sponge (used at home and for work so v.i.p,) Cif oxyclean wipes ( each and everyone of them a little friend!) and last but not least, A CUDDLY TOY! (Good game, good game!) all wrapped up and hanging in the wind. Now it is just a matter of waiting.....

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Six times table trouble.....

I remember learning these way back in time when nylon flares were all the rage and brown and orange colourways were seen as elegant and fashionable. Today's post however has nothing to do with mathematics and algebraic systems... it's all about 'when art goes bad' (cue dramatic drum roll!)  I wasn't going to mention the bad bits here on blogland as I like to keep things viewed through my Panglossian, rose coloured spectacles whenever possible. Common courtesy though wins because I have a BIG tip to pass on, that I learnt the hard way and wouldn't want anyone making the same mistake. 'What did she do?' I hear, from at least one person hopefully out there. Well.....

I have spent all week painting 19" round glass tops for tables which are proving popular now spring is a-coming. I 'draw' (using pipettes) my design on, wait for that to dry and then pour in the colours over/inside the design using solvent based glass paints. When all is dry the design gets covered with sticky-backed, white vinyl for protection and boosting the brightness of the colours. The whole thing gets flipped over, and 'voila' you're the owner of one pretty table top. That's the theory anyway. I used a new paint for the drawn design- a metallic, water based glass paint that was of 'superior quality' according to it's headline. It dried nicely, and didn't react when the oil based paint was applied. The vinyl was then placed on, sticking perfectly to the underside......for about 10 seconds. The vinyl then disappointingly started to peel back with all the metallic work attached to it, sticking only where the oily stuff was. A bit demoralising seeing as I had six of these dried out on my worktop. I had to strip them all back down to blanks again, whilst Mike drove to get replacement paints. A costly and frustrating mistake indeed that I hope no one else repeats. So, the moral of the story is don't stick a vinyl backing onto water based paints.... EVER!

The picture posted is one of the table tops (a correct one!) that has been glued onto a mirror backing for an african themed commission.     

Monday, 2 March 2009

A little log cabin in the Swiss Alps...........

Ok. Not really. Not even with eyes set at a hard squint and a huge dollop of make believe on board could you pretend this is where Heidi and her plaits live. It is however where I shall be living when I am not at work! Yes, we finally finished off the garden studio to hold the glasswork overspill from the workshop. There is even a cubby hole/nest behind the shelving for me to paint in, and electric for lights and laptop. How 'Des. Res.' is that? It will also come in handy for inviting people along to out of hours for commissions, or sales reps for new lines etc. As it stands at the moment it also makes a handy parcel store for the postman, and somewhere nice and dry for the bigger of the spiders.... why do I never find small manageable ones?

The Workshop/Gallery has been going well and art across the board is moving at a welcome pace. Highlight of the week for me was a silk painting that I had put up on the wall 10 minutes previously, being snapped up immediately. I didn't even get a chance to photograph it so you'll all have to take my word for it that was absolutely gorgeous ( it was a quartet of silk scenes depicting the seasons, for the curious minded.) Mike's highlight was putting together a website in record time to help out a customer who had been let down by another. Unfortunately, where there are highs there usually is a low too, and for the last ten days I have had a doozie of a headache on and off which has made it very difficult to look at computer screens, read anything, remember anything or be sociable, so blogging 'out' and feeling sorry for myself 'in.' Headaches have now made my H8 list, along with spiders, not being believed when I am actually telling the truth, people touching my collarbones, and ANYTHING that makes me cry apart from laughter. I'm not terribly keen on Cliff Richard either but that's a different story.......