Sunday, 28 December 2008

More birds

I seem to have developed an obsession with making little bird beads.  I am not sure whether this is related to the partridge on the patio or to the collection of birds in Whitby Museum but I am having fun trying to make them in different shapes, sizes and patterns.  Not very beautiful but at least I am learning about making shapes in the glass.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Funny beads

I have decided that I need to try and few more techniques and that now is a good time to attempt this. So yesterday I made a couple of beads masking and pulling dots to try and create a pattern. I also made my first attempt at a bird bead - inspired by all the birds I had been looking at in Whitby Museum. Unfortunately I dropped it on the concrete floor of my studio after photographing it and have shattered it...... not that it was very good, just would have been nice to keep the first one! I have attempted another but it is in the kiln annealing.

I have also made my first hollow bead, again not very good but at least I understood the process and managed to achieve a complete bead. It has a few stray threads of glass inside along with bits of bead release that dropped inside as I removed it from the mandrel (and I have no idea how to get it out).

This has all give me food for thought and I won't be getting any work done for the next few days as I am going down to Warwick to stay on the canal boat for the weekend, then Tuesday visiting Nottingham University to look at it as a possible venue for the Guild of Enamellers Annual Conference in 2010.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Whitby Museum

Today I have had a quick visit to Whitby Museum, where I will be artist in residence during 2009. It is the most fantastic place with an eclectic collection ranging from fossils to birds and butterflies; carved peach stones from China; model ships; Roman lamps; Zulu beadwork; jet; hatpins; toys and a display of models inside light bulbs. All of this and more will become a source of inspiration for work in the coming year. I am really excited about the prospect and can see that it will take me some time to sort my ideas out and begin work in a focussed way.

When I got home I attempted a bead with a face on it, inspired in part by the shields in the ethnographic section but also by the beads by Bronwen Heilman in a new book I bought yesterday Masters: Glass Beads curated by Larry Scott (Lark Books)

Monday, 1 December 2008

Warwick Castle

I have just returned from a weekend craft fair at Warwick Castle. I have never participated in such a well run event, the whole thing from arrival at the venue; setting up right through to dismantling and leaving was extremely well organised and from my point of view went smoothly. The staff were lovely, really friendly and helpful and the castle had a huge number of visitors, particularly on the Sunday and it was lovely to meet so many interesting and interested people.

I will certainly be returning to this venue (if, of course I am invited).