Sometimes I go back to my original passion of making jewellery and for the 1st two weeks of February 2014, Nucleus Arts Gallery in Chatham ( http://www.facebook.com/NucleusArts ) is hosting a special exhibition of jewellery for the run-up to Valentines – “Bling Bling!” So, what to make??
Having wrestled with the thought that in the end, fused glass jewellery all starts to look the same to me, I stopped making it for a while. I was also slightly obsessed with making BIG things so the precision of pairs of cufflinks and stud earrings vs the freeform style of frit, put up no contest. However, it’s always nice to revisit something that you feel was almost too far into your comfort zone that you felt it had become mundane. And by happy accident, I recently lent a hand to a new glass artist when she needed some cabochons fired – It was refreshing to experience someone else’s take on glass jewellery, and it reminded me that making miniature works of art that might become a ring, or a necklace, is actually quite exciting! We had great fun washing the cabochon’s at my sink and discussing their various merits and potential. Her new and inexperienced view of the glass was an inspiration to me – a prod in the ribs, urging me to ignore my self-imposed rules about layering and dimensions and precision (I blame a former life as a draughts person for my OCD attitude to cutting jewellery glass).
Of course, an acknowledgement of the technical ‘rules’ is always wise, but I realise that it can also become constraining and make your work feel a bit too uniform and yes, I’ll say it, “boring”!! I can’t remember the last time I looked at glass jewellery and thought “hmmmm!? How did they do that??” I guess that’s what I want to achieve – that people will be intrigued, as I was the first time I bought some glass jewellery from the Leeds Castle Xmas Craft fair. It’s what made me want to buy a kiln and work it out for myself…..
Actually, as I’ve been typing this blog, I’ve had a couple of little ideas…… maybe I should get off the PC and go experiment?! Yes, I think that’s what I’ll do………
I’ve been pondering what to make for the Nucleus Galleries and for Cherry Blossom Florist in the run up to Valentines…… I know it’s all an over-blown, commercially driven, fake event (according to a lot of men I know lol), but it has to be said, it’s still a time for us little business owners and makers, to make some money! So in the name of the new studio and kiln project, here I am making plans for Valentines.
Here’s what I’m chewing over – Hearts! Personally, I like hearts. I have several randomly placed about the house, made from a variety of materials and I know lots of people who are heart-mad! But is this the best I can muster for my Valentines products? Really?? I disappoint myself at times!! I guess hearts can be classified as an all-year-round type of thing so perhaps that’s OK? But how exciting is it? Thing is, I’m not really one for producing very commercially themed goodies – my work is usually more abstract. For me, it seems like an easy option, but if (as my taurean nature might suggest) I don’t resist the urge to conform to this popular commercial phenomenon, am I selling my soul to the devil or am I just practicing good business?
In reality, a glass artist cannot survive on the abstract butter alone – one needs the commercial bread items to fund the more interesting stuff! So here I still am, sitting on the fence…… Think I will just go and make a cuppa and think about it a bit more….. lol I did say that I hadn’t got my New Year Mojo back yet!
Welcome to 2014!
A horizon filled with the promise of new possibilities and fresh ideas… if it wasn’t for that damned rain and the wind, and the pending speed awareness course, I would definitely have got my New Year Mojo back by now!
Well the dreaded speed awareness is tomorrow, so then we just need the weather to start behaving and I’m sure that will be the beginning of an exciting year of new glass projects.
Actually I do have the seeds of a little plan in my head for the coming year but it involves me winning the lottery or some such other money-generating scheme. I ended 2013 with a flurry of activity – a stand at Handmade Christmas at the O2, my glass going into a new Florist as well as making Christmassy items for both the Nucleus Arts Galleries. The aim was to generate enough spondoolies for a much needed bigger kiln. In actual fact, I ended the year not far off my target, but then came the inevitable discussion with my family regarding where this BIGGER kiln was supposed to live?!? Ahha! Yes, there is that to consider, and my son didn’t fancy swapping his downstairs den for my upstairs ‘studio’ (AKA spare bedroom). So hubster put out the idea that a ‘garden studio’ would be the ideal solution….. yes, when you google ‘garden studio’ you can indeed get lost in the dreamworld of designer purpose-built, fully insulated, double-glazed, practically holiday-home-esque ‘garden studios’ that people who have indeed won the lottery, may be at this very moment, ordering from one of the many on-line bespoke studio builders!
I live in hope…… but in the meantime, I’m going to place a line of pebbles in the garden where my studio will be (one day) and look out of the rain soaked window, whilst summoning the Goddess of enthusiasm and the God of wind-fall (appropriately named for the current weather conditions) and drink my cup of tea…. and eat the leftover Xmas shortbread.
I hope your New Year has got off to a more creative and up’n’at ’em start than mine!
Best wishes for all your ideas and plans x Bev
In a time of recession and when everywhere you look there is a sale on in the high street, you might assume that Xmas present buying this year would be a quick slap-dash affair! Not so!! I have experienced a wonderful phenomenon of appreciation for the hand-made, hand-crafted, hand-stitched, hand-thrown, hand-painted, and hand-rolled…….. handy, hey?!
I have been sooooooo busy making silver fingerprint treasures that my thumbs are barely functional now and my own fingers barely have an un-blemished fingerprint left on them! But how can I refuse when someone phones up in the hope that I can help them create the perfect Xmas gift for their loved one – a unique and precious pure silver fingerprint of their little darlings – immortalised in Ag, and treasured forever!?!?
And so begs the question….. “what is the best handcream you can recommend”???!!?!?!?
Yesterday I thought I was making a bowl, but when it came out of the kiln after it’s full fuse firing (that’s the bit where you fuse all the glass together first – flat) it looked so nice, I just can’t bring myself to put it back in and slump it into a bowl! I’m thinking ‘wall art’ – it’ll look lovely up on someone’s wall (someone who needs purple in their life!!)
So now there is another purple glass square of stripes happily slumping away in the kiln…….. it’s gonna look fab! And when I work out how to post pictures on this blog, I’ll let you see it!!
With a compulsion to ‘dress it up’ and a love of all things shiny and bright, I guess the answer is a resounding YES!!!
Here in my glass art studio in Medway, Kent, UK, I can be found cutting & fusing glass into yummy little adornments for you to wear or into scrumptious BIG adornments to place strategically about your home or hang on the walls! The only dilema really is WHAT to adorn first?!?!
If it were me, I’d start with myself, but then that’s from a self-confessed jewellery-aholic (and only child)! But sinse Xmas is fast approaching and you may be feeling in a generous mood towards others, maybe gifts of a shiny glass variety are just the ticket?!
Take a look on my facebook page for some inspiration…….. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Adorn-Jewellery/99958647917?v=app_6261817190#/pages/Adorn-Jewellery/99958647917?v=wall
Mmmm – that link looks awfully long – hope it works!