Glass Artist and Proud!

Well after last weeks little incident at the hockey and the subsequent self-doubt, you will be pleased to know that today’s ‘Old Girls’ gathering at my old school’s centenary afternoon tea was refreshingly jolly, nostalgic and full of lovely Old Girls – some of whom were the class of ’55!!! Blimey!! Me and my lovely friend Sam who is also a sculptor turned up and immediately met 2 others from our year who seemed genuinely interested that we are real artists who actually sell our work!! Phew! I’m not going mad after all :0)

The thing that made my day however, was not their appreciation of my chosen career, but the fact I found my name in the 1983 Sports Day programme – My record for the 4th year long jump (4.27m!!!) had been unbroken for the next 6 years! Those people who  know me will appreciate how very exciting this was – not only had I completely forgotten I’d ever won anything, (let alone long jump) but I was easily the shortest person in my class, not known for my athletic prowess and never picked first for teams! When I saw my name, I not only took a picture of it on my phone, but I looked around me for someone to tell – anyone! Random old girls were told ‘I’ve found my name here and I was good at long jump! Look!!’ And nobody gave me any blank or ‘nutter alert’ type looks – they just enthused along with me and smiled, because everyone was happy! I have to thank the PE teacher Miss Stuart, who, 30 years later is still there, for keeping such fantastic records – of every sporting fixture we ever attended, of all the sports days, of all the sporting colours awards, and had pictures of girls with their wooden tennis rackets and their perms……. She would never have known at the time how one entry in the records would have brought such satisfaction 31 years on – YAY for Miss Stuart!!

And so, with renewed enthusiasm, I must now turn my attention to my son’s school Art/DT showcase on Weds, followed by Medway Open Studios the following week…..

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This is Ellis’ entry (he’s 10, and yes, he made this completely on his own, apart from me programming the kiln, and taking the photos!)

I still can’t get over my long jump record… lol

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Jewellery can be art!!

Some of you have been following the progress of the new glass jewellery on here or on my FB page so you will know how wet and messy I got in pursuit of a new style of glass jewellery! Thanks for the encouragement along the way – it was very helpful and I’m pleased to say it’s the start of something new and exciting! For me it’s where art and jewellery have come together – I’m so excited!

I delivered loads of new necklaces, earrings, rings, bangles, cufflinks and one little (well biggish) brooch to Nucleus last Friday for the Bling Bling exhibition. It looks great all displayed in the cabinets and has received some great feedback so far! When the exhibit finishes tomorrow I will be sending it out to the Nucleus shops in Rochester and Maidstone, and taking some proper pictures of it with the intention to get my Etsy shop back up and running so I can spread the love beyond Kent!

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Here are a couple of pics to whet your appetite – more colour combo’s will be made soon, so any requests or ideas for colours you wold like to see swished randomly together, please comment here or on my Facebook page! (www.facebok.com/adornjewelleryandglassart)

The bottom picture is the original slab that all but the blue jewellery was made from – as you can see, I got impatient and decided to make three colours in one slab. This turned out to be a genius idea (I know,I know!) as the points at which those stacks melted together, gave me the most interesting chunks of glass, which I wouldn’t have naturally put together. YAY! Hope you like them x

On a slightly different note, I have decided to do a weekly or fortnightly recommend of a ‘Classy’ independent tea or coffee shop in my local, so if you have any ideas for nice establishments to visit, please let me know and I’ll do my best to go and eat cake and drink coffee and tea there! It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it, if we want to support our lovely local independent businesses! 

Today I visited ‘Bruno’s French Bakes and Coffee’ which is at 12a High St Rochester, Kent – https://www.facebook.com/brunosfrenchbakes I have to say, the smell of fresh baking and coffee from the pavement outside was enough of an enticement to go in, but once there, the friendly staff and Bruno himself were the icing on the still-warm cinamon cake!! Bruno (who IS actually French) chatted away, happy to share his pastry recipe with a customer, and offered us tasters of the delicious rye bread, fresh from a little independent bakery in Maidstone, and delivered fresh every day – but you have to be quick as once it’s gone, that’s it till tomorrow! It’s a tiny shop, with an eclectic mix of seating and decor – local art on the wall and something being baked up throughout the day. It was a delight – especially as I bumped into a friend at the counter and then got to taste her salted caramel and chocolate tart too! Gosh, what a lucky girl I am! 

Do pop in there and let me know what you decided to have! I brought home a seeded sourdough loaf, which will go nicely with my tomato soup for lunch! Cheers!

Bev x

Wet & Wild

You know from my last post that cutting glass strips with the tile cutter turned out to be a bit messy, so today I decided I would do the next batch on the patio…… I’m thinking in hindsight that this may have made me a bit gung-ho with the use of the splash guard (or not!) – to say I got wet through is an understatement – *whispers* “even my knickers were soaked!” lol

me soaking wet

BUT – it was totally worth it – see the picture below of the blue strips I cut and you’ll have to agree – soggy under garments? Bring it on!

blue strips

I’ve since cut some of the strips into various sized squares and rectangles for cufflinks, pendants, rings and earrings. I’m still stunned at how much variation was found from cutting the strips from all sides (not something you would do if you wanted to make the repeating pattern for a dish like I did with the green – then you need to keep cutting from one side).

I’ve lots of ideas now for colour combinations and stack arrangements – this is feeding my inner geek/engineer as well as my creativity. It’s great to try new ideas, especially when it involves power tools! As my friend did say, when I got the diamond tile cutter for my birthday last year: “not the sort of diamonds I would have asked for, but whatever floats your boat!” And yes, it takes all sorts – I can’t resist tools and machinery. I’m now considering the possibility that a little pillar drill would be jolly handy to have in the workshop too!! I’ll add it to the list and keep saving my pennies ;0)

Have a fab weekend! Bev x

News flash – I love my job!

Earlier this week I was rambling about the boredom of creating the same old glass jewellery – well……… after an exciting couple of days of experimentation with random stacks of glass and a diamond tile cutting saw, I’ve decided it’s still fun after all!

The idea was to create jewellery cabochons from a slab created by stacking glass in a dam and allowing it to melt and flow into negative spaces – in doing this, you have no idea what layers of glass you are creating within the slab – VERY EXCITING!!

The first 3 pics below show the creation of a slab….

blue stacks pic 1blue stacks pic 2blue slab

Once the slab is made, the fun really begins!

I got a diamond tile saw for my birthday last year (I know, I’m a bit sad like that) and this was it’s christening. Just incase you are thinking of doing this at home, be warned, it makes a lot more mess than you think and you really need a waterproof mac and wellies!! You literally slice up the slab – I made 8mm slices, as this is a good thickness for most things I want to do.

Anyhow….. the next pic is actually of a green slab I also made, which as you can see, was cut into strips. These were then laid on their sides in an alternating way, to form a continuous pattern. All clear so far?

    green slab being cutgreen slab after firing

The green strips were re-fired to create a new slab which will become a bowl.

The blue strips on the other hand, well, they are practically edible!! I’ve cut a few into squares and rectangles and they are, as I type being fired to smooth the glass back off (as it gets pretty roughed up with the saw).

blue chunks pre firing

I am unbelievably excited about these little chunks – I’m seeing cufflinks, rings and necklaces – How funky are they?? VERY!! Yay – Mojo well and truly back, I’d say!

…..now there’s just the small matter of a tax return…… boo hiss!

 

Are Hearts, the new Hearts??

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!

Bev x

New Year, New Ideas!

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

www.beverleybunn.com