Archive for September, 2010

Scottish window finished

I got my first peak at the finished window yesterday, what do you think?

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Scottish window, Work in Progress 3

I have made great progress on my latest window commission, the story so far:
I have cut the glass, decided the blue was wrong and re-cut that in a different shade and type of glass, the blue was streaky cathedral and too much for the piece, so I have swapped it for some turquoise water glass, which is much more subtle and looks fantastic.
This piece is going to have acid etched details of heather and rocks, giving an impression of the landscape of the highlands. I love to work with acid etching, when you see the window from a distance you hardly notice the effects, but when the light coming through the window pools on the floor the shadow details of the piece come alive and it paints a picture on the floor, which I find magical. Acid etching is quite straight forward, I painted on the PVA glue (to act as a resist for the acid) to get a free and painterly effect to the etching. Once this has dried I cover in etching cream and leave it to eat away at the surface of the glass. Once this has happened I scrape off the cream, this can be reused and wash the rest of the acid off the glass and hope it has worked!
I then built the panel up with the lead came, soldered the joins and cemented the gaps between the glass and the lead and left the cement to harden off…………that is as far as I have got. Tomorrow I will put an acid on the lead and solder joins to darken the joins, makes the solder less shiny and noticeable. Then I will spend a considerable amount of time shining it all up with grate polish. Finally, I will find the best way to get it to Scotland! Anyone driving from Devon to the Highlands soon? Oh and dont forget to check out Nicki MacRae, she is the lady commissioning this piece and a talented artist

Devon Open Studios, past the half way point!

I am well into my second week of Devon Open Studios and nearly 50 people have been to visit, which is great. Its a bit strange not knowing when people are coming and then several people arriving at once, but that is part of the fun of it too!
I have also been able to get on with lots of work, having nearly finished my Scotland window and I have new commissions to get on with at the weekend, so lots of interesting processes to watch including a restoration.
My gazebo gallery has stood up to the weather so far and I have sold a few items too.
I am open until 6pm on Sunday 19th, so still a few days to come and visit!

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Sailing off to a new front door!

My recent seascape commission panel is finished and I am very pleased with it! It will be fitted into the new front door of a house in a local village. The brief of the commission was to suggest a landscape, preferably with sea and if possible with boats in without being too busy/complicated as it is a small window (37 x 18 cm). I am pleased with the results, all the different blues and turquoise look fabulous with the sun streaming through.

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Scottish window, Work in Progress 2

So I have posted the first 3 cartoons yesterday and my friend Dave helpfully noted that the balance of the pieces could be better, I think no 1 is fine, but I am adding some more designs in the hope of working through this and getting it right….so here is drawing no 4. I intend to do 2 more so Nicki has enough to choose from/think about.  I will add more to this post as I have them!

Here is another………..

no 5And finally, I think this one is the best one yet, remember there will be lots of interest through acid etching in the green areas!

The Scottish window, my latest work in progress

…….as my new commission has come to be known in our house! It is in a glorious part of Scotland near Suilven mountain and is intended for the window on the stair case of Nicki MacRae’s home she shares with her family. Nicki is herself a talented artist, check out her blog by clicking on her name and we have been corresponding back and forth for a couple of months now.

Nicki was drawn to my work from a fairly abstract piece I did a while ago called impressions of the Somerset Levels. Her family liked the bright colours, the abstract nature of the piece, the pathway imagery and the surface effects, but they wanted something more specific to the countryside around them and the colours of the highland landscape…… I but my thinking cap on and looked at lots of photos of the area, then Nicki sent me some photos of the house One of the pieces of glass I hope to use for the mountainsand the surrounding area and colours.  One of the photos was of the most amazing sky, bubbling pink, blue, grey, quite extraordinary. I find when thinking of window designs sometimes the drawing comes first and the colours of the glass come later, but with this piece I could not start until I had found

the right pieces of glass and finally I have stumbled upon the most amazing piece of glass with all of the same hues and colours in it. But I intend to use it for some of the mountain range, not for the sky.

Nicki had specifically mentioned orange, this will contrast wonderfully with the purples of the mountains the other colours I have been drawn to are the naturalistic tones of the highlands themselves. I intend to acid etch and etch the surface of some of the glass, I want to add the suggestion of tussocks, hillocks and rocks in the green areas to suggest the contours of the landscape, in a similar style to how I have done the daisies on this piece.

Anyway, so Nicki here you go, 3 drawings so far, have a look let me know what you think of my ideas, obviously the colours in the drawings are crude, also I would take the stripes out of no. 3 and just have an orange path. EDIT ( Sunday afternoon) my good friend Dave has kindly emailed with some issues with my composition, and he is right! I had a feeling there weren’t quite right and he has nailed it for me, I need to balance my left side more, I will post some more balanced pic’s shortly!

I have won an award!

My boat sculpture has been up in Teignmouth for a month or so now and last night was judgment night when we all found out who had won the awards for the public vote, the community prize and the South West Water artist prize.  The kids were being being a bit troublesome and I have lots of work on, so I nearly didnt go, but go I did and I was very glad I did as (to my total amazement) I came 3rd in the public vote and I won the artist prize! I now have a wonderful award sculpted by the talented artist Julia Vella and a £500 prize!

None of this has quite sunk in yet, but I am very, very chuffed to say the least! TRAIL has been extended till the 19th September 2010 to coincide with the Tour of Britain bike race, which ends in Teignmouth, so there is still plenty of time to see the sculptures if you are in Devon this month.

Here are images of the other winners:

winner of the Public vote, Sid the Sea Gull

Fiona Campbell's amazing spider, 2nd in the Public voteJoint winner of the community vote, The Future is Bright being made!

Hoolocombe Arts vertical garden, the initial drawings

One of the best things about being part of the TRAIL collective is the fabulous inclusive nature of the exhibition and I am proud to have my work exhibited along side community groups who have overcome all sorts of physical and social challenges to make works of art that are every bit as well conceived and relevent as those of the established professional artists. I cannot wait to see what everyone comes up with next year!

Thanks to all the artists and participants and the sponsors for everyones hard work

Italy, Culmstock and Exeter

As always, I have had a busy time, I have finished my Florence Roof  Tops commission, which has been delivered to the sister of the groom in time for the wedding (it is a special surprise wedding present). Please scroll back through previous posts to see the stages of it being made. I am very pleased with how it has turned out and it will be a wonderful reminder of the start of their married life, as they are honeymooning in Italy.

My family and I had a lovely time at the Culmstock Festival, Music and Mayhem day on Sunday, until the heavens opened and we had to give up! But I got my gazebo up for the first time and I have a much better idea of how my gazebo gallery will look for Open Studios.  Our friends band the Thorvertones provided much of the music for the afternoon and lots of friends popped in to say hello. Its a shame all the festivities didnt cheer up the rain clouds!

I have been working on my exhibition piece for the Devon Open Studios Taster Exhibition, which goes up on Friday 3rd September and runs until the 12th September at the Picture House Cinema Cafe, Exeter.

The inspiration for my piece came from a wonderful day spent at Branscombe beach with friends of ours who were staying in a beach hut there. I am very pleased with the pebble effect around the edges and the acid etching of the flowers has come out wonderfully…….However, as they have no window space, just wall hanging space I am not sure it will be shown to its best effect, we will have to wait and see!

I am a stained glass artist working in Exeter and a busy mum of 2; trying to carve a path through the tide of washing and children's toys that stands between me and making beautiful things.

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September 2010

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