Archive for February, 2012

Lots of new glass designs and ideas

ImageToo many ideas too little time! That’s my world at the moment, but some of them have come to fruition and I am very pleased with my new bunting designs. I have made some fused glass bunting reminiscent of waves breaking on the beach. I have been experimenting with making my own recycled glass frit (ground up glass which is then fused in the kiln) this involves crushing waste glass into very small pieces (great fun with a hammer) and it is this ground glass that I have fused to create the texture on this bunting.

ImageI have also been working on some painted Imagestained glass bunting. These flags spell out various words (so far sea and sun) but there are more to come! They are just waiting their turn to go in the kiln!

There are new panels on my website, new Dartmoor panels yet to be shown to the world (I am waiting for frames) and I am desperate to start my new glass casting with recycled glass experiments, but I have to work out the logistics of baby sitting my kiln for a Image16 hour stretch before that can happen!

oh and I am working on a second panel in my new series inspired by my children, which I am very pleased with, so I am generally a busy buzy bee, just the way I like it!

Dropping the Yarn Bomb!

Its not all about glass in my little crafty world, I also love to attend Make Do and Mend with my other crafty friends. Make Do and Mend is a lovely group of talented crafty women in Exeter who meet twice a month to make things, learn new things and laugh, there is lots of laughing! Click on the links to find out how to join

Joe set the group up 2 years ago and as a second birthday celebration we thought we would yarn bomb Exeter High Street and some prominent sculptural landmarks in the city! Much furious scarf knitting ensued and the result was a scarf on every tree from Boots to Urban Outfitters, a saddle for the Pheonix Art Centre’s unicorn sculpture and some scarfs for various other sculptures around and about! What fun we had, it felt a bit naughty and deliciously good fun.

Luckily there were a lot of half naked students dressed in capes and pants and little else which distracted from our activities marvellously! HAPPY 2ND BIRTHDAY MAKE DO AND MEND, lets hope we brought a smile to the high street shoppers!

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Downs and Ups in my glass adventures

Its been a strange few days in the world of my work. Friday I had to cancel my Easter exhibition I had been planning at the Duchy Centre for Creativity on Dartmoor as it has had to close due to lack of funding, this is a total shame as I had got together 4 other artists and we were all working towards a big Easter show.

This has left me with an unusual hole in my schedule and also a strange moment in my creative process. I was focused on making a good quantity of new work around a Dartmoor theme, suddenly with the exhibition being cancelled it seems unnecessary to spend so much time making leaded panels. For several months now I have been wanting to start glass casting and painting with glass frit. So I have decided to spend a couple of weeks experimenting with glass casting techniques along side some new leaded works.

Today I made my first batches of frit (grinding up scraps of waste glass to a powder or small chunks) and I thought I would celebrate with some new bunting designs, these go in the kiln tomorrow!

Image

I find finishing stained glass panels harder than starting them!

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This morning it was very cold in my studio, very cold indeed! It was one of those mornings when I really had to force myself to walk the 3 metres to my studio! Had I been working on new pieces this probably wouldn’t have been the case, I would have bounded out to start experimenting and getting on with what I do best: STARTING THINGS!

I LOVE starting things, cutting a new piece of glass, turning my ideas into physical objects.

I am not such a fan of finishing things, this reticence begins at a particular point of my artistic process, the cementing stage. Once I have cut the glass, done the fancy effects to the glass surface and leaded the piece up, (read more about cementing here) it essentially looks like a stained glass panel. BUT you still have lots of time consuming work to do; namely cementing. This involves filling all the gaps in the lead chanels that surround the glass (and hold it in place) with a liquidy mixture of ground up lead and linseed oil. Once the gaps are filled whiting (plaster of Paris essentially) is used to soak up the wetness of the cement and help dry out the panel. Then it all has to be cleaned off the glass and the lead work, its dusty and messy. On top of that it is toxic, I wear a mask and vacuum regularly as lead dust is poisonous and I get RSI from too much cementing in my right hand….generally its not my favourite thing!

HOWEVER it is totally essential to creating a watertight panel and it does something magical to the design, its hard to say exactly what, it makes it more solid, gets rid of all the gaps and spaces and the black of the cement gives it more physicality somehow.

So when I dragged myself out to the workshop and got on with the cementing the result was well worth doing a grotty task for; my finished pieces are starting to take shape and it reminds me, like it always does of the delicious little thrill of finishing a piece of work.  Now I just have to patina acid wash them and polish the lead with stove black……pfffff…….I’m sure I have some pressing new work to start on!

The gallery below is a peep at some of the work which will be finished soon, my first digital transfer work and some cool new Dartmoor pieces, all cemented today.


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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Folksy

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Crocheted Squid

green man roundel

fused recycled glass slab with fern painted detail

burst of spring

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Cemetry Lodge outside

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Wishing tree after 3 weeks

Torquay wishing tree sculpture

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February 2012
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