Posts Tagged 'craft'



experimenting with recycled glass frit

Open Studios again today and amongst other visitors was a customer I have been working on a design for and we chose the glass and the effects we want today.

This led me to put a recycled frit tester panel in the kiln with some experimental pendants today, both use recycled waste glass which has been smashed up with a hammer into small pieces and dust and its busy cooking in the kiln……….we will see what comes out tomorrow

There is still lots of time to come and visit me at Open Studios, please click here for dates and times.

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Cementing and Soldering Stained Glass

Open studios rumbles along and I have spent my day cementing and soldering.

acid etching stained glassMy big glamorous Art Deco door panel is now cemented to make it weather proof and we have to wait a couple of days for that to harden off now…

My acid etched panel is coming on nicely, the patterns have come out very well.

I have almost finished a birthday commission Love Bird piece

Oh and I have a new panel with fused bird inclusions and lino cut prints ready to be framed now! 

Strange fact of the day = ALL  my visitors today for Open Studios do glass as a hobby or are students of glass (as we all are of course!)

There is still lots of time to come and see me, click here for details of opening times and so on.

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5 a day, including artists!

Devon Open Studios was back on again today and I had 5 visitors again. I have had the same amount everyday! 

I managed to get a new front door panel commission leaded up and ready to cement. Acid etched another panel with designs inspired by Islamic art and ceramics and was given an art lecture by my youngest daughter who took me through a detailed monologue about her new series of paintings from pre school – delightful!

My good friend Ulrika– Igraine and her daughter came to visit, Ulrika is a fabulous ceramicist exhibiting with EVA for Open Studios and local artist Kath Hadden popped by too, lovely to speak to some fellow artists!

There is still plenty of time to visit me at open studios, for more details click here, I am open until the 23rd September

My tree has turned into a monster, but you can still add your wishes to it!

I had to go and take my Wishing Tree down today from its sea front home in Teignmouth as the TRAIL exhibition has ended . I had no idea that it would be so popular and we estimate it has around 2,500 wishes (based on the number of rags we put in the bins) I could not keep up with demand and many thanks to Liz Lockyear, the organiser of the event for endlessly filling the bin for me and to Roger Smith (founders of TAAG ) for mending my sculpture when it got so heavy with wet wishes in the rain that it fell over! TRAIL had to run without funding from anywhere this summer and it is in danger of having to stop running, which seems very sad when the public enjoy the exhibition so much.

Anyway, it really doesn’t look like a tree any more; more like a Fraggle Rock monster! But it is now safely erected in my garden, wishes intact and you are cordially invited to add your own wish to my tree/monster during Devon Open Studios which runs from the 8th – 23rd September.

recycled bath and glass sculpture My Kaleidoboat sculpture (which won TRAIL in 2010) will also be on display and I have moved it to my front garden so people can easily find my house!

The slide show takes you through the wishing tree from the start till now, who knows what will happen to it next!

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Stained Glass Window for a Green House

stained glass purple yellow green red

birthday present stained glass panel

Not just any green house a lovely wooden bespoke Grow House for the surprise Birthday present of the client’s wife. I

stained glass window for green house

Stained glass panel with tomato, aubergine and pepper

completed this stained glass commission several weeks ago now and I have just received the photos of it in its new home. Thankfully it fits perfectly and I think it looks very handsome!

The brief was to create a window full of vegetables and to include the words ‘Lisa’s Grow House’ and the piece was to have a fun light hearted feel. Hopefully I pulled it off and I used a mixture of Spectrum and mouth blown Polish glass. I painted in the details and wording with kiln fired glass paints and  it is constructed using traditional leading methods.

This was my first vegetable based piece; who knows if it will be my last!  Please watch the slide show below to watch it go from drawing to finished piece 

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2 months is a long time in blog land!

recycled bottle top brooches by Amy McCarthy Wow, my last post was 2 months ago! Where has the time gone?

Some of it has been taken up with joining the writing team at UKHandmade where I am now writing the craft profiles section, which is proving to be great fun, though I hope my outpourings wont be too sporadic for them!

I have also taken on another voluntary role, by joining the board of the Devon Artist Network and its great to be involved with an organisation

kiln fused recycled boat mobiles which has helped me so much in the last couple of years (I received a bursary from them last year).

Things in the world of glass have been moving on nicely too! I have been furiously making boat mobiles and my other recycled seaside wares for Inspirations in Salcombe and Atelier in Barnstaple, who have put in their big summer orders. Summer is a really busy time for me as so much of my work is in galleries by the sea and the summer holidays are galloping towards us now!

A gorgeous local chain of shops Insideout  came to see me and I am working towards a launch type event with them at the end of the month, including some new designs just for them!

All my plans and activity stopped last weekend, our eldest daughter had a virus which made her very poorly and she ended up in hospital, thankfully only for a day. This experience made me especially glad that my work is part of the Devon Artist Network’s  Art and Health Programme at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital . This initiative allows artists to display work to brighten up the corridors and waiting rooms of the stained glass panel, seaside landscape local hospital, hopefully bringing a small distraction to the time spent waiting for appointments or news of loved ones.

Baby bird is recovering well and thankfully self employment means I could drop everything to be with my children….but if you dont work you dont get paid! So I have been doing what I can in the house whilst she sleeps and the younger monkey is at nursery and thankfully I managed to deliver all my planned pieces today (which really was the last minute) for  Gloss Gallery Summer Show: Coast and Country which opens Thursday 19th July. Phew!

Now its onto the next project, my submission for the annual recycled sculpture trail in Teignmouth which starts next week, but I have only just started constructing! I was lucky enough to win this a couple of years ago and its a highlight of my working year;  so I have been assembling junk to turn into my new sculpture….more on that soon but for now I need to get back to making it!

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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