Sunday, 13 December 2009

'Blind' commission

Normally, when I get a commission (and I'm sure that's true for most other people!), the person commissioning the piece has seen something from me and liked it. So when an ex-colleague on my Mum's said she'd like to buy some jewellery off me, I'd assumed she knew what she was getting - until it transpires that she doesn't have internet, and only ever saw a bead on mine that dangles from my Mum's keys. Uh-oh. I have met the lady in question.....last, possibly, about 15 years ago! So I convinced my Mum to at least get me a hint - are we talking bracelet? Ring? Necklace? Brooch? Whacky? Classy? Well, I'm glad I got my Mum to ask, because the first piece of info coming back! Me, on auto pilot, I would have made silver every time. So, after firing an order for findings off, I turned to the rest of the brief - necklace or pendant, simple, possibly leather, beads with green or blue. I'll be taking two - I hope she likes one of them.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

New talent on the block!

Yesterday, the studio was properly 'christened', when the first teaching took place in there. I'd taught in the garage, but ... well, let me tell you, the studio works a *lot* better.

Suki had come over from York for the day, and I think you'll agree that her beads are fabulous - there's not a wonky one among them!

We did round beads and some dots before lunch - by then, I'm afraid to say, we were a bit cold - which will be remedied when I get 'proper' heating for the studio this week-end! But the scampi & chips in the pub across the road warmed us up nicely!

The afternoon was given over to trying different techniques - raking, silver foil (and therefore encasing). All the beads in the photo are Suki's, and no, she's never been at the torch before. I helped a little bit with the flowers, but that's it. Here comes the competition!

Monday, 7 December 2009

What happened there?

I've been quiet, but that doesn't mean nothing's happening - au contraire (why do French & German have lovely sounding phrases for this, and English only has the clumsy sounding 'quite the opposite'?).

As some of you know I'm stand-in newsletter editor for the Glass Bead Makers UK (GBUK) society, and...erm....not that there was a deadline as such, but I set myself one, and it has passed. I was going to get it out of the way before the whole pre-Christmas stress, and didn't, so now, I've had orders, fairs, tuition, a full-time job, a toddler, *and* a newsletter to edit. On the positive side, it's nearly done. On the other side, I'm not getting as much play-time as I'd like. I'm just finishing a batch of fingerprint jewellery orders in time for Christmas, too.

So, while I go and do all that, why don't you go and read the feature on me which got put up on the fabulous Frit Happens Etsy Street Team blog? I promise I'll be back with more news soon! And since it's not getting any warmer, I'm sharing a photo of a snoozle to keep you cosy snug!

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Come closer, no, closer, and closer......

I just did an interview. No, that's a lie. I did the interview the other day, parked by the roadside, on my mobile. Today, we did the photo. And what a good photographer avoids, is dead space between his points of interest....i.e. dead space between the torch and me. If anybody in the know happens to see the article, no, I'm not short-sighted, and yes, I am aware of health and safety regulations. And yes, that's my fringe, about two inches away from the flame. What's that smell...? ;o)

The photographer stayed behind to shoot more photos for his portfolio, and got all artistic - which I fully approve of. So, should you ever see a picture of my silhouette illuminated by the radial glow of a blob of glass....ask not what I was making at the time - I was making a blob of glass big enough to produce enough radial heat to light my silhouette :o)

Now, where's the space heater? The garage is cold!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Branching out

I've had an idea (oh no, you groan, another one!), for which I need wire. Now, I know my way around precious metal wire. but this is more the other kind - copper (which I kind of 'get', courtesy of silversmithing classes), or possibly aluminium (because it's silver and thus a cheat on sterling - it'll all make sense). And I need it thick - 2.5mm minimum. Now, I have questions:

- Does aluminium wire follow the same rules as other metals, i.e. can you work-harden it with a hammer?
- Where can you buy short length of thick wire, to have a play (avoiding major outlay, in case this is a dead duck?)

....and where, oh where did I put the magic machine that creates extra hours each day?