Saturday, 10 July 2010

London Glassblowing

Yesterday, I went to London to meet up with the lovely Becky, and together, we visited London Glassblowing, where my rose rings have been on show for nearly a month now. Originally, the exhibition was for London Jewellery Week only, but got extended until the 4th of July - now, it has been extended until the start of Art in Action next week. What a great place it is, round the corner from London Bridge Station, with the workshop in full view (they've even put chairs out!) It was fabulous seeing other artists' work (both jewellery and other). I enjoyed seeing more of Julie Anne Denton's jewellery, and loved seeing Peter Layton's various designs (my favourite being a very grown-up version of 'lace') - but what stood out most was Anthony Scala's absolutely gobsmackingly beautiful frozen rapier. It's a full-sized sword, with a hand guard that looks like it's made out of crushed ice crystals, with a beautiful, precise blade.....yum!!! I met Anthony as well, and so managed to convey my drooling admiration :o) And I had a chat with Peter Layton, too - all in all, a most fantastically spent hour or so.

As well as doing all that, I dropped some more roses off, and took a photo - I'm afraid my SD card broke first thing in the morning when I tried to document Marjorie Moo racing a snail, so the photo is only from my mobile. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing them there!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Respect your fuglies!

How many fugly beads have you got sitting somewhere? I don't mean the ones that are okay, if it weren't for the sharp edge, or the crack - I mean the bona fide butt-ugly beads that you start with high hopes, realise half way through that they're 'a dead duck', keep playing with in the hope to rescue them, and finally pop them in the kiln in the hope that the kiln fairies will - magically and overnight - turn it into a thing of beauty?
Well, I have several. And I can tell you - I respect my fuglies. Sure, I'm upset when I waste precious torching time to create something not even a mother could love. But you never know where things might lead.

So let me introduce 'Pumpkin in a Tutu' (and thank you to the fabulous George Harper for naming it so appropriately)! You know, a couple of years ago when I made this bead, I was actually proud of it.....for about 20 seconds. Then I was embarrassed, and then, after it got named, it made me giggle.

I hardly invented 'ruffles-on-beads'. But for me, the Pumpkin in a Tutu started a journey...which...well, probably hasn't ended yet, but the last stop was here:

I made the bead above about twelve months after the first one, then took it to my class with Claudia Trimbur-Pagel to decorate. As I said, I'm sure it's but one more stop on a long journey, but sometimes it's nice to look back to see where we came from :o)

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Fairs coming up

There is one month left until the big 'going beadie'-point, but summer fairs don't know that, do they? So there are a couple of fairs in July, which, should you be near Sheffield, I can wholly recommend.

The first is 'On the Waterfront', and annual summer fair at Victoria Quays in Sheffield (near the train station). From 11-4 on the 11th of July, local arts and crafts people will be showing off their wares. The fair is alongside a canal, which makes for a pretty walk before or after you spend your hard-earned money with the crafters.

The following week-end, on the 17th of July, it's the Craft Candy summer fair, in the Millennium Gallery in Sheffield - that's where the Winter Garden is, too, so there are lots of opportunities to spend an interesting day, looking at exhibitions - to see what's on, click here.

To everybody else with summer fairs to attend, happy selling, if they're outdoors, keep the SPF high!

The photo shows the bead 'Shakuhachi', named after a type of bamboo flute, and part of a recent batch of oriental beads that went online yesterday.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Meet Marjorie Moo!

I just realised that some of you might not have met Marjorie Moo yet, although she has found fame (albeit not fortune) on Flickr & Facebook.

You see, one evening, when the sun disappeared among the trees and the mice tucked their babies in with the fluff left behind by the owl and the pussycat, a bead maker sat in her studio. She had been tasked with making twenty fat cows, and she had made eleven. But she was getting tired, and the last cow had had a crack, and the one before that had her ear melted to her horn. Speculatively, the bead maker eyed the very last mandrel left. Should she? Shouldn't she? Her conscience fought with her weary bones, and won. She wound the white glass on that she would need for the body, and shaped the rump. She added some legs and arms, and looked towards the work surface to find the black stringer to give the cow her pattern. But the black stringer was short - it wouldn't be long enough to add all that was needed - spots, eyes, ears...what to do? Of course, new stringer could be pulled, but after a long, long day, this was the stringer that broke the camel's back.

So instead of black, our bead maker picked up red, and yellow, and green, and blue. And she giggled happily as she made every teat on the udder a different colour, and she thought that this little cow surely must be one character, to go through life looking like this.

The next morning, the kiln held twelve cows - nine 'normal' ones, two damaged ones, and Marjorie Moo. Apparently, the others had made fun of her in the kiln, but she didn't mind, she had the frame of mind of those who are born different and care not one bit about it. And although Marjorie isn't always happy (who is), she has a sunny nature and a gentle soul.

If you want, you can follow Marjorie's adventures on Flickr, there'll be a new one every day: