Where shall I start?! Since I last posted, I have begun my full-time beadmaking adventure, attended the most amazing Masterclass with Gianni Toso, sold at the International Festival of Glass in Stourbridge, sent stock to new gallery, met one of the Dragons from Dragons' Den, and launched my new jewellery range. And that' just beadie stuff! So, let's take things slowly, and let me tell you about the masterclass!
Gianni Toso has a history in glass that goes back 700 years on his father's and 650 years on his monther's side (on one branch of my family, I can get back to the late 18th century, farmers and shepherds, mostly, as far as I can tell.....hmmmmm! Not sure what that tells you.)
I had the honour of spending a week with Gianni, both as his student, and, together with the other class members, as part of the evening entertainment. The week has left me dazzled - by Gianni's skill, and warmed - by his generosity with his knowledge and friendship. Since he won't mince his words (the best free-standing butterfly I made was called 'arthritic'), every 'brava' from Gianni felt fantastic. But even more so, I could feel myself growing - I daren't say 'as an artist', that sounds rather poncy. But I think I left the week being more brave than I started it, with ideas for experimentation. I will always be making beads, but I am finding myself getting frustrated by the vulnerability of them, the idea that they have to be 'wearable'. Gianni's creations are so fragile you wouldn't subject hem to daily wear and tear - they are made to be admired, and seem so delicate that they are removed from the day-to-day world. I'd love to develop further in that direction.
I'll tell you more about the rest of the festival later!