Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Osterley Park

Spent Sunday at Osterley park, with a table of my wares.
What a beautiful setting, a beautiful day, and a very laid back atmosphere. In truth it was too hot for anything else. Luckily we had a patio umbrella, which we moved around as the sun moved, so we could stay in the shade.
I would show you some pics, but the computer and memory card won't cooperate at the moment. Its that techonolgy thing again!

Another plus was that I met some lovely people. Thank you to all who stopped and chatted, and to those that bought some items.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Some etched beads

Here are some of my attempts to photo the etched beads I made in the Katherine Wadsworth class.
The first one shows that the silver glass on the surface of the bead has been protected against the etching solution, and windows have been made on the bead, allowing you to see into the bead and its otherwise hidden pattern.
The second shows the sun and geckos, made with the use of stickers cut from craft punches.
The last one demonstrates a hand drawn design applied to the glass surface before etching.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Still catching up

Still trying to catch up and tell you about the rest of the lamp work classes I took.

I did a class with Katherine Natalia Wadsworth, who challenged my ability with heat control. It was good for me. I am an impatient lamp worker, so doing something more slowly, and learning greater control was a very useful skill to learn.
Katherine taught us so many different ways in which to etch beads, from using simple craft punches, using resist gel, painting on a wax resist, to making our own intricate hand cut stencils. It was a lot of fun, and gives a whole new dimension to the beads. Her beads are really different. Go and have a look at www.nataliadesigns.com

My last lampworking class was with Michael Barley, who has a very calm, almost zen like teaching persona. He showed us magical reactions beyween the glass and silver leaf, and how to get windows on the surface in order to see into the middle of the bead. How to layer colours together, and get beautiful patterns showing through in his Baleen bead.

Now I have to put all these techniques into practice, and develop and extend my skills. All the teachers were so generous, sharing their ideas and experiences with us. One day, after the dreaded practice, practice, practice, I might be able to do them justice.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

More beads

Here are beads from the second day. Different decorative techniques with silver leaf, silver glass, and glass powders. Do you like?

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Hot glass, cool beads

I was in the lamp working master class at the Bead and Button show. Working with hot glass to produce cool beads. Have a look at some of the beads made on the first day.

These are not all mine! I wish!

These are mine. See the ammonite. And the galaxy bead middle front row? OOHHHH! I had fun!

Finally, catching up

Okay this is two weeks late, but better late then never.
I was in Milwaukee two weeks ago, and had a bit of a wander around, in the blazing heat. Okay it was somewhere in the 80's F, but there was no shade. I was hot. And sticky. But I came across a cool sculpture, that made me think of minstrels (minstrels = chocolates in a hard shell). What do you think?

Monday, 14 June 2010

Poorer, but richer too.

I have had the best time in Milwaukee at the Bead and Button show. It was their 10th anniversary, and there were 650 classes running over 8 days.
It was an intense week of classes and shopping. (I went over budget. One year I might manage to avoid this.... Nah, you 're right, that's unrealistic!).

The focus of my week was lamp working, and I took some fantastic classes with some really brilliant teachers - Andrea Guarino, Katherine Natalia Wadsworth, and Michael Barley. A huge thank you to them. I learnt so many new techniques, I just hope I can do them justice when I come back. Some of the classes were not lamp working related, and I enjoyed those too. I did three short classes, and came away with the finished projects, so I got instant gratification. I am flying Tuesday night, and arriving back in the UK Wednesday morning. So I am hoping I can share some pictures before the end of the week.

This time the show was a really social experience. I kept bumping into old acquaintances, and made friends with many new people. I feel enriched by the experience.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Not again!

Yes I admit it, I have just repacked my suitcase again! I decided to use a slightly larger one, so I have a little room for manoeuvre.
The only thing I have to decide now, is which pieces of jewelry to take and show off at Bead and Button. There will be some impressive competition.
What I have realised is that I have been concentrating on the lamp work so much in the last 18 months, that bead work has taken a back seat, so I am low on new bead work pieces. However, I don't seem to have many finished lamp work projects either. I have so much fun / frustration making beads, that I forget to make them up into finished pieces. I'll be raiding my box tomorrow. Do I take a different piece for each day? That's a lot of jewelry. Hmmm. Decisions later. I'm too tired now.