Hurtling (love that word) Through Life…

I have neglected my blog.  Oh dear…. well, I’m back now – I have a good excuse, honest!  I have been poorly for a while now but have finally been diagnosed.  We are still experimenting as far as correct medication and dose goes, but we are getting there.  Fine, OK.  Then about a month ago I had a real scare – paramedics were dispatched and everything!  Long story short, I had a mild heart attack.  Thankfully I feel fine now apart from the nervousness of the tests I shall be undergoing on Wednesday for what they think is an underlying problem…hopefully my heart is not broken for good! 😉

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In addition, I am preparing for a couple of big events and am quite busy in the studio…no, don’t tell me to ease up at work!  I find being home and idle far more stressful than being at my tranquil little studio, creating and designing 😀

So, what have I been working on?  As my Facebook family will tell you, I have been pretty much obsessed with making flowers!  All sorts and colours and I am still enthralled by the endless combination possibilities…

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Necklaces, bracelets, earrings…

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And, as my mind is a tangential entity, led to trees,

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And then fairies and angels…

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And Dragons and damsels….not forgetting the odd mermaid! 😉

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Which brought me back to Goddesses 😀

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And finally, I’d like to show you my favourite piece – it would make a fabulous statement bridal necklace – me?  I’d wear it supermarket shopping but that’s just the way I roll 😉

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I am very thankful to have my dream job of creating lovely things with molten glass and I think it’s saved me, in many ways.  Why did I get ill?  Probably from a number of years of high stress and heartache…with a combination of an underlying condition, poorly managed medication and a viral infection!  I’m hoping to avoid this combination again!  What this illustrates, is something I’ve been banging on about for years now – life is too short, you only live once, grab every chance and opportunity and run with it.  Do Not Wait.  Live and love like each day is your last…live in the moment, not in the past or in the future – they don’t exist!

Great big hugs to all…yes, that means YOU 🙂

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The Times They Are A Changing

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I’ve been listening to a bit of the legendary Bob Dylan recently.  Mostly from the album ‘Slow Train Coming’ and if you listen carefully, you can hear snippets of the influences taken away by some of today’s music artists… ok, I digress already.  The title of this blog is one of Bob’s songs – and apposite to me because I am mixing things up and changing things round in the studio 🙂

You all know how passionate I am about glass.  Lampwork/flamework in particular but I also love glass in general, so have decided to introduce stained glass into my studio!  I managed to get a complete kit from a lovely lady who was giving up.  My favourite tool is the glass grinder – it’s so very satisfying to smooth away the glass to make lovely shapes after the brutal act of scoring and cutting!

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We have installed a new workbench and we take health and safety very seriously!  Maybe a bit too seriously 😉  Cutting glass to a pattern is one thing and grinding the edges another but getting it all to fit back together is another matter entirely!  Allegedly, all it takes is practise – I can see us producing very small stained glass pieces if we keep having to grind bits away to make it fit!

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Soldering.  Soldering is a whole new skill set!  I love melting glass and have discovered I love melting metal too!  There is a real knack to it, which completely escaped me, until I realised that the tip to the iron I was using was filthy!  Oh, and it’s really not a good idea to forget the flux, which makes the solder stick to the cooper.  Being a bit of a nerd, I have loved using all the new terms.  Tacking, tinning, brazing rods, grozing pliers…it all appeals to my sense of the ridiculous 😀

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Much to my chagrin, there is the equivalent of washing up  involved.  Not terribly amused by this aspect – I am an artist don’t ya know!  But the first go at a wavy panel more than made up for the tea towel disappointment 🙂

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So, designs!  Oooh, what choices – how big is my imagination?!  I have so far avoided available patterns and have started to bring my lampwork ideas into this.  I have a gazillion sketches that I want to turn into stained glass already but it’s very time consuming technique!  Firstly, once you have decided on a design, you need to transfer it into a form that is amenable to the methods, taking into account the ease/difficulty of cutting the pieces.  Then each piece needs to be ground and it can be quite tricky, after cutting and grinding, to get the bits to fit together again!  Then the copper foil is added, after which is the task of neatly soldering…. mmm 😉 So best to begin with simple designs until one gets a ‘handle’ on getting loads of little bits to fit together!  There always has to be a mermaid.  Always.  You know it makes sense 🙂  Bit of a mess but I know what I’m doing. No, really!  Did a drawing, converted it to ‘bits’, made templates for the bits, cut the bits, ground the bits and finally coppered and soldered the bits…she is not finished yet but I’m too impatient to wait to show you when she is!  Voila!

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One unfinished mermaid – she needs her soldering touching up and loops to hang her, a bit of a wash and polish and she will be ready to face her public 🙂

Two other pieces I love are the heart, made by Beth (her first proper piece!), who has taken up stained glass for her hobby and the beach huts, which popped into my head in the middle of one night and wouldn’t go away until they were a reality!

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Of course, I have still been making flame-worked glass goodies 🙂 Dragon Eye’s, Owls, Seascapes and the most beautiful (well her owner and myself think so) glass, silver and gold Goddess 🙂

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You might also have noticed some planets at the top – also a commission.

Well that was the big reveal!  I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing what we here at Turner Rowe Glass Art  have been up to!  Watch this space for pieces about a new Pop-Up shop in Canterbury, full of hand-crafted goodies and the very talented polymer clay artist over at Creatures Of The Fey

Don’t forget, live, love, be true to yourself be authentic – people love that 😉  Mwah, until next time xxx

Maybe Not Warts And All – 2013

I’ve been sitting here thinking about the year gone past.  Lots of quite big things have happened – some good, others not so good.  I’m wondering how much I should share…how vulnerable it would make me to divulge some of the emotional ups and downs that accompanied the events.  After all, this was supposed to be a blog about my journey with glass but on the odd occassion, like the time I wrote about my Grandmother, I find it difficult to separate.  I also needed to consider how much detail I could include as invariably, the highs and lows are intertwined with other people…I have tried to keep things neutral as a result but hopefully there are some ‘take-home messages’ that I have learned!

So, how to organise it!  Chronologically, it’s all a jumble, so I shall just blurt it all out 😀

I moved into my lovely new flat!  I had been waiting for it to be finished for quite a while, so to be able to have our own space again was, and is wonderful!  We can walk about the place in our pants – or not, as the mood takes us!  Oh the freedom 😉

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This was a year when I learned a lot about myself…and other people.  I, like most of us, consider myself a fairly good judge of character and always give people the benefit of the doubt.  I learned in the harshest possible way that actions, or lack of, really do speak louder than words and that I have to trust more in my inner voice, despite not wanting to sometimes.  I have always tried to give second chances, after all, we all mess up from time to time but there has to be a limit and we have to trust our gut feelings much more!  I have met some really unpleasant characters – individuals that are no stranger to lies and are quite happy, joyful in fact, in the telling – these people seem able to project a much different face than the true one .  One of them – not one of the worst ones – was the coach driver who almost squished me and my car, who blatantly lied about the circumstances!  Maybe I’ve led a sheltered life, as I am still shocked when things like this happen.  Thankfully there wasn’t much damage and I was just shook up!  Experiences such as that serve to remind us how fragile life is and how vigilant we need to be in our fast paced world as things can happen in the blink of an eye!  I have learned to forgive…

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The second picture is me being silly on a shopping trip…it’s just there to fill the space 😉

One of the worst injustices was with a government agency, who wouldn’t accept the evidence they asked for and who caused serious hardship – what made it worse was that the MP who I asked to help me was as helpful as a chocolate teapot! 😉  I have chosen not to forgive on this occasion!

I had an amazing day with glass Master Lucio Bubaco, who was a real inspiration – I would love to study with him!

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I have also met lots of wonderful, open, wise and joyful people this year.  In the studio I have met many kindred spirits, who have become my friends.  At the Goddess conference there were literally hundreds of amazing people – friendly, generous, helpful and accepting.  I know I shall see many of these lovely people again and the very fact that folk like these exist, gives me great hope for the future!

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I’ve had lots of visitors to my new home – not all scary I might add!  And met up with old friends from Uni days – prompted by a visit to the UK by Melissa and Emile, over from Australia!  It was fantastic to see them and we should all make more effort to keep up with friends – it’s just not the same saying hello on FB as it is sitting round a table, sharing stories and wine 😀

We have a new addition to our family 🙂  Her name is Beau Bear (as in Polar) Monroe (as in Marylin) but because she was too small to wash her own behind when we got her, has earned the nickname of Poo Head!  For a few weeks we had to chase her around with wipes to wash her dirty bum!

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It’s definitely been a year of good and bad – I have been unwell to top it all.  After having not visited a Dr for many years, I now have my own reserved seat – hopefully all will be sorted out in time…

And finally, I moved into my new studio, that already has a whole blog to itself!

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I hope you have all had a good year – if it hasn’t been so good, my commiserations go to you, along with a big hug. When things don’t seem to be going well, it’s easy to colour everything in a negative shroud – so next year, I plan to get a big jar and every time something nice happens, even the tinniest thing – such as getting stuck at the traffic lights but seeing the most beautiful rainbow ever, I shall write it on a scrap of paper and pop it in that jar!  Then I shall really be able to count my blessings!

I’ll leave you with a few glassy pictures – ah, you knew I would, didn’t you 😉

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The new Goddesses are from a range I call ‘Quaintrelles’.  A Quaintrelle is a woman who ’emphasises a life of passion expressed through personal style, leisurely pastimes, charm and cultivation of life’s pleasures’.  Sounds very much like me don’t you think! 😉

This is my last post before year end.  I know we have a few weeks to go yet and anything could happen (please make it nice things)! I’ll need something to start the new year off, so if anything happens between now and then, I’ll save it 😉

My very best wishes to you all, whatever you plan to celebrate.  My wish list includes peace on earth – please Universe!  Embrace each other’s differences, don’t hold back, live in the now – be true to yourself, honest to others…see you all next year! 😀

Love…I’ve Been Doing it Wrong…

Not my usual but these poems resonated with me on a deep level and I wanted to share them with you.   Yes, you…

To Love a man

If you want to change the world Love a man; really love him
Choose the one whose Soul calls to yours clearly who sees you; who is brave enough to be afraid
Accept his hand and guide him gently to your hearts blood
Where he can feel your warmth upon him and rest there
And burn his heavy load in your fires
Look into his eyes look deep within and see what lies dormant or awake or shy or expectant there
Look into his eyes and see there his fathers and grandfathers and all the wars and madness their spirits fought in some distant land, some distant time
Look upon their pains and struggles and torments and guilt; without judgment
And let it all go
Feel into his ancestral burden
And know that what he seeks is safe refuge in you
Let him melt in your steady gaze
And know that you need not mirror that rage
Because you have a womb, a sweet, deep gateway to wash and renew old wounds

If you want to change the world Love a man, really love him
Sit before him, in the full majesty of your woman in the breath of your vulnerability
In the play of your child innocence in the depths of your death
Flowering invitation, softly yielding, allowing his power as a man
To step forward towards you…and swim in the Earth’s womb, in silent knowing, together
And when he retreats…because he will…flees in fear to his cave…
Gather your grandmothers around you…envelope in their wisdoms
Hear their gentle shusshhhed whispers,
calm your frightened girls’ heart
Urging you to be still…and wait patiently for his return
Sit and sing by his door, a song of remembrance,
that he may be soothed, once more

If you want to change the world, love a man, really love him
Do not coax out his little boy
With guiles and wiles and seduction and trickery
Only to lure him…to a web of destruction
To a place of chaos and hatred
More terrible than any war fought by his brothers
This is not feminine this is revenge
This is the poison of the twisted lines
Of the abuse of the ages, the rape of our world
And this gives no power to woman it reduces her as she cuts off his balls
And it kills us all
And whether his mother held him or could not
Show him the true mother now
Hold him and guide him in your grace and your depth
Smoldering in the center of the Earth’s core
Do not punish him for his wounds that you think don’t meet your needs or criteria
Cry for him sweet rivers
Bleed it all back home

If you want to change the world love a man, really love him
Love him enough to be naked and free
Love him enough to open your body and soul to the cycle of birth and of death
And thank him for the opportunity
As you dance together through the raging winds and silent woods
Be brave enough to be fragile and let him drink in the soft, heady petals of your being
Let him know he can hold you stand up and protect you
Fall back into his arms and trust him to catch you
Even if you’ve been dropped a thousand times before
Teach him how to surrender by surrendering yourself
And merge into the sweet nothing, of this worlds’ heart

If you want to change the world, love a man, really love him
Encourage him, feed him, allow him, hear him, hold him, heal him
And you, in turn, will be nourished and supported and protected
By strong arms and clear thoughts and focused arrows
Because he can, if you let him, be all that you dream


To Love a woman

If you want to change the world…
Love a woman-really Love her.
Find the one who calls to your soul, who doesn’t make sense.
Throw away your check list and put your ear to her heart and listen.Hear the names, the prayers, the songs of every living thing – every winged one, every furry and scaled one, every underground and underwater one, every green and flowering one, every not yet born and dying one…Hear their melancholy praises back to the One who gave them life. If you haven’t heard your own name yet, you haven’t listened long enough. If your eyes aren’t filled with tears, if you aren’t bowing at her feet, you haven’t ever grieved having almost lost her.

If you want to change the world… love a woman-one woman beyond yourself, beyond desire and reason,
beyond your male preferences for youth, beauty and variety and all your superficial concepts of freedom.
We have given ourselves so many choices
we have forgotten that true liberation comes from standing in the middle of the Soul’s fire and burning through our resistance to Love.

-There is only one Goddess.
Look into Her eyes and see, really See!
if she is the one to bring the axe to your head..

If not, walk away. Right now!
Don’t waste time “trying.”
Know that your decision has nothing to do with her
because ultimately it’s not with who,
but ‘when’ we choose to surrender.

If you want to change the world… Love a woman.
Love her for life-beyond your fear of death,
beyond your fear of being manipulated
by the Mother inside your head.
Don’t tell her you’re willing to die for her.
Say you’re willing to LIVE with her,
plant trees with her and watch them grow.
Be her hero by telling her how Beautiful she is in her vulnerable Majesty,
by helping her to remember every day that she IS Goddess
through your adoration and devotion.

If you want to change the world… Love a woman
in all her faces, through all her seasons
and she will Heal you of your schizophrenia-
your double-mindedness and half-heartedness
which keeps your Spirit and body separate-
which keeps you alone and always looking outside your Self for something to make your life worth living.
There will always be another woman..
Soon the new shiny one will become the old dull one
and you’ll grow restless again, trading in women like cars,
trading in the Goddess for the latest object of your desire.

Man doesn’t need any more choices.
What man needs is Woman, the Way of the Feminine,
of Patience and Compassion, non-seeking, non-doing,
of breathing in one place and sinking deep intertwining roots strong enough to hold the Earth together
while she shakes off the cement and steel from her skin.

If you want to change the world… love a woman, just One woman.

Love and protect her as if she is the last holy vessel. Love her through her fear of abandonment
which she has been holding for all of humanity.
No, the wound is not hers to heal alone.
No, she is not weak in her codependence.
If you want to change the world… Love a woman
all the way through until she believes you,
until her instincts, her visions, her voice, her art, her passion, her wildness have returned to her- until she is a force of love more powerful than all the political media demons who seek to devalue and destroy her.

If you want to change the world,
lay down your causes, your guns and protest signs.
Lay down your inner war, your righteous anger
and Love a woman…beyond all of your striving for greatness, beyond your tenacious quest for enlightenment.
The holy grail stands before you
if you would only take her in your arms
and let go of searching for something beyond this intimacy.

What if peace is a dream which can only be re-membered through the heart of Woman?
What if a man’s love for Woman, the Way of the Feminine
is the key to opening Her heart?
If you want to change the world…Love a woman
to the depths of your shadow,
to the highest reaches of your Being,
back to the Garden where you first met her,
to the gateway of the Rainbow realm
where you walk through together as Light as One,
to the point of no return,
to the ends and the beginning of a new Earth.

~Lisa Citore

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Forgive, don’t forget lest we un-learn our lessons but forgive…and love!  Sending loads out there, catch a bit, go on, you know you want to 😀

The Business Meeting.

As a glass artist, I feel I have grown my little business as far as I can get it to go.  I create glass bits and bobs, jewellery, knobs, beads…anything I can think of really. I have branded my product and marketed as best I could via the interweb (yes, well, Facebook does count doesn’t it?) – I even went so far as to look into SEO…shudder.  I have gone as far as I can go on my own and decided I would need to enlist some help if I were to be able to grow my little business further.  I’m not quite ready for Dragon’s Den… I’ve only just made a start with the Dragon’s eyes, let alone a whole herd of them – and don’t they look mean, headed up by Deborah Meanone 😉

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No, I needed to start with friendly faces, find out what my next steps should be and how to set of on that road.  So, dressed in my best ‘I am an eccentric artist’ outfit, hair newly ‘oranged’, I boarded the train to London, armed with my earphones and Kindle, as people tend not to be very friendly on UK trains – or too friendly!

Two hours later I am on the tube, heading for the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington.  The perfect place to start, seeing as it’s the world’s greatest museum of art and design.  We began at the Pearl Exhibition.  I was in heaven, starting with the shells, how pearls form and the most beautiful shells I have ever seen. The exhibition was packed to the gills, so it was difficult to see everything properly in the first part of the exhibition but what intrigued me more than anything else, was the unity of women from all walks of life, their similar reaction, comments and noises of pleasure 🙂

The exhibition took us through time – I have to admit, the most beautiful pieces for me were the earliest creations and then the contemporary pieces.

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I found out rather late in the day, that photo’s were not permitted – whoops! 😉

Anyway, so back to the women packed into the exhibition – I was startled, intrigued and highly amused to hear rumblings from almost every group (including us, who were merrily plotting a Thomas Crown Affair affair) about how to steal the exhibits and what they would steal!  Women all around could be seen carefully examining the cases for hinges and scanning for camera’s!  I am not joking!  It was hilarious. These were women from all walks of life, talking about a heist in the V&A!  But you know what, everyone could hear everyone else and it became a mass conspiracy and the feminine power shone through as we moved through the exhibition and by the time we left, we were on smiling and nodding terms, if not speaking terms, with every woman we saw!  It was delicious.

We moved on to the jewellery exhibits, which are amazing – if you’ve never been, I highly recommend it!  So, soon it was lunchtime. Down to business.  Like you, I have had my fill of business meeting over the years.  From informal discussions, to corporate (boring) fiasco’s but I’ve never quite had a business meeting like this one.  We started with a brief overview accompanied by plenty of this…


some of this, lasagne

some more of this 200345957-005 Wine

some of this, pudding

with just a drop more of this red-wine

before heading back to the V&A to continue …what was it again?  Oh yes, our business meeting – hic.  Where did those four hours go??  We looked at the fashion, stained glass and sculpture, where I got told off for the second time that day!  Oops 😉

We decided to continue our meeting in a place more conjucive to a business meeting and left, but not before discovering the Dale Chihuly exhibits!  My photo’s are rubbish but you can find his work here.  These exhibits are colossal, when you consider they are blown glass sculptures….ooooooh!

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I bet you can’t guess where we went to conclude our business meeting!  I don’t have a clue where it was, but they had cake and fine wine!

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Like all good meetings, we established that we had to have another meeting – next time we are going to the Shunga Exhibition at the British Museum 🙂   I came home full of inspiration…the following pieces are dedicated to the ultimate femininity and unity of purpose of the wonderful women we met at the pearl exhibition 😀

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And the following pieces are something I have been obsessing over, to obtain the perfect colour combinations 🙂

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Oh yes, happy holidays, whatever and if you celebrate and if you don’t! Ho ho..zzzzz 😀

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Now I don’t condone eavesdropping but next time you visit and exhibit, keep an ear out for Thomas Crown Affair rumblings 😉

Big hugs one and all, remember we only get one go on our beautiful planet, be kind to each other and yourself.  Over and out…until next time 🙂

She Sells Sea Shells…

I can’t believe I have been in the new studio for almost a month already!  Still, it’s not surprising that time is whizzing past as I have been having lots of fun 🙂

So I rearranged the display space to make way for a new work bench to cater for my growing mini-laboratory.  I’m quite pleased with the cosy  feel of it!

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The windows are looking nice from the outside too 🙂  Anyway, I have been making lots, as usual… Dragon Eyes – there are a few one eyed Dragons flying about now!  Herbert the Killer Whale, a commissioned piece that was fun to make 🙂  A sweet little owl, inspired by the birds of prey at the Falconry SouthEast centre, which is at Quex too.  A Dragon’s head – for lampworkers out there, my tutorial for this can be found in the Soda Lime Times…I think it was the June issue.  A Goddess who was inspired by the full moon and eclipse, who as fine silver accents.

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Then there is a toga clad maiden, who is as sparkly as can be with lots of dichroic glass inside – you can just make out the flowery dichro in the bottom half of her toga and finally, a commissioned pair of sculptures, covered in fine silver and copper.  I have made them to look ancient and I’m pleased to report that my client was as pleased with them as I was – I wanted to keep them!  They are safely with their new owner in America now 🙂

So a new project I set myself, was to try to make realistic looking sea shells, which was inspired by an experiment I had read about, where hermit crabs would happily live in a glass blown shell.  My shells turned out ok – can’t say the same for my attempt at a Hermit crab but I guess he has a certain appeal 😉

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I shall continue to play with this idea as the possibilities are endless, plus I quite enjoy blowing glass – makes a change from all that hot air! 😉

And on that note, I shall leave you with this little fellow and say ‘smile’!  Make the most of each and every moment and put your phone away for a bit, look around and see what a beautiful planet we inhabit 🙂  May you all live long and prosper…nannoo, nannoo (Mork and Mindy) 😀

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New Space!

I’ve moved!  Studio that is, just in case you thought I’d been sitting still for a long time 😉

My little studio served it’s purpose for almost a year and a very creative little haven it was too!

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It was about 8′ X 10′ and I crammed in a large work desk, a work bench, display tables and cabinets!  As you can see it was jam packed with glass goodies, tools and equipment.  I had been thinking about a move for a while but needed the right space.  Sadly, two of the crafters from our village decided it was time to move on but that left an opening for me to move!  The new studio is three times the size of the old one.  And it has a sink!!!

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My first job was to improve the floor.  The existing finish was painted concrete.  Not the best for your feet and pretty cold in the Winter, so I put down some insulation and new vinyl.

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Double frontage!  So two windows to fill – I shall be having a nice glass topped door soon, to make it more inviting when the door needs to be shut and to let in more natural light 🙂  My new sign went up straight away 🙂

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Starting to move in the important stuff!

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Getting there – it’s vastly improved now but still evolving!

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Windows in 🙂

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Slave busy at work!  Sophie very kindly helped me finish moving – thanks Sophie! 😀

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Looking lovely from the outside but still a lot of work going on inside!  The ventilation system, looking much like a dismantled robot from a 1960’s Sci Fi series, is now completed and operational and the displays are getting there. I still want to change everything around in that department but all in good time 😉

I have had my very first student, Meg, making her very first beads in the new studio already!  Now I have two torches set up, I shall be able to offer tuition for two, so if you want to come with a friend to learn how to melt glass and make things, I can offer a discount 😉

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The best way to get used to a new creative space, is to create in it!  So I’ve been a busy little bee this past week, getting a feel for the vibes!

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Meg is studying cave art, so we cooked up some designs – quite pleased with the Bison!  The ivory, black and silver – simplicity itself but very effective and contemporary.  A mermaid…of course!  And back to an old favourite, a Dragon’s Eye – no Dragons were hurt in the making 😉

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And of course, no torching session would be complete without a Goddess and this one has a mate!  Thanks to John, the Craft Village wood turner for the stands 🙂

Since taking the photo’s, I have had some new lights put up, so it’s like walking into Wembley Stadium!  No doubt I will take some more snaps when I feel it has fully evolved 🙂

Thank you for continuing to share my journey.  Look after yourselves and each other and don’t forget to hug often.  Regret nothing! 😀

A Little Heavy Metal!

For me, working and playing mostly add up to the same thing these days.  Having been a scientist in a previous life, I love to experiment and my glass work allows lots of scope for that!

From colour and shape to texture to techniques, the possibilities are endless!

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There are layering techniques and colour mixed with shape, shape on it’s own, colour and texture all mixed up!  Much of it though relies on chemistry, whether that is the chemicals used to create the glass or the chemistry of the flame to ‘pop’ the colours.  Glass contains many different metals and oxides, which behave in certain ways depending on how you use the flame, either thermally of by changing the gas mixtures.

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More layering and using the inherent properties of the glass, using shards of blown glass to create texture and again, that manipulation of thermal/chemical properties to elicit those yummy colour combinations from essentially what looks like a yukky brown rod of glass!

I have also played with adding silver to glass, which required careful planning and multiple firings, not to mention the balancing act between the melting temperature of the glass with the curing of the silver!

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So, if that wasn’t enough to be getting on with, I was keen to play with the technique of electroforming, which essentially means coating something with metal particles.  In the basic electroforming process, an electrolytic bath is used to deposit the copper onto the surface of the glass. Glass is a non-conductive material it has to be covered with a conductive coating. Technically, it is a process of synthesizing a metal object by controlling the electrodeposition of metal passing through an electrolytic solution onto a metal or metalised form.  The fun is deciding where to place the conductive coating and how fast to plate for the most pleasing aesthetic results 🙂

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Looks a bit pathetic I know, but it works for me 😉

I got it to work first time and am now experimenting with rates of deposition etc 😀

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Finally I was curious to see what would happen if I mixed the two metals…

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More experimenting is on the cards –  and one has to keep one step ahead of the copiers!  I really enjoyed creating these beautiful creatures and I hope you enjoyed seeing them.  Watch this space!

Oh and another bit of news – I am moving into a bigger studio soon!  Can’t wait 😀  It means I can teach more than one student at a time and expand my experimental bench!  To see what is happening on a daily basis, be sure to go over and ‘like’ my Facebook Page.

Take care until next time.  Don’t forget to hug lots (see previous post) and treat others as well as you treat yourself 😀  Consider yourself ‘virtually’ hugged 😉

Glass Makes My Soul Visible…

I have been thinking about this.  My whole psyche has made a sideways leap which has changed the way I view everything – in a good way! 2013-08-10 10.48.38 2013-08-13 10.50.41 2013-08-16 11.09.41

During my time on this planet, I have travelled many paths and achieved lots of diverse goals…I have taught, ran a music pub, been a scientist, ran one of a chain of stores and now I am a glass artist.  I have been searching for that ultimate place within myself – not a job but a place where work and life, me and what I do, come together as an expression of who I am.  I won’t call it ‘finding myself’ because we are all constantly evolving as we experience new things and incorporate those new things into our mind and settle them in amongst our existing memories and experiences, causing a slight shift in how we view and react and think.

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Melting glass is a lot like meditation.  You lose yourself in the creating, concentrating until the glass is your only focus, your breathing slows, everything else fades into the background and becomes almost inconsequential.  Melting glass helped to heal me when I was lost and bereaved and it keeps away those insidious worries that quietly invade your peace, like a sneaky virus that tries to erode feelings of happiness and well-being…you know, money, family, life!

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Melting glass is an expression of myself, my feminine power, my strength, the arty stuff that has been locked away in my head since age 11.  It has freed me in lots of ways.  Allowed me to quietly think and explore the human condition.  My condition and those around me.  It has helped me value my family and friends even more and has given me access to people I wouldn’t have met if I didn’t create glassy goodies.

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It seems like I have lived many lives and I have reinvented myself countless times, each serving it’s purpose until it’s purpose is done.  I feel excited by the reinventions to come!  At the moment, my ‘self’ is about bright colours, dancing and joy and I am revelling, hugging myself at my good fortune – a job that’s so fulfilling that I’ll never have to work again, family who I adore, each and every one; friends, always there, stalwart, supportive and beautiful.

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I feel blessed now more than ever.  I may not be rich in today’s monetary  measure, but I have treasure beyond counting and peace of mind…at last.

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Remember what’s important.  Be still awhile and listen to what’s inside.  Reach out, celebrate, throw your arms in the air and dance!! 😀  Thank you all for being part of my journey 😀

Glastonbury Goddess Conference 2013

Hello!  Long time no see I’m afraid.  What with the lead up to the conference, the conference itself and then the busy period immediately afterwards, I have shamefully neglected my blog 😦

But on with the story to celebrate and relive a fantastic week at the 18th Glastonbury Goddess Conference!  It all starts with me dying my hair bright orange – yes I know, ‘what was she thinking?’, I hear you mutter as you shake your head.  For some reason, I had the urge to have orange hair.  I can’t explain it, apart from the romantic notion of looking like a pre-raphaelite painting but I did it the night before we were due to set off for the West… I awoke startled at myself and a little bit horrified but soon forgot all about it as I hadn’t done any packing etc!

We set off at 10.30 am, thinking that we would have plenty of time to get there and set up in the Town Hall before 5pm.  Easy peasy, it should only take 5 hours if we include two decent motorway service stops.  You know what’s coming, don’t you.  Yup, traffic jams.  Horrible, long, hot jams that make you think the car will overheat…  Ok, so I should have expected the M25 jam.  It’s notorious after all and silly me for thinking we would get away with it because of the time we were travelling.  The worst was yet to come though, on the A303.  Next year, someone remind me to find an alternative route!  I kid you not, we sat in that jam for almost 2 hours and for what?  Two seets of traffic lights, that’s what.  Gggrrrr!  On the upside, the sign for Stonehenge was in our sight for a good hour and we even got to see the ancient site of Stonehenge itself, 2013-07-29 14.53.45

albeit as we sped past because as you might be able to guess, at the most interesting part of the journey, the lights were finally in our favour.

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Just in case you have never heard of it Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England. One of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge is the remains of a ring of standing stones set within earthworks. It is in the middle of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds.

Archaeologists believe it was built anywhere from 3000 BC to 2000 BC. Radiocarbon dating in 2008 suggested that the first stones were raised between 2400 and 2200 BC,[2] whilst another theory suggests that bluestones may have been raised at the site as early as 3000 BC.

Anyway, we finally made it to the Town Hall at 5.15pm (no one recognised me because of my orange hair), Just enough time to unload the car and realise that I had left my bank card in the petrol station the previous day when I had filled the car for the journey.  Deep joy.  No cash = no dinner.  We needn’t have worried as the Goddess came to the rescue!  There was a Pot Luck spread at the Goddess Hall and we were invited.  The food was delicious and we were very grateful for the generosity of everyone that contributed 🙂

We finally got to our Hotel, where I greedily consumed a number of cups of tea before crashing out as I knew we were in for a busy week (note the orange hair).

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We had decided to walk into town and back each day to be green and save some pennies but that first day we ended up in a cab as we had stuff to carry and it was raining but we were not perturbed and arrived early to register and sort out our table as we had just about had time to dump everything before the hall closed for the evening the day before.

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My gorgeous daughter and beautiful assistant for the week!  Next a walk round the hall to introduce you to a few of my fellow stallholders – amazing Goddesses, one and all!

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And Vikki, I call her Boudica ;), who makes jaw dropping silver and copper jewellery and yes, you guesses it, I have some of her lovely stuff too – and we are planning a collaborations and skills swap day, which I am very excited about!  She also teaches Yoga at The Little Yoga Rooms.

There were lots of others both new and people I had met last year but I didn’t manage to get pictures of everyone as we were all so busy but you can see more if you click the link to Tatomir’s article below!  Anyway, Shoshana, Sue and Ruth deserve a mention for organising us all and taking care of us.  Ember Vincent was there again this year with her lovely creations – yes, I do have one of her pieces 🙂  I am hoping to make some largish sculptures soon and she very generously gave me lots of useful information, for which I am grateful for.  There was Gwen, who did the most amazing Henna body art.  She makes her own henna – brilliant stuff, lovely and dark, so I had some of that too, as I have been known to dabble 😀  I popped up the the Assembly rooms to see who was there this year – if you recall, that’s where I was last year…

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There were many more and I’m sure I took more pictures but sadly, I can’t find them 😦

So, the first night brought the opening ceremony – wow!  It was amazing, beautiful, primal.  There are no photographs of this event once it got going as it was not appropriate but it was a very powerful performance and we all joined in the singing and dancing – what a great evening 🙂

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The next night was the night of the Lammas bonfire!  The procession left the Town Hall and we sang all the way to the location of the bonfire, which was uplifting and much fun!  The route took us up the high street, through an alley, round the houses and finally across a big field on a hill with lots of cow pats.  I had been serving a last minute customer and left my walking footwear under the table, so have a little chuckle now, as I fell off my shoes a few times and finally succumbed to borrowing a pair of my daughters sandals, effectively dragging my trouser bottoms though some suspicious looking brown gloopy material…did I mention it was a cow field?

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In a workshop earlier that day, many people (including my helper) had made a clay piece – their depiction of The Mother – which had been arranged around the bonfire.

There was much singing and dancing as the Mother was invited to join the ceremony!  There was a magical moment when the torch bearers came into view…

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More singing and dancing ensued when the fire was lit!  It was a lovely and joyous evening for everyone!

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We didn’t stay until the end as I was unsure if I would make it back down the hill in one piece in my daughters shoes in the pitch black!!  So we made our way back to the hotel exhausted but happy 🙂  And no, I didn’t fall flat on my face in the muck 😉

The walk to ‘work’ and back each day was refreshing, past the sheep, who we exchanged pleasantries with each morning and we returned the salute afforded us by the lone tree trunk.  Before we returned each night, we partook of tasty vittles at a local hostelry, The Beckets Inn, which I highly recommend – great food at great prices and lovely staff.

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As the week wore on, we met some wonderful people and had lots of laughs.  I have to say hello to Sarah – who bought lots of beads from me this year.  Sarah was the inspiration last year, for the pregnant Goddess beads.  Sarah was expecting twins when last I saw her and she had them the very next day – she had managed to hang on to them for the duration of the conference!  They were delivered safely and are a little pair of sweeties.  Sarah is planning a visit to my studio to see how I make my Goddess beads soon.  I look forward to that! 🙂

We also met Tatomir Ion-Marius, a journalist from Romania, who wrote an article all about us, which was published online.  The article appeared in the   Lots more pictures of the Town Hall stalls.

As the week draws to a close, there is much excitement about the masked ball.  Everyone gets to dress up as the Goddess or God of their choice and entry is not permitted unless one is suitable masked 🙂  I was the Goddess Sedna of the oceans deep!  We decided to make our own masks and my helper was dispatched to the local shops for paraphernalia and gubbins whih which to construct them.  She did such a great job, that soon others were asking her to make theirs too, so Lauren is now known as The Entrepenuerette 🙂

The following pictures were taken at the ball, among them are Sarah and her beautiful twins and one of my favourite ladies, Georgina 😀

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On the final day, the closing ceremony procession took place.  Sadly we couldn’t join in as we were preparing to pack up in readiness for our long journey home.  We start with a picture of Karin, whose outfit is entirely hand-stitched!

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And end with one as everyone returns to enter the Town Hall to finish the closing ceremony.

My helper and I had the most amazing week!  The atmosphere was fabulous and everyone was so friendly.  I also saw some of the local people who came to see me last year – and even though I have only been there twice, in a way, going to Glastonbury is a bit like going home 🙂

So, it’s over for another year and I have much stock to make to replace what I’ve sold.  More inspiration has been ferreted away ready for when I have time to play and many new friends have been made…

The journey home wasn’t quite so fraught as the journey there but is still took an hour longer than expected!  Anyway, just before I go, I would like to put a question to you.  We stopped in one of the M&S service stops on the way home to…never mind what for – in the conveniences, there was a soundtrack of birds twittering away.  I was wondering if it was playing to a) cover the sound of ladies tinkling or b) encourage said tinkling to improve turnover – answers on a postcard please 😉

Before I go, I would like to wish you well on your life’s journey.  Treat each other the way you like to be treated and hug lots.  Someone told me you need at least four hugs a day to maintain your health, well I’m not taking any chances, so if you find yourself hugged by a random stranger with orange hair, it might be me 😉