Not from the Village…


Three weeks!  Leading up to the move into my new studio, time seemed like wading through treacle.  Now though, it’s speeding along like the Eurostar on an ice rink!  Three weeks in and I am settling into a new routine.  No more working in my Jim Jams all day, oh no, now I even have to put a bit of slap on! 😉  Not quite corporate power dressing, with my bright red leather pinny and slouchy work boots but just the thing for melting glass – lots and lots of it! 🙂

As you can see, there is still a bit to do as far as storage and display goes, but the essentials are sorted – like the tea making facilities and the biscuits!

Before we get to that, I would like to introduce you to a good friend of mine.  A very talented and accomplished artist, who I shared a house with in my Uni days.  He has kindly let me display some of his work in my studio and now it not only smells like an art room, as my friend Mel commented when she paid a visit but it looks like a proper art studio now! 🙂  Julien Hatswell was born in 1968 – well that’s what he would like us to believe. I for one think that he spontaneously popped into existence following the brief opening of a little wormhole, that spewed him and his gorgeous art into our Universe, because it’s out of this world!  Following graduation from college in 1991, Julien briefly worked for a London toy design company sculpting prototypes and production pattern making. In 1995 he set up Baroque Designs, designing and manufacturing Gothic and Art Nouveau inspired ranges of home giftware sculptures. Over the years there have been many themes, inspiration fuelled by Goddess’s, Green Men, Gargoyles, Dragons, H.P.Lovecraft, Dali, Hotrod culture, and more recently, Owls. For over 25 years, Julien has also painted in his favorite medium of oils, selling originals to collectors in the UK and around the world.  I just wish I had more wall space, his paintings are amazing and I adore the clocks!  Can you see the fishy one to the left in the first picture?  I want one of those 🙂

The studio has been well and truly Christened now as I had a student in for a days tuition last week.  We had loads of fun!  I got to yak about glass, tools and glass techniques all day 🙂

Christine made some lovely beads – you would never believe they were her first lot! Very proud of her 🙂

I have found the time to make a few bits and bobs… I had to make mermaids and Goddesses as someone swept in on the Saturday and almost cleaned me out! 🙂

I just had to slip that little snake in 😉

I have been working on a couple of new things – one is a new line of jewellery…

Lastly, I am utterly fascinated by Tonbodama, Japanese lampwork and have been working on trying to recreate the 3-dimensional flowers in soft glass.  Satake glass is used in traditional Tonbodama (Dragonfly Eyes) and has a very low melting point compared to the soda-lime glass that I predominantly use, which means that minute detail can be achieved a little more easily – when I say easily, of course, there is nothing easy about it and it takes many hours of painstaking work to create some of the components used to make the bead, let alone the whole bead!  Fantastic contemporary examples are  made by Ayako Hattori.

Anyway, I have been plugging away at this behind the scenes – below are a couple of examples – please excuse the poor photography!

I can’t wait until the morning as there are two more in the kiln! 🙂  I will try to remember to post pictures next time – talking of which, I will be interviewing my fellow studio owners at Quex Park Craft Village, so watch out for an eclectic mix of artisan types to be features soon 🙂

And on that note, my little Stangler fish – he started off as a Stone fish and ended up an Angler fish!

And don’t forget, live life to the full, love each other and SMILE – it looks good on you 😉  Big hugs, Nanoo, Nannoo 😉

P.S.  I am from the village – I wanted to strike through the ‘Not’, but it wouldn’t let me – and I couldn’t think of another title 🙂

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