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! 😀

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 😀

Flame Off 2013


Before we start, I would just like to apologise for the above image – I was trying the panoramic ‘stitch 3 pictures together’ feature on my camera 😉

There was much excitement leading up to the UK flameworker’s event of the year as usual!  This year it was held at Silverstone in Northamptonshire.  The drive there was straightforward, if a tad tedious but it was well worth it 😀

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Have you ever tried to take pictures of racing cars driving past very fast?  I actually took about 20 but gave up in the end 😉

I was originally going to drive up on the Friday evening and spend Saturday at the event as I had a class with Italian Glass Master (note capitals ;)) Lucio Bubbaco on the Sunday – about which I had been peeing glitter since about October 2012!

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I am going to save that for another blog but needless to say, I was in raptures over the man’s talent!

Back to the matter at hand.  At the last minute, I decided to go early and take full advantage of the event of the year for UK lampworkers, rude not to really 😉

So, after a 3 hour drive, I arrived at the world famous motor racing course to the sound of fast cars and with the prospect of two days at Flame Off, which is organised by the lovely peeps at Tuffnells Glass, I was squealing with delight in a most unladylike fashion!

The venue was miles from the main gate and at one point I thought I had inadvertently strayed onto the track when I went over a little bridge only to notice that there was a gorgeous sexy racing car driving behind me!  Eeek!

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All was in full swing when I arrived and it took me all of 5 minutes to spend all of the pennies I had saved for tools and glass!  There were stands selling everything from glass to frit, from tools to beads!  And there were torches galore for everyone to try!  I was keen to take a look at the new Bethlehem torch – which was by all accounts very hot but I think I’ll stick to my Midrange Plus – unless anyone has a Lynx they wish to donate 😉

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The GBUK stand, with competition entries and the lovely new journal!

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My mate Vicki and her lovely frit and the Glass Alchemy Stand with gorgeous borosilicate glass 🙂

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Trudi playing on the new Bethlehem burner and folks having a go on the Big girls and boys torches!

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Loads of glass (mmmm!) and tools from Maria Louisa – I got a whopping crunch press 😀

There was glass blowing which looked a lot of fun – I didn’t have a go as I had blown the overdraft by this point… 😀

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The ‘scientific’ glass boys were there too, ready to help people wanting to have a go 😀

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Loads of fun was had by all and there’s a shot of my purchases and swaps – yet to get round to playing with everything!

The Demo artists were fab and all so helpful and friendly.  Leah Fairbanks work is stunning and she inspired me to revisit surface decorative work 😀

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And finally, a bunch of us girlies out on the town – conversation topics included glass and tools and somewhere I have a diagram of a rod warmer we were working on devising 😉

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Well, that’s Flame Off done and dusted for another year – I can safely say I had a brilliant weekend and want to say a big thank you to the lovely Tuffnells Glass for going above and beyond in providing for us glass addicts the event of the year!

Coming soon – my class with Lucio – prepare to be wowed!

Until then, take care of yourselves and each other, live hard, play hard and love with passion 😀  Mwah!

Don’t You Know Who I Am? ;)


I decided it was time to make a video of making a bead for my website, just to add a bit of interest, because melting glass is a pretty fascinating business!  I am also writing a tutorial for a Ha!  It’s a secret…for the moment 😉

I had a go at a DIY film, which was great, except that all you could see was my nicely in-focus hand, right in the way.  So I got the professionals in.  Kezia Martin is as professional as they get.  She arrived under a mass of bags and cases, camera’s, data cards and tripods.  We always need a back-up plan she said.  She was right 😉

Kezia is a successful film editor and is currently in Oxford working for a very prestigious University.  She very kindly offered to make my films for me and hopefully we will be working together in the future when I have more tutorials to write!

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So, we do a few trial runs during which I thought Kezia might actually dribble on my torch!  A woman after my own heart, she got sucked in to the beauty of the flame and the spiritual nature of melted glass.  She was oohing and ahhing all over the place, which was just lovely for me – apart from when I had her elbow in my face and when she was almost sitting on my lap trying to get this shot or that shot!

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It’s much harder being a film star than I had imagined.  Repeat this, stop talking, repeat that and doing the same thing over a few times….mind you there was time for us to quaff copious amounts of tea and scoff a packet of Digestives between us!

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So what was I making?  I had decided on Dragon Scale beads.  They come in all varieties.  With silver leaf, without silver leaf, etched, left shiny, little scales, overlapping scales and the colour choices are endless!

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For the purposes of the video, I went for the simplest option – plain ivory, silvered ivory dots over which I have dotted a little colour.

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Basic Dragon Scale Bead Demonstration

Well, we did it in 3 takes plus the back up plan, when one of the data cards started playing up – not sure how much editing it required or how much was left on the cutting room floor due to my inane babbling, so without much ado, please take a look at my debut (click on the picture above) 😀

 

That’s all for today, next time I will hopefully be able to tell you about my new fire-breathing dragon and how much more quickly I can melt glass with it! 😉

As usual, take care, look after each other and live every day as if it were your last and don’t forget, anything is possible with the right attitude – and a hammer 😉  Nanoo, nanoo, over and out! 😀

Do Not Lick The Glass


January is a slow month.  That’s what they say allegedly, well I have a crick in my neck from sitting at the torch for weeks in a row!  Not that I’m complaining 🙂

I have had a lot of commissions recently, including a couple of technically challenging ones – but never one for following the rules or turning down an ‘opportunity to shine’ as they used to call a problem in my old job, I stepped up to the plate… What’s that saying?  Fools rush in!  Yup.  On that note, come into my studio and I’ll show you what I mean 🙂

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First up is the challenge to make some flower murrini that looks like Anenome flowers, in pinks and purples.  Realistic looking flower murrini is built up with many layers of glass, so that by the time you have finished, you can have a lump of hot glass the size of a golf ball on the end of a mandrel!  If I’d had an extra hand or two, I would have taken a picture – by the way, if there is anyone out there that fancies taking pictures of me working, then pop in and say hello as I am in the process of writing a tutorial and need images!  🙂

Back to the business in hand.  I was quite happy with the result and since then have been designing more flower murrini!

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Next up was a Goddess.  It’s the year of the snake!  So what’s so challenging about this?  Well, these Goddesses are around 7cms tall and the risk of thermal shock, when adding the snake, is quite high!  The first one has a couple of CZ’z strategically placed.  The second is a more tribal design.

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After the statuesque Snake Queens, I was asked about smaller pregnant Goddesses and guess what?  I ended up on a roll and made a few 😉

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There were a couple more but they sold before I could get pictures.  I like making big beads so it was inevitable that I would make the next one!

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I have a commission that is in the planning process at the moment but is includes lots of sparkle, so I have been playing with cubic zirconia.  Now there is a limit to the size you can use in molten glass due to the risk of thermal shock but as usual, I have been testing those limits and pushing the boundaries!  A couple of test experiments below 😉  I love the second one – I haven’t set it yet as I have more in the kiln!

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After all that work, it was only fair to have a bit of play time, so a little boro sculptural tree, inspired by the snow and a few rings – I love rings 🙂

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According to a friend, this cabochon looks like an Arctic frozen ocean and this is it set into a ring 🙂

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And now for something completely different!  I was having a tidy up, like you do and I found a bag of material that I have been hoarding for years.  Really lovely bits of silk and damask and stuff, so I decided I would do something with them.  Textile toadstools is what I came up with and here are a couple I made.  They are all hand-stitched, using couture dressmaking techniques.  John, our local wood turner at the Craft Village has made me some stands for them!  I am in the process of writing a workshop for making them.  To be held at Quex Craft Village – date to be announced 🙂

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Anyway, so it’s goodnight from me and goodnight from him 😉  A new owl clock from Mr Hatswell at Baroque Designs

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Thank you for popping by and I hope you enjoyed browsing my creations.  And remember, nothing lasts forever, so live it up, drink it down, laugh it off, avoid the drama, take chances and never have regrets because at one point, everything you did was exactly what you wanted.

Take good care of yourself.  See you again soon 🙂  Nanoo, nanoo 😉

Point and Shoot…


Happy New Year everyone!  Normality has resumed – well, what passes for normality around here anyway, which amounts to organised chaos…so, I digress already – which in the past earned me the title of Lady Tangent! 😉

My camera died 😦  He served me well for a number of years.  I was upset, especially when the man in the camera shop laughed when presented with the little chap for potential repair…how very rude!

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Those of you who follow my posts will know that photography isn’t my strong point.  I don’t know my F stop from my elbow!  And what the heck is ISO?  Information System Override? Intelligent Sock Order?  Isoelectric Sausages Overhead?  The meaning completely eludes me and I know I must have Googled it in the past… You know when something has no meaning for you?  No matter what you read about it, or try to, makes no sense?  I will look at a paragraph on camera settings and it’s like it goes out of focus ( 🙂  Excuse the play on words there – I just couldn’t help myself).  My eyes slide away, my brain thinks about anything but the subject matter – does that happen to you?  SEO does that to me as well.  Don’t get me started on that!  Meta tags…*shudder*.

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Anyway, I had to get a new camera.  I researched it.  I have no problem with that part…I am an expert shopper.  What choices!  Should I go for a similar camera to my poor little point and shoot?  No.  I am thinking I need to up my game where photographing my glassy creations is concerned.  Thankfully the beads look much nicer in real life that they do in a picture, but that is no excuse not to do the best you can!

Mind you, the same bead can look quite different, depending on the background, the light and how much you fiddle with them in photo editing software!

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Right then.  I am determined (I thought to myself) to face my fear.  SLR or DSLR (go on, click if you dare), when I looked it up my eyes were reading the words but my brain was doing the equivalent of sticking it’s fingers in it’s ears and singing ‘la la la’ very loudly!  I don’t get it?  Having been a scientist for years, I am used to dealing with and learning about complicated bits of kit – I can programme a robot for heavens sake!  Can you see what’s happening here?  Even trying to write about it is a trial… 😉

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Long and very boring story short, I decided on a ‘bridge‘ camera.  This is one that has the facility to point and shoot with it’s automatic settings but if you want to, you can switch it to manual and fiddle with the F stop (that sounds positively rude).  Guess which route I shall be taking, despite my good intentions 😉

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All I needed to do was work out where the macro setting was and voila!  Lovely pictures!  Just as an aside – I have been experimenting with metal inclusions in my beads…Loving it! 😀

I would love to show you a picture of my new camera but couldn’t do it justice with my phone, so I’ll just show you this instead! 😉

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Bet you thought with that title that I had gone all gangster!  No, not gangster but maybe a little bit ‘Gangsta’ innit 😉

I hope the year ahead brings you health and happiness and if it brings you wealth, you know where to find me 😉

Look after yourselves, remember, we only get one go at this life malarky, don’t put off stuff  – do it.  If there is someone you are thinking of?  Contact them. Something you have always wanted to try?  Try it (so long as it’s legal!).  Someone you love?  Tell them.  Until next time my lovelies 🙂  Mwah!

A Very Crafty Community


Hello, well as promised, my latest blog is about the craft village where I have a snug little studio.  We are based at Quex Park in Birchington,  Kent – the garden of England on the ‘dog’s nose’ 🙂  The last blog of 2012 – I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

What a diverse and interesting little community we have in the craft village – there is a Florist, a Silversmith, a Wood-turner, an Upholsterer, a beader, a picture framer, a potter, a Ukulele maker, a knitting – crochet shop and a glass artist (that’s me that is).

So, let’s start with Ian.  Ian specialises in Ukuleles but also builds guitars, Cuatros and other instruments from timbers sourced from the grounds of Quex Park itself.  He stocks strings and accessories and also produce a range of Jewellery Boxes and other artefacts built from these unique timbers.

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As you can see, Ian has a busy workshop and there is always someone visiting for a chat or to play – you can often here music coming from Ian’s studio!  His website is Ukulian pop over for a colloquial meander through his life to how he got here!  Ian runs a Ukulele club too and I’m sure he would love to hear from you if you are interested in musical instruments!

Next up is Maureen.  Maureen is our very own talented florist.  She supplies the local area with creative wonders and they come back to her year after year!

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I know nothing about flower arrangement, so am always fascinated to see the inventive ways Maureen puts her arrangements together!  She also keeps a variety of other handmade goods in her studio, such as Hand made soap…mmmm!  You can find out more about our Maureen at Bay Blooms

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Kerry is our Mad Potter.  The Mad Potter is a ‘paint your own pottery studio’ for all ages and abilities.  Kerry offers various classes that you can join – there are baby feet and hand prints (aaawww!), pets paws and parties!  You can have a go at painting your own ceramic item – everthing is supplied by Kerry!  She has a lovely vase put by for me which I am looking forward to painting in 2013! 🙂

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Next we have Martin.  Martin is a Master Upholsterer – I asked him for a piece about what he does and he said, ‘If it can be upholstered, I can upholster it, everything from chairs to car interiors, boats to mobile homes’.  Take a look at Martin’s Upholstery website.  His work is luscious! He can even make furniture from scratch!

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Now we move on to Robert, our resident silversmith.  Artisan is Robert Hull, he was born in 1967 and has worked within the Industry since Graduating from the Kent Institute of Art & Design, Rochester in 1988. Robert started his glittering career in one of the leading British firms in London but has been working on a self-employed basis as a Designer and Silversmith since 1990 when he set up in business with a fellow student and friend. After 16 successful years together and going on to win “Young Designers” in 1994 at the UK Jewellery Awards, their ambitions took them in separate directions and Artisan was born in April 2006.

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Next meet a lovely lady and friend of mine, Sara from Knit & Natter!  She runs knitting and crochet classes and sells all the supplies to do it all!  I have found some lovely yarn in there 🙂

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If you ever fancied learning to knit of crochet, or would like to join a friendly, like-minded group, then give Sara a look 🙂

We have our own resident woodturner too!  His name is John Wright and he is a traditional wood artisan and makes all manner of turned pieces!

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You have all met Pat in a previous post.  Pat runs Thanet Beads.  She runs many classes a week and sells all types of beading supplies 🙂

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She also serves up tea, biscuits and a special brand of humour! 🙂

Last on my list, but certainly not least, is Pete.  Pete is an artisan full of character, who is notorious for feeding copious amounts of sweeties to the visiting children!  They all run to Pete before they go anywhere else!

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Pet makes beautiful treasures from eggs!  Yup, that’s right, eggs 🙂  This is a Faberge inspired art – fascinating, delicate and very detailed!

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There is a picture framer and the new Falconry Centre will be opening shortly – no doubt I will find time to blog about that!  I love Raptors – having hand-reared 61 Falco spaverius for my final year undergraduate project in Canada!

Well, that’s us!  A motley crew but all passionate and dedicated to our work.

For me, 2012 has been a life changing year.  I am more passionate than ever about creating from glass and very excited about the future!  Opening my studio has been a huge thrill – I love being at Quex and am really looking forward to the new directions I will be taking in the year to come!  To go with my new studio, I have a new website.  The site brings everything together under one umbrella, so from there you can reach my shop, my Facebook page and here too!

I hope this past year has been everything you hoped it would be and the next is wonderful – I love that feeling of anticipation as the future unfolds 🙂

Take care of yourselves.  Take care of each other and don’t sweat the small stuff – until next year lovely people… Mwah!  Big hug, live long and prosper 😉