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

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 😀

Shades of White

As promised, I have some glassy eye candy for you and some news!  I might have mentioned a commissioned ‘Adonis’ sculptural bead, so if you are of a highly strung disposition I advise you to look away – I will let you know when it’s safe 😉

The client that commissioned the piece had previously purchased a silver-clad Goddess and wanted to complete the pair.  

Making these can be a little nerve wracking as they have to be fired 3 times and at higher than usual temperature, so great care has to be taken.  I was very pleased with the way he turned out and fortunately, so was my client 🙂

Ok it’s safe to look now 😉  I had a bit of a ‘white’ period…you’d think that white was white wouldn’t you, but no.  There is white and then there are another four or five different whites – probably more but I only have four!

I had a bit of fun with some more needle-felting and made a couple of pictures – you’ll never guess the theme 😉

I would love to have a marine reef tank, but as it’s not a possibility at the moment, I thought I would make something to look at.  We do have a tank though – let me introduce you to Tinkerbell 🙂

Back to business – my news!  I have recently decided to take on a studio in a craft village, where I will make yummy beads and offer tuition but in the meantime, I have a few events lined up and have been making lots of stock – as well as having fun experimenting, as usual 🙂

A few more bits 🙂

Been thinking about Halloween and it turns out there is a dark place in my mind 😉

And to wrap up, a few Goddesses!  Are you just a little bit surprised?

An amber Goddess, a silver-clad leggy warrior, a commission covered in gold leaf, which was a wonderful piece to make and Cinderella! She went to the ball…talking of which, a couple of knobs 😉  I was rather pleased with how they turned out, especially as the murrini ‘sea urchins’ were an experiment 😉

When I have moved into my new studio, I will give you a blow by blow account – including pictures – bet you can’t wait 😉

Take care everyone – be the best you can and don’t waste a moment of this precious life 🙂

My Real Name is Lydia..

As in Lydia from the Beetlejuice movie, who is strange and unusual 🙂  Thats what I like to think anyway, so please feel free to call me Lydia! 😉  So what has that got to do with lampwork?  Basically, not very much, except that my imagination takes me on wildly veering journeys of style 🙂  I have been continuing with the lentils but also revisiting some of the old stuff and developing a few more organic/odd/reactive bits and bobs.

I was asked if I could do cats – well, there was only one way to find out!  I felt the need to have a bit of a giggle, so most have goldfish on the reverse – but the shark!  Well, it had to be done 🙂

So from fish tanks to mermaids – a logical jump in Lydia’s world 😉  These are rather beautiful, even if I do say so myself, so I may make one for myself!

So what’s next?  Ah, the twisted hearts – I think the little black worm that resides in my heart has gone on holiday!

I am not keen on the neat hearts on the market – maybe its a because I am not a terribly ‘neat’ person – I like the reactions between various glasses and the asymetrical shape of free-form hearts.

So, now for a few of my ‘girls’.  I keep thinking that I should go on from my ‘Creation’ and ‘Emergence’ series, but I am not finished with that idea – the glass calls to me and I am compelled to use certain combinations 🙂

And finally, as I have such a short attention span, which is why melting glass is so appropriate for me (apart from big sets…oooo, how I fidget and squirm when I have to make more than three or four beads exactly the same), the rest…!  Back to an old favourite – Dragon Scale beads, before and after etching – these sold within hours of posting pictures!  A purple lizard having lunch – not everyone’s cup of tea but he was almost snaffled by my daughter when she saw him!  Seaside beads – always a favourite and something I tend to make while waiting for inspiration to strike!

Shipwreck beads are something I love making – I enjoy making all of the little implosion components and fiddling with filling in the spaces with gubbins and wotsits 😉  Owls are fun – this one didn’t start off as an owl.  I was making a ‘bubble’ bead over some Ekho frit and it didn’t quite work how I wanted it to – so I thought, I Know, I’ll turn it into an owl, which I did.  It was only when retrieving him from the kiln that I realised that his hole ran horizontally through his body and not through his head, so you can guess what will happen to him, when he is strung on anything!  Doh!

A couple of bracelets to show the total diversity that can be achieved with lampwork beads and what you put them with and lastly, my favourite necklace – it had to be done!

I had a couple of ‘mardy’ days this week but you know what?  It’s such a waste!  We only get one go on this planet…if we waste the time waiting for the ‘right time’ or being a misery guts, well, that time is lost forever, we can never get it back, so be happy, make yourself happy, treat others how you would like to be treated and don’t wast a minute!  Big hugs everyone 😉  Bit of fun for you 🙂

PS.  This is dedicated to Brenda 😉