Today we entered phase 1 of an exciting project: building a studio in my back garden where I would do my glass work and run glass fusing and mosaic courses in the near future. The studio will measure 5 metres by 3.6 metres and will fit perfectly at the bottom of my garden.
Sadly we have had to clear a lot of the well-established shrubs and a cherry blossom tree which had some promising buds on.
My garden last summer. I loved it and am a bit sad to see this flowery sun trap go. Excited about the studio though....
However, there was no time to be sentimental as we had our work cut out! Got the shovel, secateurs and wood saw out of the shed and got cracking whilst being closely watched by our project manager....
After 4 hours of digging, pulling and twisting, the back of the garden was clear of shrubs, leaving a large heap of garden waste in the middle. We now know how deep and thick a cherry blossom tree roots can be!
The next stage is clearing the shed before it gets dismantled and transferring its belongings into the outhouse.... Well, I might need to clear the outhouse to make room for the lawn mower, couple of bikes, garden tools, sun lounge.... A job which will certainly involve a couple of trips to the local recycling centre.
My loyal and talented builder will soon take charge of dismantling the shed and taking it with the large heap of garden waste to the recycling centre in his trailer.
Then the exciting building phase will start -hopefully by the end of the month... to be found in another blog....
I love pattern and I am delighted that the trend over the past couple of years has been to mix patterns proudly.
Mixed patterns can add funky interest to a monochrome or plain home décor. A glass piece combining colours and patterns usually attracts attention because of its artistic and quirky appearance. Below is a selection of kiln formed pieces I designed and made with mixed patterns in mind.
Following my popular twin sauce/dip dishes, I came up with the idea of designing a full serving set presenting the small dishes on a glass base with 2 small wooden spoons. They make great gifts for special occasions and can be custom made to match a specific colour scheme or style of décor.
So what do you do with your dirty spatula or the spoon with which you've just stirred your porridge? Do you leave it on the worktop or throw it in the sink where the dirty dishes are piling up?
It is when coming across a small curvy ceramic slumping mould that the idea of kiln formed spoon rests came to me. Not only would they be functional but they would be a stylish addition to a kitchen and could easily be custom made to any style of décor and colour scheme.
I soon started designing and making matching pairs as any kitchen can do with at least a pair and they would make affordable and unique gifts, especially when presented in a gift box.
Designing and making a drop out vessel is a labour intensive but exciting process from beginning to end.
First, I designed the blank before fully fusing it at 795 degrees C.
Then I cut the fully fused piece into a disk of the same diameter as the ring mould -here, 17cm.
The cut piece is then placed on the ring elevated on kiln posts. The piece of glass is then fired to 680 degrees C and drops through the hole as it melts. Careful monitoring of the drop is essential in order to achieve the desired height and shape.
e rim of the gravity bowl is then cut with a special diamond saw before a flat bottom is created and the edges are coldworked on a glass grinder.
Although they can be functional, drop out vessels make striking decorative objects due to their finely crafted nature.
This piece was selected by the CGS -Contemporary Glass Society- for their online gallery exhibition 'Something Yellow' in February.
Click here to see more vessels in my gallery.
I love pattern and often find inspiration in textiles. I returned from a recent trip to Edinburgh with lots of pictures of tartan fabric taken in shops and in the Scottish Tartans Museum.
I love the checked pattern and the rich colours these fabrics have and decided I would have a go at transferring this style into my kiln formed glass work.
I first sketched the design on paper and then decided on the colours to choose. Juxtaposing different colours or shades is an exciting part of the process.
After cutting the desired strips of glass, I assembled them according to the sketched design and covered the piece with glass stringers.
Once the piece has been fully fused, its edges ground and fire polished, it is finally slumped into a mould to give it its final shape.
On the left is one of the dishes photographed with the scarf I bought in Edinburgh and inspired the design.
Christmas is about colourful trees and gifts. So I embarked on designing some colourful kiln formed decorations which would make affordable and unique gifts for relatives, friends or colleagues.
I first cut the shape out into a bird, a heart or a bauble and stencil some glass powder to add some vivid colour. I fully fuse the decorations or tack fuse them -to a lower temperature 710 degrees C so that the powder does not fully fuse to the glass shape- to give them a textured look.
Finally, I drill a hole and thread a ribbon through for hanging. Every decoration is presenting in a rustic kraft gift box ready to be given and received! JOYEUX NOËL!
This Blog aims to share my passion for kiln formed glass as I explore the limitless possibilities of design and technique the medium offers.