• Glass,  Public Art

    Metal Ages…. and it has been ages!!

    If there’s an award for bad blogger of the year, I think I would certainly be in the running!
    There’s been so much going off.   In March, Gavin and myself did some workshops in schools – this produced some fantastic work, including glass, metal embossing and casting – hopefully I can show you some of the work at a later point.  Who cares about chronological order?
    I managed to get a few more sessions in at university doing photograms, and I was very sad when this came to an end – I feel like I’ve still got so much more to explore, but I need access to the darkrooms to be able to develop (hahaha) this further.  Do you think they’d notice if I just wandered in…. we’ve got the AA2A exhibition soon, I have to be ready by the end of next week.
    We held the spring Open Studios at Shed 2 as part of Derbyshire Open Arts.  I managed to squeeze in a visit to Chelsea 100th Flower Show to help Rachel Carter – unfortunately, I didn’t get a lot of chance to look round as it rained. And rained again.   And rained some more.  You get the idea.
    However, I was very excited last week that we were able to install the first Metal Ages sculpture at the King George Gallery.  That’s the Royal “we” – as in Gavin and his builder dug holes, heaved the thing around, and poured in post-crete, whilst I stood on the side-lines saying left a bit, right a bit and taking photographs.
    I think it looks amazing.  I love the combination of new glass and old metal.  I love what Gavin has done with the found objects from the Stanton site, combined with donated tools from our walks and meets we did way back in February and March.
    Anyway, here it is – the second sculpture should be installed fairly soon, more on that later!
    An overview – slightly over exposed, but had to show you the beautiful settings:
    The beautiful King George Gallery building
    My glass element
    Found metal objects from Stanton Ironworks
    Donated tools from former workers
    The glass set into the Stanton Arrow
  • Glass

    A New Way of Looking at Glass

    Last autumn, I got accepted on to the AA2A Scheme at the University of Derby.  It’s a residency programme, offered to several practising artists/makers over a range of educational establishments.  It’s intended to help take time develop ideas and to offer the opportunity to use facilities we might not usually get access to.
    I became eligible to apply last year and got accepted for a place on the scheme. Unfortunately, a few things happened in my personal life which meant I struggled to find the time to spend on the project (involvement means spending a certain amount of time on-site and being visible to and accessible for students), but finally about a month ago, I was able to spend a bit of time on it at last.
    I’d wanted to explore new ways of ‘seeing’ glass, which fascinates me in all forms – not just because of it’s beauty, and it’s odd combination of fragility and strength but in other ways too; technically, it’s an incrediblly versatile material which can be used for an amazing array of applications, and it can look so different – of course, quite often, with glass, it’s about what we can see through it and what can or can’t get through it – heat, light.
    I used to do a lot of photography and used to enjoy developing my own films and printing from my  negatives.  Of course with the digital age, I don’t go in the dark room any longer, so having the opportunity to use the facilities at the university was too good to pass up.
    Glass does funny things to light – you can’t always ‘see’ what it’s doing, but expose traditional photo paper and it reveals where some of that light is actually going (this again appeals to the scientific side of me).
    Take this image:
    Copper wire and glass photogram
    Remembering that this is photographic paper usually used with a negative – so the dark bits are where all light has got through, the lighter bits are where less has got through (still with me??).  Nothing unusual really, this is a round of glass with copper wire wrapped through the middle.  Of course, copper wire is solid, opaque, won’t let light through.  But those dots?  They’re air bubbles.  The solid white line around the edge – that’s the curve of the glass.  These bubbles and curves are distorting (well, refracting) the light in such a way that it’s not hitting the development paper.  I think it’s fascinating.
    Here’s another one -you’ll probably recognise the style/design, people say it’s very ‘me’ – my textured glass.
    There’s absolutely loads more I’ve done – I spent a couple of sessions simply working out which glass works best, out of the different techniques I use for making – just working in black and white paper is fascinating and has endless options.
    Just wait until you see what happens in colour…
  • Glass

    Bad Blogger….

    Well, I don’t mean I write bad blog posts, I mean I don’t write them at all!
    The International Festival of Glass was fabulous, but I haven’t managed to blog about it yet – sadly, my photos didn’t come out as well as I’d hoped,  so I don’t have a huge amount to show you – but I will, I promise!  Fab news from there, if I didn’t tweet or Facebook it loud enough is that my medallion sold!
    And then I also said I would talk about the Olympic Legacy Project, and give a more detailed account and some photographs – I need to do that soon, seeing as we officially open it next week!
    However, for a few personal reasons, this last week or ten days or so have been a bit hectic and stressful, so blogging went on the back burner for even longer.  Hopefully I will start to catch up with myself soon – although if all the exicting things that are potentially coming my way actually come to fruition, I am going to be one busy bee!  Oh yeah, and we’re planning the Christmas Open Studios already (yes, only 12 weeks to Christmas and I haven’t started making Christmas stock yet…. best get a wiggle on, Dawn!).
    Well, I was going to do a treasury round up, but for some reason the website that does the widgets has decided not to play nicely, and I am not getting rid of this post now!  So, I will do that as soon as it works again – or else I will add some photographs of something, which ever comes sooner!
    I know, for now, here’s a quick snap of some new ideas I have been playing with, fun motto coasters…
    Motto Coasters