So, I haven’t been doing much lampworking recently (long story, involving a change of career). But, I made a return this weekend, at Chedworth Roman Villa’s craft fair. It was a great weekend, the weather was lovely, much to everyone’s relief!
Lovely weather at Chedworth
It’s a beautiful location, in the heart of the Cotswolds. You know you’re in the countryside when there’s grass growing down the single track lane, and you have to stop for pheasants!
I’ve been busy making over the summer, and I was pleased with how my stall looked.
So my task over the next few days is to re-open my Etsy shop and start listing some of the items I brought back home. Look out for a flurry of posts this week!
Well, the last few weeks have been really busy – getting ready for my first Christmas fairs. But now, I have a bit more time and can catch up on my blog posts, which are sadly behind.
I made all sorts of items for my fairs, including turning some of my bird beads into key chains/bag charms. I’m really happy with how they turned out.
I’ve also seen lots of foxes around over the last couple of months – on bags, hats, gloves and even a couple running across the road! So, I thought I would see whether I could make them in glass. I have a few rods of the perfect fox fur colour. Called Adobe, it’s a limited run from CIM. I don’t think I’m going to be able to get anymore, but I should be able to make a good number of these with it!
I’m going to be steadily adding some of the items I brought home from the last fair to my Etsy shop. The keyrings are now listed, if you would like to have a look.
I thought I should start showing some of my work! Let’s start with a bead I made for the Frit Happens Forum challenge. Each month there is a theme challenge and a colour challenge. September’s theme was ‘Birds’.
So here is my little bird:
I was pleased with how he turned out, especially the variations in colour in the blue glass. And even more pleased when my name was pulled out of the draw for the prize – a voucher from Tuffnell Glass. Hmmm, what to buy, what to buy…
One of the highlights of the GBUK AGM a couple of weeks ago was the opportunity to take a free class. Last year, I did silver clay, this year it was using seed beading to form a bezel around a lampwork cabochon to turn it into a pendant.
The class was run by the lovely and infinitely patient Carol Passaro, and the first thing to do was chose a tin as each one had a different colour combination in it. Colours chosen, thread cut and conditioned, we settled down to work. I don’t think I have ever heard a bunch of lampworkers be so quiet! The concentration was palpable.
I was so thrilled with the result, it looks really good and I’ve done very little seed beading before.
My finished pendant!
So now, I have to make some cabochons of my own and get beading!
Drama and excitement yesterday morning! I went outside first thing to the shed to turn off my kiln and see how my beads had come out, and saw two young woodpigeons sitting on the fence. Nothing unusual about that, we have trees in our garden and there are often woodpigeons waddling about.
As I stepped into the shed, I heard the pigeons take off, followed by two loud bangs. One of them had flown into our upstairs window, which was the bang I heard. Fortunately, it picked itself up and flew off. But where was the other one? Answer: standing in the back doorway, looking very confused. And as I watched, it turned around and wandered into the house.
Fortunately, my husband came downstairs and the pigeon ended up in the downstairs toilet/shoe and coat cupboard. I managed to throw a towel over it, and we got the window open and encouraged it out.
The pigeon collecting itself after its adventure
Thankfully, after a few minutes sitting on the decking, the pigeon flew off to find its parent sitting on the fence. Much relief all round! But far too much excitement for that early on a Monday morning.
Yesterday I spent the day in Oxfordshire, at the AGM for Glass Beadmakers UK. As well as discussing the business of the society, it was a great chance to meet up with friends and buy glass!
Heather Kelly, and her lovely Lauscha glass
The thing that struck me most was how much has changed in a year. Last year it was my first AGM and I knew very few people, but this year I knew nearly everyone there, which was lovely.
And it has also rather confirmed what I already suspected – I really have become a glass addict! Just look at what I brought home.
It’s going to take me a while to get through this lot!
In my defence a lot of it is CIM Limited Run, so it might not be available for long. But still, when I unpacked it, it did look a lot of glass, even to me. Better get on and melt some of it!
This is one of the reasons I love lampwork! I ordered some glass from Howaco, in the US, and due to a mix-up with the shipping label, it didn’t come to me. Instead, it got delivered to Jolene (of Kitzbitz Art Glass), in London.
And even though Jolene didn’t know me, not only did she arrange to get my parcel delivered, she also invited me round for pizza and a play on her torch! I had a great evening, the only downside is that I now have serious glass envy, having seen Jo’s stash.
Still, I’m working on mine, and when I got home I was able to unpack the latest addition. Can’t wait to get melting, especially the dichro – sparkly!
Last weekend I was lucky enough to be able to attend Di’s ‘Sea-change Style Secrets’ class. Di makes the most beautiful paperweights, inspired by coral reefs, and although I had watched her make them I really wanted to learn to make them for myself.
On the first day we learned how to build the different components onto a base, and encase it in a dome of clear glass. In the afternoon, Di gave us all some of her stunning murrini and showed us how to open them out on a bead. The next morning, we were thrilled to see what came out of the kiln!
Di made the paperweight as a demo – the photo really doesn’t do it justice!
The Sunday was devoted to learning to make the murrini components that make up the sea creatures. Di makes it look so much easier than it is, but despite some wobbly moments I was thrilled with the canes I made.
Heating the cane prior to pulling
I had a brilliant weekend, with a group of lovely people. I’ve made my first paperweight since, and I can’t wait to get some time on the torch to make some more.
Welcome to my new website! I will be adding to it steadily, so new content should be appearing regularly.