As preparations begin to design and produce items for the forthcoming season my mind always wonders to what I could do that would be different from others and make me stand out from the crowd.
The necessity exists to produce the usual crowd pleasers….the little Rudolph decorations…but to keep me inspired I wanted to mix things up a little. My Mojo does a little happy dance at the mention of mixers, sorry a one track mind! However in this case in refers not to a Pina Colada but to the experimenting I have done with transferring mixed media techniques such as Gelli plate printing from the usual paper and fabric to my medium-glass. Hence my reference to altered images-not the 80’s rock band but use of a technique from one medium to another.
There were some funny moments…you can’t press the glass onto the plate to transfer the image as you would with paper as you can’t get the glass unattached –especially when both hands are full. This did lead to a not so happy dance, but I had to laugh at myself! However a slight adaptation of the process has rendered equally satisfactory results. The first out of the kiln were ‘printed’ onto clear glass and so had an ethereal effect. However when the clear glass was then fired onto an opalescent glass it produced a lovely smoky effect. See what you think….a new range of cheese and cake boards perhaps?
My Mojo has had a busy year. Firstly I reported her missing…I thought she had slipped off somewhere for a Pina colada, but then I found her mainlining coffee and worrying about the preparations for my first ever Open Studios event. Today she is beaming ear to ear whilst dancing on the table!
All this as a result of the fantastic reception my glass received at its debut Open Studios. It was lovely to talk to so many interested people and to start to develop a network with other artists in a similar field. Selling so much of my work at my first event, especially to people I don’t know, is very reassuring. There is always that shadow of doubt that others won’t appreciate or admire your work. Last weekend had helped my confidence to grow. With this in mind I need to thank the other members of the 5 at the Hive collaborative; Barb Gamble- Shabby Seagull; Tracy O’Brien-Yarnsmith Studios; Su Douglas -Periwinkle studies and by no means last Jeni Saunders- Pink Jen Jewellery, for persuading me to join their happy band and take part. I have learned a lot about the process and there a few things I will do differently next year, yes I will be back!So all that is left to say is thank you to everyone who visited and supported LoulouBallou Glass and I hope to see you again soon- we are planning a pre Christmas bonanza.
Ongoing Open Studios means The 5 at the Hive (sadly only 4 of the Hive as Barb Gamble-Shabby Seagull can’t be with us) are exhibiting again at TAJ Crafts, Holliers Farms, Branstone, from 22nd July-24th July 10-5pm.
Well as Open Studios arrives, only 2 sleeps until set up, things are getting a little frantic. In fact you know things are bad when you meet yourself coming back the other way! It has been, and continues to be, an enormous learning curve. From planning and preparing the art glass to be displayed, and hopefully sold, to organising packaging and business cards. Also a little encounter with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs department, as I registered myself as a business….all very exciting and slightly daunting. The ongoing support of my family and friends has helped me achieve what I have.
My social media skills are improving, with thanks to my daughter Charlotte, and I am now tweeting like a bird!
However throughout this process the focus has remained solely on the glass, where my passion lies. Developing the powder and frit techniques that are producing exciting results, as demonstrated by the ‘Snow Leopard’ collection, and this has been one of the many successes I have had since the addition of my new kiln.
In order to get work up to saleable quality I have had to work on my ‘cold working’ skills. Grinding and polishing the glass to get a crystal clear finish has its own challenges . Glass is not forgiving when bounced off the wall! Loosing concentration whilst on the grinder is not good news I can tell you!
Well now only time will tell, wish me luck as I embark on the next stage of my journey……..
Well as promised some pictures of the finished vessels created from the blanks I showed in my last post. Just as a reminder here are the blanks
Now the finished vessels….
I have been experimenting today in the studio with some bigger drop out vessels. They are in the kiln as I write. I waited and watched the ‘drop’. Now it feels like Christmas Eve , the anticipation and excitement about what I may find tomorrow when I open the lid. Hope the kiln fairies have been kind.
Just a reminder open studios is round the corner on 15th-17th July at Northwood WI Hall, PO31 8PL (for your sat nav) and 22nd-24th July at TAJ Crafts at Holliers Farm, Branstone, PO36 0LT ( for your sat nav).
So as Open Studios approaches things are getting a little frantic. Will there be enough time to make all I need too. What do I want to make to represent me as an artist. All these things running through my mind. How to organise these thoughts into creativity. Well I have had some assistance in my quest. My gorgeous husband Richard has bought me a lovely big kiln.
I have also moved to a new studio, to home the beast, as it wouldn’t fit inside my old one! So instead of a tiny kiln the size of a dinner plate I now have three times the space.
My first job was to create some blanks from which to make some ‘dropped vessels’
I will let you know how it works out!!! Watch this space……
My mojo has been found alive and well…not behind the glass powders sipping a pins colada, but main lining expressos reading an invitation from friends to join open studios this year!!! So let battle commence and the creative juices flow
Open studios for me on the Isle of Wight is from 15th,16th and 17th July 2016 and I will be at Northwood WI Hall
I am off next weekend to embark on a peer to peer learning group at a studio in Devon exploring the use of glass powders and frit. Working with others whilst learning something new should be a great way to push boundaries and explore new techniques with others who may have some experience. So watch this space…….
Here we are having successfully navigated the post Christmas and New Year slump to venture forth into 2016. However somewhere along the way I seem to have misplaced my creative mojo. It was definitely there, in place, before Christmas when I designed, made and delivered my Christmas gifts. However since then I find myself lacking in inspiration. Any excuse not to head to the studio….the kiln needs levelling, it is too cold, too much rain….Any of this sound familiar? I decided to head down and see what inspiration struck when surrounded by all the tools of the trade…still nothing!! So I decided to tidy up a little, create a bit of order… and who knows hiding behind the glass powders I may just find my mojo relaxing with a pina colada.