Thursday, 27 January 2011

Some day even your mistakes just work!

Today has been a good day, I have had plenty of play time at the torch, and done a good deal of my 'to do list' for today too.  I have four large focal beads cooking nicely in the kiln, and even today's accidents have been happy ones, I picked up a stringer (thinking it was dark amethyst) to add some final detailing to one of the beads.  Detailing complete I thought I'd bake the bead in a reducing flame (propane rich to make all the colours pop), only to find that the dark amethyst was actually a stringer of Triton left from my previous torching session.  Triton is a lovely reactive glass that turns rich metallic shades of blue and purple when placed in a reduction flame, and as it happened it was just what this particular bead needed.  I'm just praying to the kiln fairies that they'll be kind and it is still as pretty in the morning!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

I speak pidgin technology - tweet tweet (did you see what I did there?)

I feel like an outsider, partially understanding a fraction of what I am doing, but wholly understanding my almost complete ignorance of it! 

I chat on a forum, where advice regarding blogging, tweeting, flickr groups and the linking of all of the aforementioned are common place. People are willing, eager even, to share their knowledge and conect themselves to others wirelessly through this wonderful medium we call the web.  They are a kindly bunch, with much patience, Yoda-ish in their manner.  Yet despite all this sharing of knowledge, I feel, as if much of it, is in some mystical language to which I am not party.  As though some unspoken initiation test has yet to be successfully completed, whereon the fog that is cyberspace, will clear and I will gain understanding and clarity and ultimately Jedi status (well not quite, but you get the drift). 

I see myself in all my techno-confusion as the character played by Rowan Atkinson in a 'Not the Nine O'clock News' sketch, who is trying to buy new speakers for his sound system (you remember them - built like tanks), only to be humiliated for his ignorance of modernity by the two serving on, who eventually tell him to go home and play his gramophone Grandad!

... and on that note I'm going to dust off one of my old LPs, and have a Marathon bar (what the hell is a Snickers anyway) and no, I am not a Grandma, well not to the best of my knowledge anyway!

Or on second thoughts a large glass of wine!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Fight may just have been worth it!

Well I finally assembled and poised the lamps around the pop-up light box and hey presto - in the middle of the night, produced not too shabby photos!

Just had a Fight!

Can you believe it a woman of my age brawling on the kitchen floor.  I feel quite ashamed and to add insult to injury I lost!  Well I lost the first round at least, but I'm prepared to have another bash. 

My adversary, I hear you wonder?  A 'pop-up' light box akin to a modern day pop up laundry basket! These things make deck chair erection look like child's play.  I have twisted it every which way possible, I have sworn at it, sat on it and all but throttled it and still I can not get it nearly small enough to go in the postage-stamp-sized-bag from which is sprang!

The worst of all this is, that I knew what was coming.  My other half bought our little boy a 'pop up' tent during the summer holidays, what fun!  I had a fight with that too. I grappled and wrestled and failed miserably to put it away successfully.  It now resides behind an old cupboard in the garage which at least keeps it in check.  The minute it is liberated, it magically springs up crushing mere mortals between itself and the garage wall!

All is not lost however, this 'pop-up' conundrum, may well yet become my best friend.  It will hopefully enable me to take a decent photograph, in our grey and bleak mid-winter.  It arrived packaged beautifully accompanied by two huge lamps, these sport bulbs the size of ostrich eggs and, I'm assured, give of real daylight!  I can only hope they live up to the massive expectation I have of them.  I keep thinking that I will magically turn into some David Bailey style photographer overnight, when in reality all I ever do is point and press!

On this note I think I will call a truce, the gap behind the wardrobe is sufficiently wide enough for the said light box to reside, and to be honest I really don't have the energy for another tussle!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Prototype for new bracelet design.

Over Christmas I had a lot of time on my hands.  We were all under the weather but myself, less so, than the rest of the family.  So I did what I do when slightly bored, I got all my lampworking books out, I browsed the internet endlessly and I made beads. 

It was at this time that I realised that I strive to make complicated beads (with varying degrees of success or failure) using what can be quite involved techniques, when in actual fact the beads that I like to look at most are relatively simple.  This dawning led me to make a set of non-matching beads, yes a non-set really, themed on colour and contrast. 

An internet splurge with Christmas money (thanks Dad), had seen the book 'Bead on a Wire' by Sharilyn Miller, land on the doormat.  This coupled with said non-set of beads gave rise to one of my favourite pieces of jewellery of 2010.  I know that this is a design I want to explore further and so with optimism, I look forward to the creative possibilities of the New Year!

No really I don't know what I'm doing!

One of my new year resolutions was to brave the world of technology a little bit more.  I'm thinking positive and jumping right in!  Now please bare in mind that when I was at secondary school, we had one BBC computer installed the year before I left.  So you see the background I'm coming from.  I grew up in an era where mobile phones looked like house bricks and needed a battery pack akin to those rucksacks worn by the ghost busters. 

So far I have created a facebook account and this very morning I created a twitter account, I'm not sure how either really work, but I'm stumbling through it, albeit rather nervously.  Up until today my internet experience amounted to shopping, email, shopping, forum use (or misuse), shopping and posting items in an Etsy shop - so basically a bit more shopping!

The real object of all this is shameless self promotion, in order to try and reach an audience for my handmade lampwork beads and jewellery.  I will hopefully chart my progress and work in this area as time goes by.  I would love for everyone to have a glimpse of my wonderfully glassy world.  Shiny and pretty and at times a rather frustrating world