Thursday, 14 October 2010

It's been awhile....

It's funny how blogging seems to go in waves for me. Travelling always makes me post regularly, but in regular life I'm either too busy to post, or don't feel like anything interesting enough is happening to bother talking about... And I've been very slack lately in getting new glass work up and ready to sell, so haven't been updating about that lately. My goal is to get my Etsy store back up and running, as I have decided not to go on with the Abbotsford Convent market - sales were terrible the last 3 months I attended, so I have not been attending for the last 5 months or so.
One of the things I have been doing to fill my time (and fulfil the urge to be writing) is writing feature articles and reviews for I have only done a few so far, but now I've started reviewing as well, they should come out more frequently. In fact, I am off to a new theatre opening and show tomorrow night. Previous articles I have written are :

Monday, 28 June 2010


As seems to frequently be the case, I have been too busy with 'life' lately to have time or inclination to blog, and as 'life' has also interfered with my torch time, I haven't had anything to show anyway. In the last 6 months I have started a new job (which I'm loving, but it's taking a lot of my time) and had some health issues which have been getting in the way. I'm also completing an online course with Harvard Wide, which is really interesting - I'm enjoying it a lot, but it is one more demand on my time.
An Arthroscopy a few weeks ago has revealed I have no cartilage remaining in my left knee. Some fairly drastic suggestions for surgery have been bandied about, and I'm off to get a second opinion this afternoon. In the meantime, I've quit tennis, haven't taken the dogs to the park in ages (rough ground makes my knees hurt) and have also been avoiding the Wii workouts, as all those lunges and squats were also causing me a lot of pain. So, I'm not really in pain anymore, but I'm avoiding anything that might aggravate it.
On a more pleasant front, as of tomorrow I'm on holidays, and I am intending to focus on my glass in the next 2 weeks. I often say that, and it never seems to happen, but I'm hoping to stick to it this time. I haven't really torched since before Easter, and that was all historical recreations. I am really looking forward to producing some new contemporary work and building up some new stock to re-launch my Etsy store. I have decided to give up the Abbotsford market, as it has been very quiet since before Xmas. I am looking into a couple of other venue options, but now the global financial crisis has eased a little, I'm hoping I might be able to go back to mainly selling my work online.
I have also had a photography spread on my timeline beads, and a tutorial published in this months The Flow magazine, which is very exciting. I cant wait till my copies arrived so I can see how it came out - and they held one tutorial back to use later, so I will get published again in a future edition, which is great.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Overdue Update

I have just realised how long it has been since I have updated my blog - especially as I have left it with the face cane project hanging.
On the next attempt, I made a face I was quite happy with, and managed to pull enough cane to go on and make 3 different versions, with a range of 'hairstyles' and colours backgrounds. After a battle with cutting the cane into slices (thank you to Nat in Sydney for sending me her cutters), I was able to make a selection of beads in the style of Roman Face Beads. I also updated my bead timeline, and finally presented it in a way I was happy with - as avisual display sewn onto a piece of black wool. Full documentation for both projects can be found on my website....

Friday, 29 January 2010

Making Progress - Step 2

While I made time to torch shortly after my last post, and had another try at the face cane, I have been so busy getting ready for school to go back and starting a new job, that I haven't had time to post the results. The next day, I remade the nose cane, adding some length to help the overall proportions of the face. I re-used the other components I had, although I still think they are probably too small. But assembly is a difficult skill in itself, so I may as well use the pieces I have to practice.
I am much happier with this second effort. It is recognisably a face, and although his eyes are a bit beady and he has a serious monobrow happening (one eyebrow was actually the aim, but not perhaps so pronounced as this :) ). I decided to forgo the coloured background this time. It wasn't always used in the examples I am working from, and I'd like to concentrate on the face at this stage ( and not waste more colours while I am practicing). The images show the ends of 2 different pulls of the cane. There are some bubbles in one - I'll have to make sure I don't allow any trapped air when encasing each component.
My next step will be to remake all the components from scratch and try again. I will not draw the components out so small - particularly the eyes.

Monday, 11 January 2010

The Great Face Cane Adventure - Step 1

Ok, so here are the pics of my first foray into making Roman style face cane. Looking at the individual components, I am really happy with the eyes and mouth, but the square shape of the nose was harder to keep straight.... I am also happy with the neat round shape of the hair and the blue background of the finished face. I think I pulled the components a bit too small. I also didnt allow enough layers of encasing between components, not realising how much it would reduce. I needed a few layers of white between the eyes and the eyebrow encasing, but I misread my notes - I wanted the nose lines to meet the brows, but the eyes should have had some 'padding' between them and the brow line, as everything has ended up way too close and bunched together. I think the mouth is smeared because it went on off centre and I was trying to nudge it over. While I was disapointed when I first saw the finished cane, I think I was probably a bit hard on myself - its not a bad first effort, as I've only made simple cane with stripes before, so this is both my first attempt at a more complicated shape (i.e the eyes) and of combining multiple cane together. Anyway, what I need now is the catchcry of lampworking - practice, practice, practice!

Glass Projects

I have found blogging regularly when I'm not travelling has been a bit of a hardship in the last year - I'm either too busy to write, or so quiet there is nothing of interest happening to write about :). But I've been working pretty steadily on a number of glass projects for SCA Arts & Science competitions lately. I hadn't entered any Kingdom level competitions for ages, but luckily the topics recently have lent themselves to glass work. First there was the Rosary project, which I mentioned in my blog a few months ago. The documentation and photos are also up on my website. Then there was a viking jewellery category, and this weekend a competition for board games. Thanks to an SCA friend on Facebook, who drew the Viking Tafl games to my attention, I produced the game pieces pictured below.
I also have some plans for new projects, hopefully to be finished before Festival at Easter. I took the first steps on a major project today. I have planned for some time to work on making face cane for Roman portrait beads. I spent 4 hours today making components, eyes, nose etc and made my first Roman style face. I will post some pictures tomorrow. I'm not happy with the final result, but I can see some areas where I need to do things differently - I have some ideas to try tomorrow, but it's not a bad first effort I suppose. I thought I might blog along the learning curve I'll be undertaking as I attempt to master this new technique.