New Skills/Continuing Commissions

After a weekend of learning exciting new techniques I am in an interesting position where I have a few projects running simultaneously so I think an updated Blog is in order! I spent the weekend at the Creative Glass Guild in Bristol, and under the tuition of inspirational Chris Ainslie learned techniques in sandblasting and engraving on glass. I’ve always found it difficult to settle on one medium when it comes to creating art, however glass seems so versatile and such a beautiful and endless range of techniques can be utilized and I just want to learn more. Chris Ainslie’s work was familiar to me through google image search I think? Thanks Google! He has extensive knowledge of working with glass and his current work is very playful and incorporates his imaginative figurative drawing skills, teamed with sandblasting, etching, painting and gilding, exciting stuff! There were just two of us attending the course so we had pretty much one to one tuition from Chris and produced lots of work. It’s probably a good time to point out my admiration of the Creative Glass Guild, who as well as stocking everything glass related you could possibly dream up; they have reasonably priced excellent courses. This was the second course I have attended there, the first being Traditional Stained Glass Painting with Graham Dowding, another excellent weekend and great teacher.

One of the current projects I have been commissioned for is a sandblasted 6ft mirror with an image of Bacchus, Diana and child, quite an undertaking I have now realised but with Chris’s help I feel more confident with the technique so hope to complete the panel in the next few weeks (pictures to follow when finished).

Update on the Eastleigh Borough Council commission- I visited Prysmian again today (I’m getting to know quite a few of the workers now!) and collected the brass commission I am adding gilded panels to. It’s so exciting; the design looks beautifully sleek and very well engineered, with a nod to the ‘triforce’ on the top. It’s now time to make my mark on it and get the piece finalised, then I can finally reveal what it is we are collaborating on ;).

Lastly, at the end of August 2014 I was awarded the Making It 7×7 artist grant from Making Space, based in Havant. In a nutshell it is a grant for 7 local artists and makers to further their practice, try new techniques, plan an exhibition, and/or collaborate with the focus being on the act of ‘making’. We meet up every few months and share our progress and the final culmination of ideas will be around May 2015. This is not to say anybody is expecting a finished article, more a journey of documented artistic discovery. A part of the project for me personally is working with the local retired community which will form one element of a proposed exhibition. We are working on a collaborative painted stained glass panel that has developed from using old photographs, focussing on memory, heritage and the importance of illuminating the past. It is a BIG project, that I still need to exert more time and energy into, I am of the mind this will happen when other projects are completed, shifting my focus back on to this.

So in the meantime, drawing, experimenting and completing commissions. I am really grateful to be in the lucky position of having lots of interesting projects on the go at once and I am embracing this important time.