Wednesday, 26 August 2009

The kiln faeries were kind last night....

Like my blog posting, doing some glass work seems to be a bit of rare thing at the moment. I've done a couple of firings over the last few weeks, and the last one especially disappointed me.

But not one to give up, I spent last Saturday afternoon in the garden, with my flat lap grinder, working on those disappointments until, quite frankly, I was soaking wet and I'd had enough of the noise - I thought my ears were going to drop off!!

So, last night, some re-shaped pieces went back in my kiln, along with some that I have added glass bails to, and a few with dichroic additions. I don't tend to buy dichroic glass very often, its not really my *thing* - but I couldn't resist a posting a few months back on Frit Happens, where someone was selling "100 Horrors" - this lady does lots with dichroic, but had a batch of ready fired cabs the weren't up to her liking. They were a good price, and it meant I got a good variety without buying loads of glass - because I really, really, really don't need any more....

So, in the slide show below (too lazy to post individual links, sorry!), you'll see some with blobs that look as though they are sitting on top. They were "tack fused" on, which means where the glass is actually fused together, but doesn't melt all into one blob.

I've put some lovely hand-dyed silk ribbons on a couple, which have a bead at the other end, which acts as a slider - so the pendant can be adjusted from about 30" long, to as short as you like, and then worn long again at a later occasion (I often find that I might want a different length pendant, depending on what top I am wearing, so how useful is that??)

As usual, the colour of glass is often difficult to capture, especially dichroic, as you really can't see all the different reflecting colours. Oh, and I did this in a pop-up light tent which has been lent to me to see if I like it - I do, and one will definitely be in my letter to Santa. It was great to be able to take the picture without worrying about what was reflected in the glass.

I used my new dSLR, a tripod (something else I need new, this one is 27 years old and a bit lightweight), I was outside; it was cloudy, and late evening, which didn't help with colours, so they did go through photoshop, but not a huge amount. I am still getting used to all the settings on the new camera (might help if I read the instructions!), and it was threatening to rain, so they're not the best photos, but I will get there.

Anyway, here's the pics:

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Sculpture in the Sanctuary

On Tuesday, me and Ashley, and several of my lovely friends from University, went along to the above, which a sculpture trail in the Swan Sanctuary at Roger Taylor's Garden Centre at Southwell, in Nottingham.

It's only a temporary exhibition, so if you get the chance to go, before it finishes at the end of August, then DO! It's free entry, but in all honesty, I would have been happy to pay anyway.

There's no particular theme, just an interesting and eclectic assortment of sculpture of all sizes, shapes and prices.

Rather than post individual pictures, I have just provided my Photobucket slideshow. Beware, over a hundred images to browse through! I might come back in a bit and post a link to the album, so you can just look which you fancy, or I might post a few of my favourite images from the day.

The swan sanctuary is lovely in itself, a pleasant stroll round, even without the lovely art. And it looks like a lovely garden centre, and like most of these, has a lovely tea rooms/restaurant, which we can highly recommend! (well, it would have been rude not to!)

Friday, 7 August 2009

It's that time again.....

Let's go back to this time last year.

I'd been doing my blog a few weeks, and a year ago, one sunny evening (remember them?), a Friday, we saw a balloon pass very low over the back garden, and land in a field nearby. Click here for the original blog entry.

I was fetching in the washing (yes, it was actually dry enough to leave it out there for a few hours), when my mobile started ringing, it was my friend Jo asking if I was at home. I thought she was going to pop round for a cuppa, but she asked if I had seen a hot air balloon, to which I replied that I hadn't.

I took another look out the back door, and spotted it. How I could have missed it, I do not know. Well, actually it was probably too low to see when I'd been getting the washing, because if I thought last year's was close, this one was even closer.

It was a few houses away, but had it been nearer my back garden, it wouldn't have made it over the trees. It looked as though it might struggle to make it over the roof tops, I shouted my son and we realised that it was heading over the front of the house - we thought it might be heading for the same field as the one did last year.

I told him to grab the camera (I was still yacking to Jo at this point, giving her a running commentary) and we went out the front - I am very lucky to have school fields at the back, and large open green at the front - and I think the balloon was rather lucky too, as it clearly wouldn't have made it over the next lot of houses to that next field!

Quite frankly, I have never seen so many people on the green at one time.

Here's some photos - they're not brilliant, as it was my 11 year old who grabbed the camera, and neither of us checked the settings, the exposure compensation was turned up, so they're a bit bleached out, and he got a wee bit excited, so there's a bit of camera shake.

Firstly, these two though, I thought Ashley did a good job with the framing, they've not been edited in any way, I think they make great pictures:

Nicely framed, Ashley!Well centred shot

And here's the rest of them:
coming in to landComing in to land....

Oops, bumpy ride!Oops, bumpy ride!

HOW close to the houses?HOW close to the houses?

Mind the car, mate! Mind the cars mate!

Feeling a bit deflated....Feeling a bit deflated....

Oh dear, I think we damaged your lawn....I think we might have damaged your lawn....



Fire her up, lets get out of here..Fire her up, lets get out of here....

Here we go, jump up everybody so we can take off...Here we go.....

Nope, its not gonna work...Nope, its not gonna work....

Strange giant snail spotted on village green...Strange giant snail spotted on village green....

Makes a pretty tent....What a pretty tent.....

How do you get inside?How do you get inside of it?

Oh, look, that's why we crashed, its got a hole in it....Ooooh, look, that's why we crashed, its got a hole in it.....

Blimey, I wish I could do that with my sleeping bag.....I wish I could fold up my sleeping bag that effectively!