Monday, 8 November 2010

Check out the other blog...

Not a lot of updating going on here I am afraid!

I do seem to update the Dawn Turner Designs blog more often these days, so feel free to follow me on there.... I think there's a few more pretty pictures on there right now.

I've set up a Facebook fan page for Dawn Turner Designs.  We've got the Shed 2 Studios Open Event on Saturday13th November.  Then I am busy with craft fairs for three weeks, hence why not a lot of blogging going on here. I've also been networking, visiting a couple of schools, and soon hope to be spending a week shadowing an artist in residence, which should be a great experience.  Somewhere I have to fit in a bit of Christmas shopping!

Talking of craft fairs, if you've ever had a stand at one, this blog post will sound all too familiar:

Have a read, it's great fun (and rather true!)

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Wow, where does the time go...

....when you're having fun?

I have been quite busy.... moved in to Shed 2 Studios a couple of weeks ago - well, started moving stuff a while back, got the kiln moved two weeks ago, but it was a few more days before my space was sorted and my endless bags unpacked....

And I finally got a chance to play again!

This was one of the items that came out of the second "shed 2" firing...

And I am rather pleased with the results, so I will play some more.

Oh, and we're having an open day soon!

And a couple of craft fairs provisionally booked.... and a fusing taster day at Long Eaton Art Room... huh, when did I suddenly get so busy??

Friday, 27 August 2010

All Excited - Off to the IFG This weekend!!

A WHOLE WEEKEND of glass!  Can't wait! - Click HERE for a couple of photos of last time we went

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Is this what they call lampworking?

A cuple of weeks ago, with a little group of three 12 year olds, we made some garden lanterns (or lamps??) - a little bit of Blue Peter with tissue, pva, glass paints and peel-offs.

A friend is having a birthday party today, so we made them for her. Well, I say we. I did a quick demo and left them to it, whilst I sat in the garden and drank coffee.

Here's a few pics of their haul...

And some close ups...

Friday, 20 August 2010

I've got the key to the door....

.... Never been twenty one before! Well, not for a little while.

The keys to what?? Click here


Tuesday, 10 August 2010

New Studio, New Start!

Over on Dawn Turner Designs, news about my new studio opportunity, and a round of congratulations for my course colleagues....

Dawn Turner Blog

blue frit pendant cropped

This is an old photograph, but the picture is hosted on Flickr, and they've done some changes to the way pictures are grabbed for sharing - this was easy!

Friday, 6 August 2010

To Slump or Not to Slump....

... that is the question!  Actually, having had a glass piece standing on the window sill for a couple of weeks now, I think I have made up my mind...

But I will rewind slightly, because I don't think I ever posted this anyway.  

A few months ago, when we did the fundraising at Uni for New Designers, I made a fused and slumped glass dish to go in the auction - this is the one.

Was quite popular this, a friend of mine won it, which pleased me, and I also made another one which apparently has made it over to sunny Spain (lucky dish!)

Anyway, the ones I made so far were just plain, clear glass.  I was asked if I could do them in colours too, which I had been thinking about, but of course Uni just got in the way of all that creativity!!

I had cut this glass months ago, but didn't actually put it into the kiln until a few weeks back - I had chosen a blue irridised glass - I have had some great results with Bullseye irridised on small pendants; I love the way that if you cap it with clear it goes all sparkly, but if you fire irridised side up, it takes on a metallic sheen.  What I wasn't expecting,  because I had only used small sections from a sheet of glass, was the variance across one sheet:

I have to say I love the effect!  The intention was to slump this in to a bowl too - but before I did, I stood it in some of the metal feet that I keep going back to (thank you Bro!) just to see how it looked upright.... and it's, well, a bit temperamental... in a good way!

Sometimes, like right now, at night, with the house lights on, it shines metallic and appears opague... but in the day, when the light shines through from the back, the lovely richness of the blue simply shines through.

So, I think this one may just have to stay as a panel.  Got a lot of positive feedback on it already, so now I just have to learn to let it go...

(it sits in my lounge window, the room being very tame shades of browns and golds, and shouts it's bright blue at me... perhaps it needs it's own windowsill to show off in?)

Must make some more!

Monday, 2 August 2010

What is Craft?

Part of our three years doing a degree in Crafts was to discuss, in Context studies, the definition of craft, how it has changed, etc.

I follow Robin Wood, who's a traditional pole lathe turner that I saw working about three years back at Bolsover show... and a champion of heritage crafts (he's also the chair of the Heritage Crafts Association) - Robin often blogs about other makers, but I thought his latest post today, was an interesting read:

Robin  Wood - What is Craftsmanship?

It's just a pity that I wasn't following Robin's blog when we were doing context studies, I am sure that including his comments in essays and discussions might have earned a few brownie points!

Anyway - it's an interesting read.  I shan't harp on about definitions of 'Craft' although I still find myself feeling the need to explain, when  people ask what my degree was about, that no, I wasn't card making, or quilting....

The funny thing is, since finishing (and actually finally taking a well earned rest) the two things I have done that are vaguely creative?  Making a set of invitations for a friend (yes, the dreaded card-making!) and erm, a glass painting session... (and I don't mean with traditional methods, or enamels, I mean good old hobby paints).  Oh the irony....

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

A Few Pictures from Rufford...

Over on my Uni blog (I call it my uni blog, I don't know why, I am no longer at uni!) - okay, over on Dawn Turner Designs, I have posted a few photographs of the stand we had at Rufford Earth & Fire at the end of June.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Time On My Hands

Just a quick post... thought it was about time I wrote something!

Playing about with layouts and things at the moment, and still deciding the actual purpose of this blog vs t'other one... well, the Dawn Turner Designs blog is really for updates to the main website, and for my ceramics and glass wall art...

When I first started this blog, it was a bit of a mixture of personal stuff, classes, uni work, whatever I felt like writing about.

I don't even know if many people follow this at the moment!

Over the coming weeks, I have to:

  • Update my Handmade by Dawn website - new photos, updates, and maybe even some work to sell!
  • Update Dawn Turner Designs to reflect anything that's happening (and there is some news there, about studio space and stuff!)
  • Decide what blog is for which, and whether I am in fact going to keep both running (although now I am not snowed under with Uni work, it might be quite manageable!)
  • Get Tweeting a bit more (when I have work to tweet about that is)
  • Make more "TO DO" lists, in case I run out of the ones I have...
Huh, holiday time, eh?  What's that then?

Friday, 25 June 2010

Blog Tired...

Yawn yawn, too tired to post two things, here's a link to the other blog post...

Dawn Turner Designs Blog

I will sort this out - at the moment, every blog seems related to Uni or what's happening afterwards... so might need a rethink of blogs as this one was supposed to be an all sorts, chatter, musings... I haven't had time for any of that frivolity though!

So for now, apologies for being lazy, but follow the link for a rather boring post!

Sunday, 6 June 2010

... and breathe!

Sorry folks, being awfully lazy and simply linking to my Uni blog at the moment for updates:

Click here to read Uni Blog

A picture of the work in place at the degree show....

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Bag O'Nerves

Just a repost from the other blog

Friday, 21 May 2010

I'm forever blowing bubbles....

Trouble is, I didn't want to:

 One is fine.  Three is a pain in the wotsit.

Need to resolve this issue, and fast.  Oh the joys of getting ready for the degree show!

Read more about this on Dawn Turner Designs blog

All I can say is.... GGRRRRR!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

I made feet!

Ok, so I didn't.  I used something else that I have lots of.  Big, thick, chunky tiles.  But they helped me stand this glass panel up for photography, and I think I could use the technique to make feet for other panels.

Go over to my university blog for a full read:

My other blog (cos I haven't got enough to do!)

Thursday, 6 May 2010

The Man from KHCTSC - he say yes!!

Just a quick note, as I have already written this out once!  I had to go to school yesterday to present my design ideas to the sub committee, for the commission/final degree piece I am working on.I am thrilled to bits with the response I got.


And a quick pic

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

What we made at Flame Off!

Just a little post, thought I would show you what we made at the Flame Off on Friday (although for those of you on Frit Happens, or who are friends on Facebook, apologies for the repeats!).

For anybody who hasn't got a clue what Flame Off! is - it's a once yearly "get together" for mainly lamp-workers and jewellery makers and general fans of glass. Organised by Tuffnells Glass, it has stands selling glass, torches, equipment, jewellery trims and findings, as well as makers selling their lampworked beads and jewellery, . A favourite part of the day for a lot of visitors are the demonstrations by some of the finest bead makers around, and Tuffnells organise a range of torches for people to try out.  Mainly for me, it was simply a chance to meet and catch up with all the lovely people that I chat to on Frit Happens, who are helpful, supportive and well, simply lovely!

This green bead is the first one I made - not my first ever, I have done it before under expert guidance of experienced bead-makers... this one I made all by myself, I even lit the torch!

And it was my first time on a Hothead - which is a cooler, slower torch than I had used before, but that's not necessarily a bad thing to a learner!

Here's Ashley's first bead of the day, and again his first on a Hothead and without any guidance (well, apart from me, and that really is like the blind leading the blind as he is actually better at it than I am! I mean, look at that dimpled end of this bead....mine all have killer spikes!)

After he made this, he was challenged to make a second bead to match it, which he did, and I have promised to make them into earrings which  I will proudly wear!

After a wander round, a bit of spending, eating lunch and heading back to the torching area, this was my second bead of the day, this time made on a big dual fuel torch, not sure what it was, but I think it was a Minor.

Not a fabulous shape, but I simply love the colours.  I like making organics!

 Ashley struggled a bit this time with the big torches, although its all he'd used before - but always had guidance, so perhaps he didn't feel comfortable with the hotter torch, and wanted to go back to the Hothead. 

He made his third bead, the one on front left, intending it to match his first two, but used a transparent turquoise this time, and got a totally different result. So challenge time again, make me a pair, and I made the bigger bead at the back to "match", and I have another jewellery set!

Finally, when I was photographing everything, I thought that the pair that Ashley made and the long bead I made acually matched, so I think I will make these up into a set too, when I have time.  Now I just need to learn jewellery making techniques.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Everybody Blogs!

I started blogging a couple of years ago, when I met Maz from Amari Gems, who told me she blogged as an easy way to let her customers know when she'd made new jewellery - blogs are a much easier to update than websites, even when you know what you're doing and can speak HTML!

I still often don't quite know what to talk about, as this is more of a personal blog than a work related one.  The one I started intending to follow my final few months of uni is woefully neglected at the moment... probably because I am busy doing my uni work!

A friend of mine, Paul Cummins, who graduated from Derby last year (I am on the same course as he was), has an installation coming up at Chatsworth in April/May it looks really interesting, hope I can squeeze a day to go.

What I shouldn't have been surprised at, but was, is that Chatsworth House has it's own blog!  I've added it to my follow list, as I think it could be quite interesting....

I've had a busy few days, even though not much uni work as been going on, I was determined to have some proper time with my son, knowing that the next six weeks is going to be intense, and I might not see much of him, we went to London on Wednesday (and were in the Science Museum when it got evacuated - took about 25 minutes, wouldn't like to be there in a real emergency).  And yesterday, we went to Flame Off! - an excuse for mainly lamp-workers, but generally anybody with a passion for glass, jewellery and big hot torches to melt glass with, to get together and gas about glass.... we both made a few beads, and it was fab day.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Getting Married....

No, no, no, not me!!  Heavens above, did you think I'd gone mad??  You know I keep shouting about this auction that we're having for our New Designers fund at Uni...well, some of the items up for grabs would be perfect for a bride.

This necklace and earrings set by Sandra Jones is just stunning....  it's made from freshwater pearls, swarovski crystals and silver.

I've already re-photographed it, because the original pic didn't do it justice, and I still don't think it looks as stunning as it does in real life.

It might not be my usual thing, but if I were getting married, I would love to wear this.  You can  visit the auction page here

This could be for a wedding, or perhaps a prom, as tis coming up to the season where young teenagers celebrate this age old tradition (er, yeah, okay) after all.

Jo, of Jo Bailey Designs, offers to custom make a tiara - the one here is just an example of her work - what a fabulous idea, to have one made to your designs.

Visit the auction page here

There are so many other items up for offer in the auction too - special thank you earrings for your maid of honour, something girly pink for your chief bridesmaid, something special for the new mum-in-law, even a gift for the best man.

There's so many things!  Take a look at the gallery here... and DON'T forget to bid!  You never know.....

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Auction Shout Outs...

As if I haven't shouted about it enough already (tweeted, face-booked, now blogged!), I just wanted to highlight some of the lovely items available in our Auction, just in case anybody missed it!  (You'll have to excuse me, not only do I want us to raise as much money as possible to help us get to New Designers 2010, I am also rather proud of actually building a functioning website!)

So, a few pretties to feast your eyes on:

Glen Godden of Steam Punk Glass donated this lovely wine bottle stopper.  The top is made of borosilicate glass, (you might know this better as Pyrex!) and Glenn makes these most intricate marbles that are like mini galaxies.  I treated my son to one or two at Christmas (marbles that is, not stoppers, he's a bit young for wine), not the sort of marble to play with, but to simply sit and stare at and lose yourself in for a while...


London Taxi by Rachel Elliott Glassworks

This is part of a limited edition set that Rachel made for an installation in London St Pancras Crypt to celebrate 50 years of the London Taxi.  So there's only 50 of them... like many other things in this auction, I'd really like this myself....

Debbie Bryan is specialised in creating design led craft based pieces, committed to a handmade local ethos that ensures quality and unique character in each scarf, brooch and pair of cuff links.

She recently opened a shop in the heart of the Nottingham Lace Market area.

These are only three of over fifty items we have up for auction.  Have a drool through the gallery and see if you can find yourself something special!

Monday, 15 March 2010

I have Website Blindness

.... I have been building the auction section of our Derby Crafts website ... and the blind auction is now live.

I've been looking at it that long, I can't see straight.... but hopefully it looks a bit better to everybody else!

Take a look (and place a bid!!)

Derby Crafts Auction

Monday, 8 March 2010

I love seahorses!

Sadly, the class didn't run yesterday - I enjoy it when I run these classes, but numbers were low - so we've postponed now til the summer.

I have plenty to do for Uni anyways. I have just started (another) new blog, this one following my progress through the final project. Not sure yet if it's a good idea or not.... I sometimes have enough difficulty in maintaining this blog!

The idea though, is that by updating the blog, I can consolidate my thoughts, check on my own progress... and perhaps having to publish my ideas in some sort of coherent manner will force me think more clearly, focus me a little. Or, of course, it could simply overwhelm me with extra work! So, I hope to keep it short, but frequent. Ha.

Meanwhile, I was having a bit of a play last week with glass blobs, here's my latest:

Also, when tidying up (or, more likely!) searching for something the other week, I came across these that I had done at summer school a few years ago - batik silk painting (or though the seahorse isn't on silk)

Sorry the photos aren't good, I might edit them later and upload better ones.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Glass Fusing Taster Day

Fancy a go at glass fusing? I am running a workshop at the Long Eaton Art Room on Sunday, 7th March.

I will show you the basics of glass fusing and tell you about some of the techniques you can use. I'll show you how to cut and assemble glass which will go into the kiln to be turned into lovely pendants, coasters, etc.

It's a relaxed, informal day, where you can work at your own pace and explore creative ideas. We don't usually work to a specific project, so you might find it helpful to bring along a
sketchbook, photographs or anything else inspirational. If there is anything specific you'd like to try, please contact me before the day and I will see what I can do.

The cost is £45, which includes your glass, the firing, and refreshments throughout the day - but you do need to bring your own lunch (or there's a pub nearby - although I don't advocate cutting glass after a pint or two!). A £10 deposit secures your place, which you can pay to the art room (contact them on 0115 9461661) - the balance is payable on the day.

(Just so you know, the work isn't ready on the day - we have to arrange a time to collect that, as the glass takes a few hours in the kiln to work its magic!)

Please feel free to contact me if you'd like to know more: CLICK HERE TO SEND AN E-MAIL

Monday, 8 February 2010

Warm Glass Competition 2010

Warm Glass, a supplier of lots of (mainly) Bullseye glass, accessories, tools and equipment, holds an annual competition for kiln-formed glass.

This year, its broken down into three categories, and I have entered this piece in the student section (whilst I still can!)


It's open to public vote for three weeks, and the top five in each section go through to selection panel - if you like my piece, and would like me to have a chance to be seen by the judging panel, click here: VOTE FOR ME!

Thank you, and wish me luck!

Dragonflies of Ilkeston

There's a lovely treasure of a shop in Ilkeston, on Station Road.

Andrea makes beautiful handmade cards and wedding stationery, as well as selling card making supplies, gifts, candles, oh all sorts. Oh, and yeah, she has a bit of my glass in there too!

They've recently created a website where you'll be able to buy many goodies online, if you can't make it into the town. Click here to go through: Dragonflies of Ilkeston

I wish her well; so many shops have struggled in this difficult financial climate and card-making and craft supplies are always up against the big guns who (just like with fruit and veg) can force down the prices to compete, but then when they've quashed the competition, they stop stocking, or they don't know anything about the products they're selling.

You'll not find that at Dragonflies. Andrea, Christine and the rest of the staff - sorry I don't know all your names! - are knowledgeable and extremely helpful, and will do their very best to find what you need (even if that sometimes means telling you to go the shop down the road!). You'll get good old fashioned proper customer service. And you might get a nice cuppa too!

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Jeremy James Masterclass

For any ceramics enthusiasts out there, Jeremy James, Ceramic Sculptor, will be holding a lecture and demonstration day at the University of Derby in March.

Click here for details - hurry, though, places are going fast!

The class is being run to help raise funds for our year group to go to New Designers in London in July, after we all graduate.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Call for Help - I Need A Commission!

As the title says. Why? Well, it's time to start the final project - the biggie, the important one, the graduate show!

So, why am I looking for a commission?

Over the last few years, I have found that I enjoy working to set parameters - as is often the case with site specific work, public art, commission or themed competition (last year I floundered until I entered the Biocity competition, which was themed, and where the location inspired the imagery).

I like my work to be informed by it's location - whether it's the history of the site, about the community, or what the location is used for - that's the kind of thing that inspires me.

In my infinite wisdom, I have decided to make my final degree show piece, something that would be made to commission, or site specifically.

It doesn't have to be a real commission (I know that getting approval and funding for such things can take a long time) - it doesn't even have to be anywhere that is even looking for a piece of work. Just somewhere that it might go.

Hospitals are one potential place, and as we have two hospitals/treatment centres in the region that have been built recently, I will certainly be contacting the arts coordinators there. But equally, it could be any other healthcare environment, a school, a community hall, shopping centre, new business....

I plan to work with handmade ceramic and glass tiles, and its almost certainly going to be wall art. Ideally, I need somewhere that I can get access to, as I'd need to see the site and take photographs (so I can photoshop the finished piece in situ later), and not too far to travel - East Midlands area.

If you can think of anywhere that might be suitable, which could benefit from a piece of artwork, please let me know.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Tweet Tweet


I don't seem to blog much do I? Well, you can expect a little flurry of action for a little while at least, spurred on by where I went last night - to a seminar at Derby Quad, hosted by Derby CIN, and the guest speaker was Rob Wilmot (founder of Freeserve) - who waxed lyrical about the benefits of using "social networking" for business.

It was supposed to be in plain English, but clearly some of the attendees came from marketing in larger businesses and talk did devolve into what, for me, was gobbledegook a couple of times.

That said, there was a lot of valuable as well as interesting information, and things to follow up on. Can't remember it all, but things such as the statistics of the fastest growing user group demographics on Twitter and Facebook, and how one company, Moonfruit, managed to increase their Twitter following from 2,000 to 23,000 in seven days.

And did you know, Facebook got even more hits than Google on Xmas Eve and Xmas Day?

Now, you might not be a Facebooker, or a Twitterer, but Rob made several references to Rage Against the Machine beating X-Factor to the Christmas No. 1. Personally, I thought that was all a bit silly, but it certainly gives an insight into the power of social networking.

As yet, I am not sure about how much value it will add compared to time spent. But, like many things, but I think particularly in the creative sector, networking (of any kind) is very important - sometimes it really is about WHO you know, and being in the right place at the right time.

Like Rob, I was one of these people who got all excited about the t'internet in the late nineties, before every home had one (read that as computer or connection). I can remember people asking me what the fuss was about "if I want to read the news, I'll put Ceefax on...", "What use is a computer, I have a typewriter..."

Obviously,(!) if you're reading this, you already use the internet, but do you know many people who don't now? Now I hear people asking the point of Facebook (other than to stalk old school friends), why do a blog, and that they don't get Twitter - but, guess how I actually found out about this seminar last night?

Who knows if it will help me when I am ready to step out properly into making and selling work? But surely, contacts, followers, retweets, cannot do me any harm, right?

Tweet tweet!

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Some Recent Uni Work

These are a few of the items made for assessment this week - I am trying out some new gallery stuff, to see how it looks. Hover over the notes in right hand corner to see any comments.

Get the flash player here: