Friday, 16 December 2011

Xmas Decorations Advent!

Dec 2 - black & shiny silverDec 3 clear gold with sparkly starsDec 4 - black & shiny silveDec 5 - black & shiny silveDec 6 - gold parcel on white frosDec 7 - gold parcel on white fros
Dec 9 - gold parcels on white frostDec 8 - Cream with copper green snowflakeDec 10 - White with green copper foil flakeDec 11 - clear aqua blue with offwhite snowflakesDec 11Dec 12 - clear green with gold snowflakes
Dec 12Dec 13 dark green with shiny silver snowflakesDec 14 - cranberry pink with shiny silver snowflakesDec 15 red sparkle with sparkly ribbonDec 16 - sienna brown with copper sparkle snowflakeDec 17 bright red with shiny silver snowflakes
Dec 19 - White with green stripes and frit (the ribbon matches!)Dec 18 - white frost with gold snowflakesDec 20 - Sparkly aventurine green with 2-tone ribbonDec 21 Black with shiny silver snowflakeDec 22 - White frost with black snowflake and ribbonDec 23 - cranberry pink with offwhite snowflakes
Xmas Decorations, a set on Flickr - click on the link to take a closer look.
Oh, its like an advent calendar..... not for eating though... here's a close up of one of them:

Friday, 9 December 2011

Bright Lights, Big City

It's been a while since I've been into the big city - that being Nottingham for me!

I am off there this afternoon to set up for this weekends Craft in the City at Waterstones bookstore.  I usually venture into Nottingham around Christmas time - if only to sample the delights of the German market - but no Gluhwein for me this year!

I'll be taking a selection of work with me, including this lovely bowl that the kiln fairies left for me yesterday:

Cranberry Jelly Squares

Hope to see some of you there!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Glass decs roasting in an open kiln....

Jack Frost nipping at your nose...... (if ever you've been to Shed 2 Studios you will know what I mean!!)

Kiln Bill looking after some Christmas Decorations
Put these in the kiln yesterday, in readiness for the fairs I have coming up:

This Saturday, 3rd December at the Strutts Centre in Belper... Strutts

and the following weekend at Craft in the City, Waterstones, Nottingham.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

What do you get if you add 2 and 10?

And, no, it's not 12 in this case. (I know, good job I didn't want to be a maths teacher, isn't it?)

Shed 2 + Creative 10 = Art in Bartons...

What's that all about then.... well, opening this weekend, to help join in the celebrations at the switching on of Beeston Christmas Lights, I am taking part in an exhibition.  Four of us from Shed 2 Studios (Rachel Carter, Nicola Lidstone, Travis Kelly and myself), along with four members of Creative 10 (Gavin Darby, Julie Vernon, Barbara Coulam and Sue Bulmer), a Nottingham group of artists, are opening an exhibition in the old Bartons Bus Depot on Chilwell High Road.

We launch our exhibition on Saturday and there is absolutely loads of other stuff happening, including shows, street entertainers, fireworks and fair's a link to tell you more: Beeston/Chilwell Christmas Lights

Our group exhibition is then on for a further three weekends, Thurs to Saturday 10am til 4pm, I am showing the green glass spiral structure, along with some wall art:

Hope to see you there!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Open Event

Phew, its been a busy week - finishing off work, being a like a kid in a sweet shop buying lots of lovely ribbons, but mostly tidying up, rearranging and generally doing impressions of a headless chicken...

My Work Desk (usually covered in sheet glass!)

It's open studios this weekend, the time of year when we all finally properly tidy up our workspaces, discover those lost tools and put everything away in a safe place (to not be able to find it later)

We hosted a business networking event yesterday for Erewash Partnership members; that went well, I think most people enjoyed seeing the studio, and they certainly enjoyed the goodies from Nutbrook Brewery and Caulton Cakes!

Tonight we have the Champagne Shopping Evening, and tomorrow the Annual Open Studios... it's worth coming along just to see my space so unusually tidy!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Art Meets Science Competition - Biocity, Nottingham.

Tile Series #2
Unfortunately, I can't enter this one... it's only open to students.  But, a few of you will know that I did once enter it, what seems like an age ago, when I was still at university - I entered the first ever year of the competition, and was selected as a winner.  Not only was my art work on display, I got lots of publicity, and of course, prize money  which bought me a digital SLR camera, which I love.  If you want to know more about the competition, follow this link: Competition Entry Form & Details

So, apart from the money, why enter when you're a hard working, already busy student with too many projects to do?

Well, winning the competition did far more for me than providing a new piece of kit and a free lunch.  Like many students (I suspect), in my second year I still had no idea where I was going; what I might want to do when I graduated.  The challenge of creating a piece of work that not only fit the theme of the competition but was relevant to its location, the exploration process and the final result clarified for me that site specific work, public art was where my passion lies and inspiration comes from, and the direction in which I should consider going. 

Tile Series #1 - close up the tiles that make up the winning design
Not only that, I was able to tie it in with the university projects I was doing at the time - I discovered new glazing materials, that I have used since - I developed mould making techniques which informed future work.  We had to produce a photobook - I was able to centre mine around the competition - fulfilling the brief and providing me with some great promotional material.  If you want to read more about the Biocity artwork, scroll down to below the images.

Detail of degree show work
In-situ at KHCTSC
As a result of entering the competition, and the realisation that working to commission or to a theme helps me to focus my ideas, I went on to produce a large scale, site specific piece for my final degree show work - that piece, shown on the right was installed at the local technology college earlier this year. Again, this work was not only inspired by it's location, I tied it in with the college's specialism of technology.

An Explanation of The Biocity Artwork

The theme for the year I entered was "Innovations in Healthcare & Bioscience".  Biocity is a science based hub in the heart of Nottingham, housed in the former Boots Laboratories on Pennyfoot Street.  My brother and his wife met there, when they both worked as research technicians.  I asked my sister-in-law about the various projects she'd worked on over the years, looking for a starting point.  She reminded me that Boots had discovered and developed Ibuprofen many decades ago.  I used the chemical symbols as inspiration for part of the design, along with other patterns that had been developed from scientific imagery.

I used the empirical method of research when I was developing my work.  I didn't know what the result was going to be, I just went ahead and made many samples, using variations in clay bodies, glazes, kilns - both electric and reduction firing, and textures.  I used those findings to create the final piece, nine tiles - 3 of each clay/glaze/firing, one in each pattern - all nine tiles different.  The tiles are all hand-pressed and cut, so each one is individual. 

For information about the Kirk Hallam School project - click here

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Almost Famous?

Well, not quite, but I am one of the makers showing at Craft in the City in Waterstones, Nottingham in December, and I am today's featured Maker of the Day on their blog.  Read it here, and about all the other makes that are going to be there over the run up to Christmas:   Craft In The City Blog ....

Sunday, 23 October 2011

I'm featured!

As some of you will know, I am a member of a friendly glass forum, Frit Happens! and as part of that, I joined the Etsy 'street' team - a band of sellers who all have an Etsy Shop and work together to promote the team in various ways.

Some members of the team are working really hard at promoting different aspects, and one of those is a regular blog with features such as a glossary, treasury round-ups, buyers quality guide, and a monthly featured artist... guess who?

My Member Interrogation....

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

From Goodies to Gemstones

Inspired by last week's loveliness of Waffles & Maple Syrup, I decided to make another patchwork dish. Obviously I did something very right at the end of last week, as the kiln gods decided to be exceptionally kind to me.  I can't tell you how lovely this really is, the image truly does not do it justice.  Good job really, as I had a fusing workshop at the weekend, and my lovely students were so productive, my kiln is going to be busy for a few days yet!

So here's some precious Emerald to feast your eyes on for now.

Edited to add:  just published this page and saw how much it matches my blog page and logo!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

A Bit of an Update

Talking to the family this evening about upcoming exhibitions and events - and my brother said he'd seen nothing about it (I know he checks my blog quite regularly to see what's happening)

So, I have done a quick update on the News & Events page, there's a link on the left - briefly, November 11th & 12th Open Studios at Shed 2, 3rd December at Belper Strutts Society and 10th & 11th December, Craft in the City in Nottingham, Waterstones on Clumber Street.

I will of course be promoting the living daylights out of these a little nearer the time!  But meanwhile, I have got carry on with making some work for these events!  Just so this post isn't totally text, below is a quick photo I took on Friday of the Maple Syrup bowl showing how it casts coloured shadows.  I have to say this is one of my own personal favourite bits of work to come out of the kiln for a while - I must have said something good to the Kiln Faeries that night....

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Waffles & Maple Syrup anyone?

Well, you wouldn't want to eat them out of this bowl, obviously - it's got holes in it!  And I hope you think it is rather too nice to be wanting to eat sticky toffee stuff out of anyway... just that a friend said it reminded here of it, and it's kinda stuck (I am usually rubbish at naming stuff!)

And a view of the underside...see how it captures the light....

Nom, nom!!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Lots of Treasure...

I am part of some Etsy "Street" Teams, which means a group of people get together and help get us "out there".  There's lots of ways of promoting, some I know, such as making treasuries, tweeting and facebook, others I need to learn about such as Pinterest or Squidoo (or maybe I don't, they sound like time-eaters to me!)

Anyway, here's a couple of Craft Pimp treasuries that I have been selected for lately:

And this treasury doesn't feature me, but other members of the Frit Happens Team - isn't it just beautiful?

However, I am featured in this hot hot hot Frit Happens team treasury by Pandanimal:

Go hunt some treasure....

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Precious Purple Patchwork....

Can't beat a bit of alliteration.... I made this a couple of weeks ago, intended to go to the Seed Gallery at Crich.  I showed it to my friends in the galleries of my two favourite forums, Frit Happens! and Craft Pimp and someone on there fell in love.... so it sold before it even got out the door (it practically sold before it was cool from the kiln!).  I do think it's rather lovely myself though...

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Trick or Treat?

Having fun with some new decals, tried this one for a coaster, am thinking of doing some window hangings for a halloween alternative perhaps?

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Love this!

I think this lovely treasury by Mary of Nemea Designs is just fabulous - a mix of Doctor Who and all things British (and of course, it does feature one of my brooches!).

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

I Can Sing a Rainbow...

After a summer break, I decided it was time to re-open my Etsy shop; I've had a few weeks off, and the Frit Happens Forum Etsy Street Team have been working hard to promote our group, with members making lots of lovely treasuries.

I've never done a treasury myself before, but it was really very easy and great fun to do - the hard part was restricting my choices!  I was spurred on to giving it a go by the knowledge that once I'd done four links, I could save it as I went.

I certainly am not the first to make a rainbow treasury, but it brightened my day!  It's not ALL FHF team members, but there's a couple of lovely pieces featured by street team members... click on the big image to go straight to the Etsy Treasury.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Eggs & Networking

Eh, what have eggs got to do with networking I hear you ask?  Probably not that much really, but a recent offer for a bit of publicity about my classes prompted me to have a little ramble on the subject.

Holly at Hatchd Magazine, recently offered to feature my fusing classes - Hatch'd is an online magazine and network (run by volunteers) to support creative arts in Derbyshire, and uses the power of Twitter to share information - and we're mutual followers. 

- If you don't tweet, you might wonder what it's all about - some people think Twitter is just a lot of streams of consciousness and ramblings that "I went to the shop to buy milk" and so on - but it's so much more useful than that.  Etsy sellers use it to promote new listings.  Events organisations use it to share dates and times.  Arts organsiations spread the word on opportunities.  Where as when I blog, the only way it gets seen is if you follow me, stumble across me or I am in someone's follow list and you decide to click through - when I tweet, albeit a short line gets sent out immediately to my followers and often, one or more of my followers will re-tweet - imagine how many people that might reach?  If only two people re-tweet, and they have a couple of hundred followers each, my one little line of information has been seen by hundreds, potentially thousands, of people in one easy go.

Obviously I have blogged about the classes, Facebooked it too, which auto-tweets, Holly picked up on it and messaged me to offer to feature it in the magazine, and here I am, currently on the front page of the website:
Hatch'd Magazine screen capture

Good eh?

Checking out the website, I happened across Hatch'd Out, which is a monthly networking event at Derby Quad, organised by the folk at the magazine.  I haven't been to one yet, and probably won't actually manage the next one, but it did make me think about the usefulness of networking events.

I recently did a course about how to promote your creative business, and we discussed networking, which is a important part of what we do.  We talked about whether different types of networking events, and someone commented that creatives networking events (such as this) are perhaps not all that good as it's mostly other creatives, trying to get the business up and running, who haven't got the money to buy your work.  And yes, there's an element of truth in that of course - however, look at it another way - suppose I'm talking to a graphic designer who, at some other event recently, had been talking to someone who wanted some glass wall art.  Mr Graphics doesn't do it, and having recently left university with a course full of other graphic designers and illustrators doesn't actually know anybody who does it because he never mingled with the crafts students on another site.... but now, having chatted over a coffee and biscuits, Mr Graphics now *does* know a glass artist who he can put the enquirer in touch with...

So, no, networking with other creatives probably won't get you that sale - but it might get you a contact, or perhaps a collaboration that you can use in the future.  Maybe I might go along after all!

Anyway, thank you to Holly at Hatch'd for featuing my classes - you can follow them yourselves here: Hatched on Twitter, and if you don't already follow me, here I am: Dawn's Twitter Page

Saturday, 6 August 2011


I updated my website just before I went away, but I forgot to share!  I've pencilled in some new dates for glass fusing workshops at my studio in Derbyshire ...NEW WORKSHOP DATES.

During my one day taster sessions, I will show you how to cut and handle glass safely; we practice with clear window glass first - most students create a small wall hanging in the morning, and later we move onto using Bullseye Glass - a brand of fusing glass that has the most gorgeous range of colours in sheet glass as well as 'accessory' glass such as frit and stringer, as well as using inclusions and other methods.
I show you various methods of assembling coloured glass to produce a small range of glass pieces for pendants, brooches, cufflinks etc, or perhaps a coaster, as well as explaining a bit about the technical side of things - you'll get some advice notes to take away, and I can talk you through related products such as kilns, cold-working equipment and so on.

At the end of the day, your work is loaded into my digitally controlled glass kiln to be fired overnight - your work will be annealed for strength and durability, so the pieces you make are suitable for practical use either for yourself as as gifts for others.
On a standard day, I do not show you now to make anything specific as I prefer to let you explore your own creativity whilst learning the new techniques, although I occasionally will be running themed workshops.  Of course if there is anything special you'd like to make, then we can look at this too!  Normal fusing days are for groups of 3 to 5 people, so lots of time to help you get things right.  If a small group of people want a class tailoring to specifc needs, please get in touch and we can work this out.
Prices for 2011 are only £50 per person, per day - this includes tuition, access to tools and equipment, firing costs, and supply of glass and accessories to make several pieces to keep.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Diary of an Exhibitionist #9

That's it - all done and dusted, sculptures delivered and installed awaiting the opening this coming weekend of Sculpture in the Sanctuary at Southwell

Thank you for following my (erratic) progress.  It has been a steep, steep learning curve.  Given the chance, or a bit more time, I would do a few things slightly differently - but isn't hindsight a wonderful thing?

I would want the whole finished piece ready earlier, so that last minute problems could be ironed out. Luckily, there really wasn't much to worry about, the metal frame went together well and all the glass fitted in.  I managed NOT to drop anything and break it, that's always a bonus.

I love the wooden stand, but as a practical piece of work in a show, I would perhaps think about ways of fixing the panels. With the five panel standing structure, I would probably go for six, and make it a touch taller.  I like the idea of echoing the pattern in the glass into carving into the metal base.

Not a lot I can do now - and I have lots to build on.  I still love both pieces, I think they work really well, and I was fortunate to catch a bit of sunshine this afternoon between the rain clouds, which really shows the panels off to great effect.  Actually, when the sun came out, those glass houses got a liltle bit TOO warm...

Anyway, I managed to get a few pictures before we wilted away...