Monday, 30 November 2009

Random SteamPunk Post - Doing it with Style!!!!

‘A brass unicorn has been catapulted across a London street and impaled an eminent surgeon. Words fail me, gentlemen.’

Indeed! I am sure the knowledgeable and film geeks amongst you will recognize these stunned word, spoke in such a way you know the words are spoken by an Edwardian Gentleman (in Capitals, of Course! Emphasizing he is a Proper Gentleman!)

No? Well ok, I’ve only managed to see the film once myself so far so I wouldn’t have know the quote either! I am talking about the incredibly bizarre, and slightly daft, Vincent Price ‘The Abominable Dr Phibes!’

For some reason I have seen the sequel ‘Dr Phibes Rises Again’ several times, but the original hardly seems to be shown, and I’ve only managed to see this 1970’s classic once (which will be handy for my Other Half to know if she’s thinking of xmas pressies, hint, hint!)

And the reason I mention this? This weekend I have watched a couple of big recent blockbusters, dripping with CGI, big names, cerebral plots, accurate research, quality acting….. yep, really disappointing. Whereas there was nothing wrong with them, they lacked a certain soul and fun that these old cheesy 1970’s horrors could get away with. Where all the lead men were busy giving brooding looks, I’d rather have a daft line like this to keep me awake and smiling!

As for the recent rash of films like Saw, don’t get me started! Please just stop at one! Besides, you want interesting ways of revenge? Vincent Price was having people eaten by locusts and popping them in giant gin bottles before some of these people were born!

I rather like the style and eras these old shlock horror films were set in, a sort of clean scrubbed Technicolor Victorian/Edwardian London; Such a shame men these days have rappers and football stars as fashion icons, whereas I had Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee as well dressed respectable men to emulate – stopping short of course of tramping around graveyards in the dead of night digging up people and shoving a stake in their chest.

Or is it just me? Am I a secret Victorian trapped in an era of baseball caps, when you can’t wear a hat in a pub because the cctv can’t see your face (Yes, that really happened to me, I was told I couldn’t wear a hat in a London pub!) Certainly nice to see SteamPunk getting a bit more mainstream credibility; it’s almost becoming an reaction against ‘casual;’ putting on something nice and special to go out shouldn’t mean put on a different designer checked shirt and jeans surely? We are well overdue a return to style I say!
(Photo Credits:US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

Ok, time for my Laudanum; I promise my blog will return to normal next posting and I’ll waffle about glass instead!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Bottle stoppers have stopped – but your flower colour suggestions are welcome!

Bottle Stoppers
Originally uploaded by steampunkglass
I am still having problems getting some of the really nice bottle stoppers that I top with my marbles. I’ve found other ones, but they aren’t as good quality so am holding out for new stocks to come in. I was quite pleased with the gold ones I got as alternatives (very Christmassy!) but now they’re out too! Argh!

The other weekend I found a local clearance store had some bottle stoppers on sale, fitted with some terribly made glass ‘shapes’ (distorted blobs I’d call them) – and there was me thinking I’d been first with the idea! They were so cheap, and in a custom made display box, I was sorely tempted to go back and get some, take off the naff glass, and fit my own. I went back intending to get some to see me through and then decided not to. For one thing it goes against joining the SRA as it supports badly made imported glass from sweat shops (literally in the case of making glass!) However just before I walked away I took a closer look and was glad I hadn’t wasted my money. The stoppers had been thrown into the boxes with the glue still wet, so some were stuck to the lining of the boxes, glue was smeared down the sides, and even the chrome plating was so thin I could see the base metal beneath.

I think I’ll just keep making marbles and flowers and wait until I can get some new stoppers that I know are made well.

In the meantime I’ve been playing with pendants again, this time putting some of the flowers I’ve been making inside some small discs of glass, they’ll be about 1 1/2inch (about 40mm) a few bigger and a few smaller. They look pretty good, I’m being rubbish at getting photo’s taken but hope to make and list some more this weekend. I threaded up one last night on some nice sea-green ribbon, it’s white and dark turquoisy blue petals and if I get chance I’ll try and list it tonight!

In the meantime any requests or suggestions for flower colours you’d like to see? I can’t be sure I’ll be able to do all the colours but I’d really like to hear what everyone would like to see or wear!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

new crop of flower stopper marbles

Sorry for the rather thin on the ground post the past couple of weeks! I seem to be doing my headless chicken thing here lately. As promised here are some pictures of the alien blood flowers I was making the other week. I am hoping to get back into the workshop and work on some more of these.

I did manage a long session the other day where I tried some really quite advanced techniques, however despite all the separate ‘bits’ and techniques working a treat, when I tried putting them all together everything failed! Never mind; if it was easy it wouldn’t be worth learning after all!

Hopefully I will have more to blog soon, in the meantime I’ve snuck some more stoppers into my Etsy shop, here are some of the alien flowers in the meantime; some are test ones which later got rejected, and they haven’t yet been properly fixed into the stopped, but it’ll give you an idea of how they are going!

Monday, 9 November 2009

Alien Blood and Flowers

I have been struggling to make anymore razors at the moment, my failure rate has really gone up on these which made for a rather disheartening session on Saturday, especially when one really cool looking one cracked right in half then tore up all the bead release which mixed into it. Sigh. I was so expecting to get lots done too that day, but several hours and throwing four in a row into my dump pot (big jar of water for broken and unhappy glass) I decided to give up on those for a bit. I will battle on though; I will get some fresh bead release and try again!

Sunday was a much more fun day! I found some old cd’s I haven’t listened to for ages and went back to flowers for a bit. I made this flower marble the other week which came out really thin and translucent which I’ve popped onto a nice chrome bottle-stopper, ( now in my Etsy shop ) this single flower technique takes a bit more time, but is rather rewarding and so I thought I’d explore it more, and found there was a lot to learn about it.

The glass makers produce some colours that are ‘odds-lots’ or experimental, and a while back Emma at who is another Borosilicate addict (do take a look at her lovely beads!) swapped me a rod of ‘Alien Blood’ one of Northstar’s batch of one-off colours – and with a name like Alien Blood how could I resist a rod to play with! It puts me in mind of the X-files! It’s a very pale green-white colour, and it’s rather nice to work with! I do hope Northstar decide to add it to their range as it thins down to a quite realistic looking floral white, and stays more solid in colour – although I haven’t looked in the kiln yet, this is what I can tell from what they looked like before annealing. It’s been a while since I was so excited about what’s cooking in there as it ‘felt’ like a good session where I got to grips more with this technique. I am keeping my fingers crossed!

Monday, 2 November 2009

A simple Train idea

I know this is a blog about glass, crafting and the universe, but an idea occurred to me this weekend that isn’t about any of the above. Doubtless it will be ignored when I try sending it to National Express (humm, not sure about the express part after this mornings delays) but on the off chance some transport mogul is reading this I though I’d share in my general effort to do a little thing each week to improve the world.

I popped on the train this Saturday to go to pick up some crafting supplies. Now the train was quite packed with people taking advantage of cheap day returns etc, but as they weren’t ‘real’ commuters they clearly didn’t understand how it works so had made themselves comfortable with plenty of space defended with bags on seats etc – and who can blame them for wanting to enjoy their journey.

Now at the moment I can’t afford to ‘do glass’ fulltime so suffer the soul numbing, shoulder squashing misery and expense of a daily commute. So I wondered, ‘why can’t I have some perk or preferential treatment at the weekend?’ I pay a very scary amount of money each month for this discomfort – with the annual increase I expect it to be over £400 a month next year! – so how about doing something for me Mr Train People? And it won’t loose you any money, but you might make more!

This is the idea; At weekends let people with monthly or yearly travel cards go and use first class. There aren’t going to be many of us wanting to suffer the abuse of another train trip after 5 in one week, and I very much doubt many – or even any – first class tickets are sold at the weekend. This would give us a little ‘thank you’ from the train companies, with the added bonus of freeing up some standard seats for those buying fares on the day. And it won’t cost you a bean Mr Train-person.

Also you might start selling some first class fares too, if I wanted to travel to London for an event at the weekend with my other half I’d hardly want to sit in first class and leave her in standard, so I’d might want to splash out and get her a first class ticket – thus Mr Trainman you get to sell a more expensive seat, although I’d prefer you to give me a special discount to encourage that. Not forgetting all that extra revenue the coffee kiosks would make as I might want to travel at the weekends if I was going to enjoy it.

This wouldn’t cost the train companies anything. Those seats are unused at the weekends (bar the occasional chav with a can of pseudo-Australian lager whose probably not paid his fare anyway!) So the cost of a little ‘thank you’ and comfort is nil, and maybe a few people will even get to like it enough to upgrade their regular tickets.

So, does anyone else think this is a good idea, or even better is in charge of ther railways?!