Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Ingenious Gadgets and the glass/work imbalance

Originally uploaded by steampunkglass
Were do I start? It seems ages since I’ve blogged, and even longer since I’ve listed much new. I’ve been suffering from that ‘life getting in the way of art’ thing the past month, everything from birthdays to attend, illness, lack of propane, to new glass to play with and new techniques to try out. Oh, and I appear to be turning into ‘House!’

First there are a couple of charity auctions that my bottle stoppers are appearing in; I do get a lot of requests to donate things, and since my turnout isn’t prolific it’s very hard to donate to many, so it can be quite eclectic where I donate to. Firstly there is a ‘blind auction’ for craft students at Derby University it’s such a shame they need to raise money, but there are some fantastic donations and well worth a look, and one of my galaxy stoppers is there. The other one, which there might be pictures for soon, is for Air ambulance, (it’s criminal that such a life saving service needs to rely on people being sponsored to sit in baths of baked beans and the like!) There is an auction at this years ‘Flame-off’ – this is an annual gathering of pyromaniac lampworkers like myself, where we get together to swap ideas, see new techniques, and do a lot of damage to our credit cards! Sadly I’m not going to make it this year, but there is one of my flower stoppers making an appearance.

I certainly need to get making some bigger marbles so I can get some walking sticks made, I’ve managed to mangle my foot and have been limping around. I am starting to suspect the daily crush onto trains isn’t helping since as soon as I get a few days rest it’s fine, then by midweek it’s back again which doesn’t help my ‘cheery’ disposition at the dayjob (“whatdaya mean, we can’t introduce random beatings for the staff? It would improve productivity- it worked for the Romans, their empire was bigger than ours!”) Yes, I have to suffer a dayjob for a little longer until I can afford to stop, which will be a great relief to me and those that have to work with me! I am at a stage where I cannot get enough time because of it to do the important glass stuff, and various ‘work’ projects have really painful curtailed that recently. That will have to change!!! Although the shower finally died last week, along with the propane becoming empty, so looks like I have some serious DIY to tackle instead rather than some new stuff I’ve been working on. Fear not, I really will have some stuff worth waiting for to see soon!

A very pleasant surprise was being featured in a Flickr gallery recently. It wasn’t just getting one of my razors featured that overwhelmed me than the company I was put with; stunning exhibits from the Corning, and several artists who are renown glass artists and teachers, it’s certainly made me think more seriously about where I am going with the art side of my glass, and how much more I want to re-address the balance between make creating stuff rather than just surviving the day to day. That’s probably something I’ll touch on more in another blog soon; in the meantime you can see the gallery here;

Another thing that has brightened my week is finding this book in the bargain bin at the local bookshop. It’s like a Steampunk wish list! I’m certainly inspired by some of the designs, many are much stranger and dafter than anything I’ve seen Steam-folk carrying! A whistle stuck to a wrist strap as an early personal attack alarm? I am tempted to recreate the top hat holder though, better than leaving them stacked in a corner! So far the only glass object is a fire-extinguisher grenade or an ink cleaner; neither appeal to me to re-create, but I’m sure with all this inspiration and warm evenings I shall be off to the shed with evil mutterings and cackling!

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