Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Artist Of The Month Award!

I was very surprised and delighted to be contacted a few weeks ago to be invited to accept a rather prestigious award! Frit Happens, a flameworkers forum I’m a member of, invited me to be July 2010 Artist of The Month! My first reaction was ‘are you sure!’ Looking back at some of the previous recipients has some amazing glass artists, so it’s quite an honour to be included in such fantastic company and to get such recognition from my peers. If you’d like to read the full article it can be found at

Meanwhile I’ve been prowling around the workshop in the dark! Not because I’ve had a power cut, but as I’ve been playing with black-lights and glass! Black-lights (for anyone who doesn’t know) are those deep blue UV fluorescent lights that are used alot in nightclubs. Various special plastics really react and glow vividly under their light, whites reflect them very intensely, and they show up any dust on you like your covered in flour! They are often used by stamp collectors to check imperfections and marks on stamps, when I was playing the light it even showed where I’d missed tiny bits when the walls were painted!

I’ve found that a few soft glasses do reflect back the UV, but I really wanted boro colours that worked with it. I wasn’t surprised to see that the purples became so much more intense, but they still didn’t have that glow. I had tried glow in the dark powders which can be mixed into glass, but had trouble with them burning out, but a few questions on the forum and more research and found that the glow-in-the-dark colours I had tried didn’t like the higher temperatures that boro needs to melt. I got a great ‘aqua’ colour and it works a treat! Not only does it literally ‘glow-in-the-dark’ but like most of these pigments it reacts really strongly to the UV and looks radioactive!

Whilst searching out boro colours I discovered one factory used to make a reactive colour that is normally clear and vivid pink when lit by blacklight. It hasn’t been made for 8 years, but I found someone who had just 7 sticks left! Sadly they said they had none of a related colour with the fabulous name of ‘Atomic Kumquat’ but when I got the rods noticed one was slightly lighter in colour. When I popped my blacklight on it glowed orange! Yes, I am now the owner of 6 rods of ‘Electric Flamingo’ and one precious rod of ‘Atomic Kumquat!’ I’m really going to be careful how I use these, although I must say I’m finding the effect from the glow powers much more effective. I’m still experimenting to get the most out of these, but I hope to have some made ‘club-wear’ pendants ready soon, along with some new versions of Gilson Opal pendants too! It’s exciting times here, and great to be working with such unusual materials, I hope to be able to share the fruits of this with you soon!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Craft Fair at West Bergholt

On Saturday I packed up as much as I could carry and headed out to the nearby village of West Bergholt where the local primary school was having a mini craft fair as part of their fun day.

I don’t normally do fairs, but everyone from teachers and volunteers, other stall holders, and the customers were so friendly and nice it made it a really lovely day out – despite the weather! We were setting up under some open sided tents, looking up at the forbidding sky that kept sending lashing rain and strong gusts every twenty minutes or so, and then bright sunshine! The wind was the worst, nearly having a disaster as my chair flew into the table! Luckily the lovely folks at next to me spotted some unused windbreaks and we quickly put them into action! (Do check out her Etsy shop for some wonderful and very unique Steampunk cards!)

Then about three minutes to two the clouds broke and sunlight greeted us in time for the gates being opened. It was very busy, and so many people said such lovely things about my glass! I can see why people get addicted to doing craft fairs, it can be such an ego boost! I did manage to get flustered once while trying to add a necklace to a pendant, tiny crimps in a field wasn’t really such a great idea, thank you to that Lady for being so patient!

The sweetest event was shortly after opening when a little girl walked straight up to my table, and hastily announced ‘I want to buy something for my Mum!’ ‘Err, ok, what would you like?’ I asked at which she pointed to a flower pendant, which I boxed and gave here, she thrust some crumpled notes into my hand and ran off with the pendant! Aw, bless!

Sadly after three quarters of an hour the rains returned, and went between bright sunshine to lashing rain every twenty minutes or so. It did at least give me chance to gossip about glass with Apryl of Bluedaisyglass www.folksy/shops/bluedaisyglass who makes and teaches fusing, and was even kind enough to direct other glass addicts to my stall!

However as it neared five o’clock and the wind finally managed to use our tent as a sail we all surrendered to the weather and headed home. And the one thing I did forget was to take a camera and pictures! Hopefully the event will be on next year, and I will be trying to do a few more of these in the coming months too, so stay tunned!

Friday, 18 June 2010

News Flash! I’m at large this weekend!

A quick news flash, I will be out and about this weekend with my wares! I am taking a huge new batch of Nebula Pod pendants, flowers, bottlestoppers, earrings and odds and ends to the Summer Fayre in West Bergholt which is a small village near Colchester. Its on Saturday 19th and starts at 2pm, until about 4.45, there are a few other crafters there too. If you want to come along the sat nav postcode is CO6 3JF, I think there is a small entrance fee, with proceeds going to the local primary school who are hosting the event!

Fingers crossed the weather stays nice!

Monday, 14 June 2010

Folksy Milestone Giveaway!

I was going to do a celebration giveaway on Folksy when I hit a milestone of either 100 people favouriting my shop or 50 sale, however I managed to pass both milestones when I wasn’t looking!

However I realised I’ve not quite got to 50 sales on Folksy, so can do the celebration giveaway after all! Some of the sales were for two or three items, but Folksy logs each thing sold as a separate sale, so I’m 3 away from the magic milestone of 50!

So, I’m going to do TWO raffles! One for a small pendant for everyone who has been so kind to add me to their favourite shops, and a second larger one for everyone who has bought something from my Folksy shop, one entry per item they have bought! That way anyone who has been lovely enough to return to buy more from me is in with extra chance to win!

I will probably be giving away two of the lovely new nebula pendants I’ve been working on lately, although I haven’t chosen exactly which ones yet, so maybe I’ll give the winners a choice of colour preference as well – I’d hate it if someone loved green and got red instead! I've popped on a picture of some I have in my Etsy shop to show you what they're like.

I’ll be doing both draws as soon as I hit the magic 50, so you’ve still got time to add me to your favourites or pick up something you like ready for the draw!

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Sunday Updates

Very short blog update this week, but if you’d like to read more there a long interview with me at Indie Smiles It’s part of a series of interviews with crafting blokes who also sell through Folksy.

I’ve been working on a few things, and I just had to share these with you! I’ve been working with Gilson Opals again, they seem to really lend themselves with the new nebula pod pendants I’ve been exploring. Personally I prefer the white opals, they seems to work better on the dark backgrounds. I have them hovering above the centre where most of the light concentrates which helps bring them alive. Typically I’ve now run out of Opals, and my ‘Opal Man’ hasn’t got any of these nice round ones left, however he does have some other shapes which will may suit these even drops even better – watch this space!