Monday, 26 July 2010

Lots of PMC and Beautiful Giraffes

My week has been filled full of PMC! Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I spent with Deidre and Honey who were visiting from Ireland to learn some beading and PMC techniques. We didn't actually get to the beading as the very ambitious PMC projects took over. The pieces that were made were very beautiful.

This was Honey's syringe heart pendant. The pendant is approximately 10cm tall. I had never fired a syringe project this big before so was a little unsure as to how it would fire. During firing some areas of the pendant collapsed so Honey needed to build up the areas and then we fired again. When working with syringe its very important to build a good structure with the lines of PMC and also to make sure the lines are a full thickness.

Dierdre's necklace and earrings set was made using some poppy heads that I picked from my garden a year ago. Its important that the poppy heads are dry. She used PMC paste to cover the poppy...let it dry...coated again and kept repeating this until a thick enough layer was achieved. Pearls were then attached using some beads & wire and stringing techniques.

Saturday I ran a PMC Rings workshop. I had a really lovely group. Most of the group made two rings using lump PMC, stones, textures, cutters and syringe. We did have some problems with a couple of the rings breaking during filing, before firing. When this happens it can be very difficult to stop the piece from cracking at the same point even if it has been filled with paste. I find it best to fire the ring then finish the piece, maybe add more paste and fire again.

This ring is a good example of how liver of sulphur can react. This piece was submerged in LoS after it had cooled for 10 minutes. As you can see the silver has been oxidised an almost gold colour. I think this looks beautiful with the green stone. Liver of Sulphur is fairly unpredictable and many factors, such as heat of water, strength of liquid, type of water, will effect the colour you get. You can see more images of the workshops on our Facebook page.

After my busy week I had an unusual day off on Sunday so we went to Cotswold Wildlife Park. We probably go once or twice a year, its always a great day out and Harry can come too. The park has had lots of improvements made....and they've now got three male Giraffes!!

After lots of walking, lots of food and the sun we were all looking forward to relaxing on the sofa. Harry got cosy in the car!!

Monday, 19 July 2010

The Summer is here...

As much as I love my adult learning classes I am pleased to say that I have finished teaching for the summer and will now have ALL my evenings to do with as I please. I do have a few Friday night workshops planned but the rest of the time I am planning to continue organising the shop, making lampwork beads, and getting the new workshop project under way. Kay and I have been really busy sorting out the shop by moving it around and creating more space, throwing out lots of old catalogues, magazines and unneeded paperwork....its amazing how much is collected. I even have an office - only I can fit it in but its an office all the same!!

New Shop Layout

This weekend we visited Art in Action. We had a really lovely day (we being Mum, Kay, Lucy, Harry, Gladys and Me). This year they had invited some new artist to join the show so we were able to see some fresh ideas. Sarah Hornik a lampwork artist was there this year. It was great to see her make a bead. The combination of colour she uses in her work is beautiful. Take a look at her website. When ever we visit Art in Action we always come away feeling very inspired so Kay and I decided to come back to the shop and have a play on our torches. We both made a few beads each but said we need to be doing more. This is my least once a week if I can (in an ideal world!!).
I have been doing lots of workshops too...beads & wire, button necklaces, PMC. You can see all the images on our Facebook page.