Wednesday, 25 August 2010

New Workshop - Stage Two

Well, thanks to Mr McAllister (my neighbour and builder) we now have a hole in the wall ready to take a fire door...there's no going back now!! (not that I want to). Yesterday was a bit noisy and quite dusty but the hole is there ready for the carpenter who is coming to do his bit this afternoon. Kay and Gladys are on their way here ready to take down a wall and remove the old (quite awful) kitchen. I'm getting very excited now! I'll update with pictures later...

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

The transformation begins...

I've talking about it for ages and been wanting to do it for even longer but the time is here and the transformation of my stockroom into a Lampworking and Silversmithing workshop has begun!! We're at the very early stages but its all going to happen very quickly. Today and the past few weeks (on and off) Kay and I have been sorting, throwing out and clearing the stock/junk room. Here's how it looks now...

Workshop Stage One

Stuff to sort out

Its actually a little more cleared than the photo shows. I am too ashamed to show how it looked before the clear out began!! But here's some of the stuff that was in it. I have thrown away a skip load of old bits and bobs...I knew I was a hoarder but didn't realise quite how bad!! I have been taking the Kay attitude 'Just get rid of it!'.

So the plan is..
Wednesday - Hole for fire door by Mr McAllister
Thursday - Interior stud wall half taken out - Fire Door in by Carpenter
Friday - Plaster board up
Saturday - Painting / Floor
Sunday - New Kitchen
Monday - Painting

The team is: Kay (my sister), Jon (Kay's Boyf), and Me. Julie (Mum) will be looking after the shop.

Its going to look great!!

I'll shall be keeping a daily blog to keep you up to date so keep in touch

Friday, 20 August 2010

A Teaching Marathon...

I am pleased to say that I have just finished a teaching marathon. From last Friday until Thursday I have taught a full day, everyday and each day was a new experience. Friday I began by starting a Precious Metal Clay Certification course - Module One Naturals. I had six ladies in the group and we covered 7 projects designed to teach how to make a textured pendant, simple stone setting, combine PMC with glass, making a ring, use organic materials, make a clasp, a dry construction piece and the use of wood clay. It was a lot to fit in over the three days but everybody managed to finish their projects and pass the course. I also had my first full graduate who has completed and passed all three modules!! For more images visit our Facebook page.

After finishing the certification module on Sunday I then started teaching on Monday a four day Summer School Jewellery course for 10-14 year olds at D'overbroecks Leckford Place. We had 10 girls in the group. I spent the first two days on my own then Lucy joined me for day three and four. This is something completely new to me. I am familiar with and trained to teach post 16 education so teaching 10-14 year olds was quite a challenge. A challenge that I feel I rose to and was very happy with the results. It was very interesting for me to see the difference in teaching a different age group, how they interact with each other and me and how they take on the projects set. We covered an awful lot throughout the four days such as Beads & Wire, Beads & Stringing, Beads & Knotting, Polymer Clay and PMC. On the final day we had an exhibition of their work and a mini fashion show for all parents, family and staff to enjoy. For more images visit our Facebook page.

A collection of work

Polymer Clay Beads

Polymer Clay Pendants

I've been completely inspired by Polymer Clay (Fimo) and we are now stocking a wide variety of colours and finishes in The Oxford Bead Shop. I'm going to have lots of fun playing and designing some new workshops for 2011!!

Fimo Soft and Fimo Effect

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Tuesday 3rd August
Although this blog is being posted today I'm actually writing it on Tuesday 3rd August half way through my holiday on the Isle of Wight. Stuart, Harry and I have come to the Isle of Wight for a week and are staying in Stuart's Mum's caravan on a campsite in Brighstone right near the beach. Every other year we have a Harry holiday so that's why we're not laid on a beach in an exotic location!!

Harry loving the sanding beach

So far the sun has been shining and we're spending our days wandering around the beautiful villages and towns, ending up in a pub for lunch, more wandering then coming back to the campsite for a BBQ and drinks.

A fabulous field of seeds - I loved the texture

Before we came away I bought a Doggy Trailer from Ebay so we could do some cycling while on the Island and still take Harry with us. Sunday we cycled along one of the longer routes from Newport to said the route was 9 miles - it felt more like 12!!! Pulling Harry in the trailer was a lot of extra weight and by the time we reached Sandown my hip was very painful....hasn't been the same since!!

Yesterday we had a lovely day in Ventnor and visited the Isle of Wight Glass. It was fascinating watching them work with glass. This is a picture of one of the guys making canes or what I would know as stringers - thin pieces of glass used for decorating. There was also another guy making a vase using the canes, millefiori and gold foil.

Heating the glass in the furnace

Walking with molten glass to create the cane

I also managed to visit a bead shop in Ventnor - Purple Moon Beads. The shop was quite small and had a nice selection of czech beads, plated and precious metal findings, tools, cord, books and examples of projects. What inspired me though was the aluminium links and rubber o-rings used for chain mail. I have recently bought a book called Link It by Susan C. Thomas so was very excited to see I could buy all the materials I needed. I will definitely be getting all the materials into The Oxford Bead Shop and through the use of my iPhone have already sourced a supplier!! As the hip is still playing up we are going to have a rest day and chill out around the campsite...I'm going to pop back to the bead shop, buy some more materials and make some samples from the link it book. I'm also going to get my shopping list together for the rubber o-rings and aluminium links.

This is what I made the Up and Down Motif Bracelet project from the Link It book. I found the project very easy to do and think that this technique would make a great workshop.

Wednesday 4th August - Freshwater

A beautiful mosaic tucked away in a bus stop - it was a set of three

Thursday 5th August - Morning
Coming to the end of the holiday now - looking forward to getting home and getting on with all the things I want to do this summer. Going today to have my holiday cream tea then we have our ferry to catch at 2pm.

Thursday 5th August -Afternoon
For our cream tea we went to Chessell Pottery Barns Decorate your own Pottery Home of the Ultimate Island Cream Tea. It was such a wonderful place. When you walked in their were the biggest scones I'd ever seen in all different types, HUGH slices of cake and lots of Emma Bridgewater and other fabulous pottery.

It looked like the pottery studio and tea room was once barns that had now been converted. The space was really big and perfect for that type of business. I would love to have a space like that. I could have various workshops happening at the same time, a beautiful tea room for people to meet for tea and coffee and cake or maybe lunch then a large bead shop with all the other jewellery making products we sell too. It's good to dream.....

Had to photograph this lorry - not often you see ....& Daughter.