Tuesday, 16 January 2018


My last post was all about dealing with the unexpected.  How true that is....that lovely piece of glass, very large, lovely piece of glass, went back into the kiln to have some initials fired onto it.....and because of my inexperience, I used an incorrect firing programme, and the whole thing broke in two!  And nearly broke my heart.

And taught me that glass is a very unforgiving medium.  An intransigent medium, almost belligerent sometimes.  The kiln gods rule.  As a result of that experience I am now wary of accepting commissions, and instead, I will only work to please myself, and if my work pleases others - that is a bonus!   Reducing one's expectations is helpful too...he who expects little is seldom disappointed, it is said. 

And another issue has come along recently which has been equally challenging.  When I want to create, I like to pre-plan, to produce little sketches as I formulate ideas.  Now - I am NOT moaning, or wanting sympathy, this is purely FYI.,  I have developed something called Essential Tremor.  Not a fun thing for an artist to have.  It means I cannot draw a straight line!   This is not a joke actually, as my hand actually shakes and jerks when I try to do linear work and details!   I feel like a robot which is in need of a damn good service because the messages aren't getting from brain to hand!

So I have had to find ways to get around this problem.  I could of course put my feet up and retire gracefully.  Not my style, even tho I do possess the required cardi and slippers.  So instead, I am turning more to glass, to printmaking, monoprinting and screenprinting and using stencils;   and interestingly, I seem to have found ways to create images ...in glass, rather than just produce practical pieces like bowls and vases.  You may have seen some from me before, but these new ones are getting stronger, I think.   The glass powder piece below required a certain amount of control of my wretched hand (which seems to have a life and personality all of its own) but thankfully it is easy to add more powder when I accidentally brush off an area when my hand misbehaves.  (You gotta smile, or you cry.)  I use rubber shapers and brushes to remove the black powder from the surface and the end result is:

He is rather jolly, isn't he.
 Below is a screenprinted platter:

Also, I have been working on semi-abstract, impressionist woodland scenes in glass.  Here are a couple of examples:

Anyone heard the saying DLTBGYD?  (Dont Let The Bastards Grind You Down).  I am doing my best not to LTBGMeD.  I am soldiering on, despite the feelings of frustration and irritation, and although I may not laugh about it all, all of the time,  I can manage it sometimes.  It also helps to remind myself regularly that things could be a LOT worse, and remind myself how LUCKY I am to have, despite my advancing years,  the ability to get out into my studio, and still produce creative bits and pieces.

 you just gotta keep smiling....

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