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Glass Blog - What's going on at the Studio . . .

I've decided to add a blog so you can keep up with what is or has been going on in my Glass Studio.

So what have I been up to?

I have now finished my Remembrance Panel for the Mayor of Didcot, Bill Service, and this will be installed tomorrow, 6th November, at Didcot Civic Hall. It is being unveiled at a Remembrance Dinner on the 10th November and to say I'm nervous is an undertatement! I am worried the panel may break if mishandled and so nervous at being known as The Artist that made the panel.

I have enjoyed designing and making it, even though I have been very stressed and emotional at times. I felt so honoured to have been asked to do this and my brain went into overdrive with what I could do that would be fitting for such a time as Remembrance. I was given a few ideas and went from there. I wanted the soldiers to stand out and the poppies to blend with the Lest We Forget. I cannot publish photographs yet, but will do so when the piece has been unveiled.

My father served in the Royal Navy during WWII and his Dad before him in the Boer War. My late husband also served in the Royal Navy and my husband now was in the Royal Air Force in the Gulf War. I am proud of our military. So many people have mixed feelings about Remembrance thinking it promotes the Government's views etc etc., but for me it's remembering all the fallen in all wars whether on the winning or losing side. And not just military personnel, but civilians and animals. Some people had no choice to go to war and some did to defend their Country and our freedom.

I have also been working on memorial commissions with ashes of the loved ones who has passed. Rainbow bridges and photographic panels. The photographs are in sepia so they do look so nice.

Also I have been designing garden sculptures to brighten up gardens in the Winter months and they look so bright and cheerful.

In a couple of days I will be rearranging my window display to incorporate my Remembrance items and would like to mention that I am giving 50% of my Remembrance collection takings to the Royal British Legion so please do pop in and have a look. I do have a poppy appeal box for any donations.

Thank you for reading. I am now designing for Artweeks and some Christmas decorations.

Photographs to follow soon.

15th November 2018

Remembrance has past and I very much enjoyed attending the Centenary Ball where my Lest We Forget Commission was unveiled. It was also a murder mystery and fancy dress, but sadly I didn't open my tickets until we were on our way! Someone had an original WW1 uniform which was amazing to see. As well as Peaky Blinders who posed under my window for me. Unfortunately I did accuse the wrong person of murder, but at least I'm not a real copper!

The memorial commissions are coming on well and even though I have worked on many animal ashes commissions I didn't expect human ashes to be different, but they were! I very much enjoy working on these commissions as they mean so much to the customer and I do spend a great deal of time and love making them very special. I like to have a photograph of the person/animal I am making the piece for and their character and a little bit about them as it helps me design and create something perfect!

I am trying something a little different today and that's messing about with mould making. A bit messy, but fun. Hope they will turn out right. I have to wait an hour for them to dry. As well as mould making, I am trying out a new product called modelling glass and it is absolutely amazing. I inititally did tests a while back, but other commissions took priority. I have made a flamingo and rose just to see what they come out like. My first test pieces shrank an awful lot and moved - those kiln fairies can be very unhelpful sometimes ;/. When my internet improves I will hopefully be able to post photographs.

Christmas decorations are on my list to get on with, but where is time going? Also making things for Artweeks which I am exhibiting for from 24th November for odd days until 6th December.

News

Gallery

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2018 25th November

I am sat in my Studio hoping I will get some visitors during the Christmas Artweeks exhibition. 24th November to 6th December. It's quiet, but it's only just started.

I have now had chance to upload photographs from my Lest We Forget stained glass commission together with my Remembrance collection United Ghosts of Remembrance. Freedom of the Skies, Freedom of the Seas and Freedom for All Generations. We look upon our beautiful World and have our freedom because of the sacrifices of those before us, but we will remember them.

Freedom of the Skies shows ghosts of a Lancaster Bomber and Spitfire in the beautiful sky above a poppy field. Such heavy sacrifices made by these squadrons.

Freedom of the Seas shows the Burma sunset with the ghost of a Minesweeper which my Dad served on during WWII.

Freedom for All Generations shows ghosts of soldiers in a beautiful poppy field where they marched and many sadly died before us.

All our forces, and of course many other countries forces, fought united for our freedom! So sad that wars continue today and more lives being lost. When will we learn?

I am also working on a further two remembrance pieces to signify other sacrifices made during all wars.

CHRISTMAS!

Now the BIG MAN in red is visiting soon and so of course that's taking up time in my Studio too! Making Christmas themed gifts and organising Workshops for children and adults to make your own Christmas decorations. I have 7 sessions available from the 1st December up to the 21st December. If you are interested, please visit my facebook page www.facebook.com/rosartofglass for further information and if you wish to book then click on the "Tickets" button. The courses will be deleted three days before each course is due as I will no longer have time to cut and fuse the pieces of glass ready for the sessions, so best to book early. I don't want to make them unnecessarily.

Look forward to seeing some of my fellow local villagers.

2019 NOT SUCH A GOOD START

I haven't blogged for a while as all sorts of things have been going on and I've come to the decision to move my Studio back home to Dovehouse Close. I can't spend the time I would like at the Studio and when you're paying rent that can get very aggravating!

I am hoping to move my studio home by the end of June this year. An awful lot of equipment and materials to move into a few small rooms. When I am back home I won't be teaching as much as I'd like to concentrate on experimenting with all the techniques I have learnt from the Masters. I also need to be around for my Mum who is now end-stage Parkinsons so it's a no brainer really. Family does have to come first. I will still be doing commissions and running my Etsy and Facebook page.

I won't be doing Artweeks as planned in May, but I know there are alot of incredibly talented artists in our Village and you should definitely visit them. I have a list on my Studio window and if you need a map I have a few.

What has been the highlight of my time at Swan Street? I have enjoyed meeting more local people. Working in the village has been nice although I still get people coming in saying they didn't know I was there! Birthday parties for children has been fun from little ones to teenagers. Watching little faces concentrate on their very own glass art and enjoying it is so rewarding. I will still do birthday parties, but at your own venue. Don't need a lot of space. A chair at a table and space in the middle for my glass art materials. I have also met some very talented people who have been quite natural with glass making and they have produced some amazing pieces of work.

Commissions are fantastic to make and when you first get a commission you are on such a high it's brilliant. Then it sinks in and the responsibility brings you down to earth and preparations begin. I thoroughly enjoy the design stage, thinking about whatever the customer has mentioned that they like. Memorial commissions have been very popular with ashes from loved ones, and pets of all kinds. It is always nice to know a bit more about the person I am making the memorial for. I have photographs of beloved dogs and cats that have sadly passed on and I think I will make a collage for me as each one has meant such a great deal having lost a couple of dogs myself. Then of course the human memorials. I've put hair in stained and fused glass and ashes too! I feel the weight on my shoulders when I am making these. The responsibility of having the ashes and hair is huge. Once made and the recipient loves them, it is worth all the stress and the feeling is quite wonderful, but sad when they leave with their pieces. I have even learnt silversmithing because I didn't want to trust such valuable cabochons with hair and/or ashes in being lost because the glue has hardened or wasn't good enough. Believe me even the glue recommended for glass does let you down so for me this just wasn't good enough for my customers. I made a sterling silver pendant with a cabochon with ashes for a customer recently as a wedding day gift for their partner. When they received the pendant they cried as they said it was so beautiful. I couldn't ask for a better compliment then that.

I hope you will continue to contact me for anything stained or fused glass. I will have a little on display at home and if anyone wants something then just get in touch and I will do my utmost to make you want you want.

Must get packing now as time is moving on and oh there is so much stuff in here lol! Aladdin's cave I think.

September 2019

Doesn't time fly when you're having fun! I've now moved out of Swan Street and am gradually getting organised at home. Still not quite there, but it's looking better each week I'm home and working on it!

I am hoping to honour vouchers purchased by the end of September/October 2019. So if you have one, please do get in touch.

For future tuition, I haven't made the decision whether to still offer one to one, but I have been running Glass Art Experience sessions at people's homes and in the Community, so if you have a small group and you have enough space with a table for everyone to sit around and for me to place all my glass pieces in the middle, you can have a glass activity. Even have a G&T whilst you create as no cutting involved.

I am also looking forward to experimenting and using all the knowledge I have learnt through masterclasses, to make glass what I've always, but never had the time, to make.

What's new in the glass world? You can now make glass clay! Yes you can roll out glass, squidge it and manipulate it in clay form. Absolutely brilliant! I made a feather with it and a poppy panel which I will add to my photographs. All the glass comes out of the kiln opaque, but it's fantastic that you can play with glass in this way.

31st October 2019

My home studio has proved a bit of a nightmare, but I've started making again as well as running Glass Art Experiences at my customer's homes and they have been going well.

I have now completely finished the memorial panels at Didcot Civic Hall and the last of the panels were installed in September 2019 which now includes the dates of both World Wars.

Design work has now finished for my first ever port hole from a SCUBA diving adventurer and because my customer enjoys serious wrecks, tall ships and exploration, I thought about the Endurance. This fitted in very well with the port hole as some of the glass is still in the port hole and this reminded me of ice so my design was Shackleton's Endurance in Antartica. I will post photos when this is completed, but have posted a photo of the port hole.

Some of my arty friends in the Village are getting together to hole short courses in various mediums at the Eynsham Pavillion (football grounds). I am running a fused glass pendant making session on 7th December from 10.30 to 1 p.m. All these course are £30 per person and includes all materials. If you are interested as there are still a few places left, give me a call on 07762350085 or email me on ros.artofglass@outlook.com.

8th January 2020

Happy New Year!  Let's hope it's a good one.

What's life for if it's not to get in the way of our plans!  

My Mum sadly broke her hip two days before her 90th Birthday, at the beginning of September, and has just had to move into a Nursing Home.  Over 3 months in hospital and just before Christmas she moved into the Home and it looks like she will have to stay.  My Mum has a determination and fight in her that is so admirable, but sadly Parkinson's has meant her body just won't help her and one carer cannot manage her now.  

We're just about to get a WAV (wheelchair assisted vehicle) so at least we can still take her out without causing her too much pain getting in and out of a car.  I have actually missed going to visit garden centres with her and will never moan about visiting the same places over and over again ever!  

As for Art of Glass - Oxford?  

The Jewellery Pendant Session I ran on 7th December went very well.  It was lovely to meet some lovely ladies who have a love of crafts as I do.  I will attach photos from the session.  Hoping to run more in 2020.  Their feedback was very encouraging and they made some beautiful pendants.  

My business is changing, however, my husband semi-retired and I am too.  I am still hoping to run small 1-2 hr sessions at customer's own venues and have several booked already for end of January/February.  These seem to be very popular with people unable to venture outside with confidence and for girly gin evenings too!  You don't have to cut any glass and there aren't any sharp edges so quite safe! ;).

Due to the fact that the majority of my business comes from memorial commissions, I am going to specialise in this area.  I have made many stained, fused glass and sterling silver ashes memorials that they do not make me nervous any more making them.  I enjoy designing and making them with relative ease, once I've decided the best place for the ashes/hair etc.  I feel it is a pure honour that someone would like me to make their special piece.  I treat the ashes as if they belonged to my loved one and the whole process is photographed for the recipient to see how their special piece is made.  Of course now I know how to silversmith, I make my own jewellery to go with the cabochons which enables me to avoid glue!  Glue is my nemesis.  I stopped making and selling fused glass jewellery after a couple of pieces, not ashes memorials, came away.  It seems no matter what glue is recommended, there is always the chance that the glue will fail.  I now either encase the cabochon in sterling silver or drill the piece and finish with sterling silver.  

I am also hoping to concentrate of glass work that I've not had time to make so experimenting and trying out new techniques is also going to be a big part of my glass life!  

In order to do this I have decided to stop teaching stained and fused glass at my own home studio for new students.  Quite sad, but something has to go and this is it.

Commissions will still be undertaken as and when required.  I am not disappearing.  I love my glass making too much and with the new dimension of silver and married metals and maybe GOLD in the future - it's all very exciting for me. 

25th April, 2021 Update - At last!!! 

Well to say Covid has been a disaster is an understatement.  Finding any kind of motivation after losing my Mum in April last year has been incredibly hard.  A year has past slowly, but I am starting to get my mojo back - hooray!  

Giving up teaching has been the right thing although I do miss meeting people and of course with a home studio, not many people can waltz in and say hello!

I am a member of West Ox Arts and always try to take part in their exhibitions, but of course so many were postponed because of Covid.  However, I still managed to sell a few things on Etsy and via my facebook page.  

This year something amazing has happened in Eynsham - The Eynsham Art Window.  Who knew one village could have so many talented artists.  Alison Holmans, Potter from Chickenrun Studio, opened up the window to display local talent and has she done a fabulous job or what!  Each month artists can display a couple of pieces of their work for a whole month, for a small fee.  It can create sales or at least get us "artists" known out there.  It's at number 66 Mill Street.  

I'm also joining Alison at Chickenrun Studio for Oxfordshire Artweeks.  1st May to 9th May 11 am - 6 pm.  It would be great to see people.  I've been trying to get as many new items made, but glass and kilns don't always do what you hope they would.  A piece that you expect will take just a day in the kiln can end up in there for a week!

Well I hope you are all doing ok and hope to meet you during Artweeks.  Take care all and I'll try and write my blog more often!  

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