About Me

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North Somerset, United Kingdom
My parents were worried when I ran around with scissors – now I play with fire and (intentionally) break glass! Based in the beautiful South West of England, close to the sea and often the scene of beautiful sunsets, I am inspired by the countryside around. Working with sea glass collected from remote beaches, soda lime glass from Murano, Italy, Europe, USA and beyond, I create artisan beads, for use in my own jewellery or for you to enjoy in your own creations. But I couldn’t stop there; continuing the theme from round rods to flat sheets, mostly from the USA, I break large sheets of transparent, opaque, multi-coloured and dichroic glass into much smaller pieces to make a kiln-formed range of bright, colourful jewellery and home decoration. Each piece I make is individually designed around the shape, size and beauty of the materials and intended to be unique, wearable, usable and affordable. All my glass work is kiln annealed for strength and durability and designed to give pleasure for years to come.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Two wheels on my wagon, and I'm still rolling along

You have to be of a certain age to remember the song by the New Christie Minstrels, or even the New Christy Minstrels.

I was up with the house sparrow this morning, and he's up pretty early. I've bare bones out there now, so it's startting to look like it's coming together. No doubt I'll move everything around when Marilyn arrives to set up tomorrow but for now it'll stay.

Some bits are more together than other bits. Hopefully by this time tomorrow the finished article will be available for show. Then the hard work begins!

Today's bit of silliness .... my gardening fork broke so I had to dig out the handle. I actually get to go into the hardware shop and ask for 'fork handles'. And if you are too young to remember the sketch, prepare to be enlightened. I promise you will see the world in a different light after.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

3 days to go .... panic setting in!

Is summer over already? It's definitely colder and very much windier here today. Still, Ted managed to get a few minutes in the sun before the cloud took over.

There has been progress, although it doesn't feel like it! I've collected the publicity boards from Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary, who we are again supporting throughout Arts Week (and beyond, in my case). They fit perfectly in the space once occupied by my sewing machine. Of course, we have the collecting bucket too! Please give generously.

The kiln is on for one last firing of beads. I shall miss my torch, no more bead making until after arts week now - the space is needed for the things from the other workshop.

will the muddle ever be sorted?

Walls painted (to sort of hide the dye splashes), floors cleaned, shelves washed down and ready for filling with lovely glass and jewellery. Still a couple more hours work this evening, sorting as I go and hopefully by the end of tomorrow there'll be real progress. I am sure it didn't take me this long last time!!

A quick check of the Met Office website - thunder storms expected Friday and Saturday! It doesn't predict further ahead than that but I hope the sun shines! We've a new BBQ being delivered Friday, have bought parasols for shade, got the lounger and chair cushions from the loft. Perhaps I should stop thinking we are actually going to have a warm summer this year?

Monday, 25 April 2011

4 days to go - and we are getting there

So, I'm greeted by 'the boss' at some unearthly hour this morning, wondering why I'm not out there working. I guess holding down the pond so it doesn't float away is important.

His partner in crime is already in position to supervise further gardening.

Look at the size of this bee - there were several in the garden today.

Still, flowers are blooming and pots are now planted so the garden is looking pretty good at the moment.

One more thing crossed of my 'By Monday' list ... the sofa is gone from the conservatory and the dining table is in its place - neither are easy to get through the kitchen door, by 2019 we will have the hang of it and less choice words will be shared.

Still a long way to go though ... and I keep getting side tracked!

My big studio is going to be one of the main display areas, along with the conservatory and I've not started in there

and the small studio shouldn't be looking like this now either but I've bought some gorgeous clasps for bracelets so am having a rush to make beads for them

just off the mandrels, yet to be annealed in the kiln. That's the blues done, now need a selection of pastels .. tomorrow's distraction ...

... seeing the boss had settled down for a snooze. Seemed a shame to disturb him. That's my excuse!

Must remember to prune the clematis next year - only flowers on the top of the pergola, none on the bits you can see :(

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Countdown to North Somerset Arts Week

Garden supervisor

5 days to go! Will be ready on time?

This weekend we've been concetrating on the garden. 2 years ago people told me to make more of the 'pretty garden setting' in the brochure, so this year I mentioned it and we had the hardest winter ever at Blue Box Studio. It had all got a bit of a mess and a few weeks back I despaired of ever having something resembling a garden, let alone a 'pretty garden setting'. Let's get one thing straight first. My mother could get anything to grow from nothing, even dead plants thrived for her and my father cultivated roses on a grand scale. So, I can bud roses, even prune roses (we kids were trained up from a very early age to belp with the 500+ roses that needed attention every year) but darn if anything else rubbed off on me.

Charlie, carefully avoiding the delphinium much loved by the slugs

I have a willing band of helpers though, well, more press-ganged I suppose. Husband does the heavy work, cats help with the digging. Husband has been known to dig up the 'weeds' [plants] that I planted the day before and the cats happily uproot any newly planted specimen for unmentionable activities.

Still, Nature thinks I need a hand and has also helped.

I am hoping the bluebells last at least to Friday, they are all over the garden and are the major source of colour.

The old woody yellow rose never fails to start early and won't stop flowering until November. It needs a really hard prune to get rid of the really old knarled wood but I daren't in case it has a heart attack and dies on me.

The wall pots in the pretty metal stand on my studio wall is just about coping with the heat and

the apple blossom was so good this year we might actually get more than one apple - it's a family tree growing in a pot so we're not giving it its best chance I suppose. The fig, dwarfed in a tiny pot for a couple of years has now been given a new big home outside my studio, hopefully figs in a couple of years.

So, it's coming along. Potatoes, peas, beans, tomatoes are now planted but won't come into their own for a few more weeks but then I want something to look at after the mad rush of arts week is over and I actually have time to sit in the garden and enjoy the fruits (apples, figs and all) of my labours.

In the midst of all this the sky was full of a lot of shrieking and squarking - gulls seeing off a lone Peregrine falcon soaring overhead, my birdie friends tell me it is one of them anyway, they nest in Court Woods above Clevedon Court apparently; if you know different, fine, I go with what I'm told as I can just about recognise a Robin but not much else :)