Sunday, 28 February 2010

London Fashion Week

This is a short clip of the London Fashion Show. The relevant portion is about 1:25 into the clip.

It is short, but does give a little idea of how the pieces move on the garments.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Brian Waugh

Recently I helped Brian Waugh out with the installation of another of his windows. He is the glass artist that I most admire in Scotland for the detail of his work. This pair of windows is in a domestic situation.

The following pictures show the figures in some more detail. These were taken without the help of a tripod and so are not of the highest quality. But you will be able to see them in better quality on his website.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Recent Spiral Bowls

I have recently completed a few "spiral" bowls. I normally do these in batches, both to be efficient in kiln use and becasue there are normally a few failures, or ones that do not turn out as I wished.

As these have been slumped into spherical moulds, they are shown here in the midst of putting "feet" on each of them. This consists of placing them on a grinding wheel and holding them horizontal until a flat spot has been ground. Subsequently this flat spot needs to be ground with finer an finer grits until the desired finish is achieved.

Photos of the finished pieces will be posted later.

Monday, 22 February 2010


A while back I mentioned that I had a request for making one of the body moulds into a sculpture. I have now finished it and am waiting for the client to pick it up.

As this is to be a wall mounted piece, I decided that it needed to be sealed and have varnished both the outside and inside to reduce any of the loose material from the inside falling to the floor. Of course, I know that if there are men in the house, certain areas of the mould will be polished just as the women figures at Angkor Wat are.

After doing this, it has come to me that it might be possible to use a lime wash on these pieces which would provide additional interest.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Curved Window

Another project has landed on my bench. A person on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula is restoring an old house in which there are some curved windows. He has had the curved window frame made and has asked me to bend some glass to fit the window, rather than just put in flat pieces of glass and fill the gaps with putty.

The curve is not very great as you can see from the curve at the top of the card template, about 7mm across the pane of about 235mm. It is not much, but it will reflect the light in a totally different way than flat pieces of glass would. I am going to attempt to bend long strips of glass so they will have the same curve and then cut them to size.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Ship Repairs Completed

The repair of the ship panel has proceeded relatively quickly - fewer interruptions and more concentration. The whole is shown with the old pieces recovered in foil and the new pieces foiled and inserted.

The detail of the work before it is locked into place is shown here.

The completed repair was framed in zinc calme to make handling easier, especially if it is to remain standing in a window.

My recommendation is that it should be framed in timber and hung rather than propped up.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Ship Repairs, pt 2

Slow progress on the ship panel due to the tail ends of other projects. This shows the split in the panel and the two main/obvious breaks in the ship's hull. All the blue pieces have to be re-foiled, as they are so loose now. Teh yellow piece on the right of the ship needs to be removed to get the bow out.

The following photo shows the main tools I use to get the panel apart. I heat up the solder and use the cut up drinks can to separate the foil while the solder is molten. The lead knife helps to cut the excess copper foil from the glass. The brass wire brush assists in removal of the solder beads. The sal amoniac block is needed to clean the solder bit which gets very dirty from the patina.
Some of the broken pieces have been removed and taped together for reference in cuting the new pieces.
Here you can see the process of removing the bead, by heating and brushing away the excess solder. The drinks can then can help to separate the two foils. You can see the cleaned foil along the ship decks. The foil is heated and rubbed with the iron until a piece comes free. It is then grasped gently with the pliers and pulled away from the other foil as the iron makes the jointing solder molten.

Finally, the bottom of the panel is dismantled. I did break an additional two pieces with the heat that I was using. This is part of the risk.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Ship Repairs

A while back when I was in the midst of the big projects, I accepted the commission to restore a large copper foil panel. It is 1000mm by 610mm with a lot of detail. Not all of the spaces between the rigging lines are individual pieces of glass, but a surprising number are. A considerable level of skill is evident in the construction of this piece. There are foil lines of various sizes used, and there is considerable skill shown in the fitting of the glass.

The problems arose because the panel has been sitting, propped up in an window opening for a number of years. This has caused the panel to bow and finally separate mainly at the junction of the water and the horizon. I suppose many will say that this was an obvious design fault. Even though there are interruptions in the horizontal. It is these interruptions that took the force of the bending and broke at the places where the hull and the water "interact".

It is not only where the panel has separated that there are problems. This clear piece, high in the panel has cracked, probably due to the sharp angle at the bottom left of the piece.

The hull of the boat is where the most obvious work is required. Some glass is missing from the left (or bottom in this picture) and it is broken on the right (or top).

At the stern of the ship, a number of small pieces have been broken. This appears to me to be impact damage rather than stress related.

A small piece of the light blue has also broken near the area of separation, probably as a result of stresses.

I will need to think about how this panel can be protected from the same process working on the glass again. This will help me make the restoration in a sympathetic way and produce a strong panel.

In preparation for conducting the work, I have taken a rubbing. I find that this gives a reference point when sections have been taken apart. There is no arguing with the rubbing taken from the original panel. Then things you do have to conform to the rubbing.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

I Need Sleep

Its 19:20 and I have to stay up until the kids go to bed around 20:00.

The day started at 03:30 this morning. Having to look after kilns and make sure the pieces were cool enough to pack for the designer to pick them up and get a train to London to arrive by 13:00.

I managed to get the pieces to her for the 0800 train, chair a morining of children's hearings and do a few things to put in the kiln before getting the kids at 14:25. A couple of hours sleep while Kate prepared the meal for the children, before she had to go out. Now just to survive the couple of hours until the children are asleep. Then it's my turn!