Monday, 31 December 2007

Happy New Year!

Jackson would like to wish everybody a Happy and Prosperous New Year. Here he is, sporting his new red and white collar that he got for Christmas from (and NO, he doesn't look like a girl wearing it, stop saying that to him, kids)!!!

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Sources of Inspiration

As an art teacher in secondary and further education I often help students who are struggling for inspiration and ideas. As a glass artist I sometimes struggle for ideas myself. This “block” on ideas isn’t easy to cope with as it can leave you feeling fed up and panicked but, just like writer’s block, it soon passes.

How does an idea start? Twenty years ago I worked as a freelance designer and my clients expected me to produce at least 3 to 5 good quality ideas for each brief. Working on new designs with short deadlines made me ideas-rich but, working at that pace, also left me exhausted creatively. Fortunately design is more to do with nurture than nature and, once you are in your stride as a designer, more ideas flow. Imagine your first idea is like an acorn that grows into a strong tree that branches off with similar ideas that then scatters more acorns (ideas) that start the whole process again. That’s how contagious ideas can be!

Where to begin? Anything or anyone can trigger an idea - a landscape, a building, a song, a conversation, a colour ….. it sounds pretentious but it’s true. Are you completely stuck? Don’t have an idea of your own? Stop looking around and look inside yourself instead. What do you like to do? What are your interests? List three things about yourself. Here are some possible examples:
I drink a lot of tea!
I love gardening.
My favourite colour is red.
Three design ideas already. Let’s take a look at Drinking Tea and list words that are linked to this idea:
Tea leaves, tea bags, tea pot, tea cups, tea strainer, tea spoons, sugar bowl, milk jug, saucers, tea plates, biscuits, dainty cakes, napkins, tablecloth….
Now I gave gathered the ideas they need to be developed into a design. What am I going to do with this design? Will it be a collage? Mosaic? Patchwork quilt? Glass dish?

An appliqué quilt based on the idea of Drinking Tea.
Look through magazines and catalogues, selecting and cutting out images of tea pots, cups, cakes, etc.
Make rough drawings of the shapes of the images.
Decide on the shapes you like and photocopy your drawings. Play around with the cut out shapes on a large piece of plain paper. Can you construct a design that you are reasonably happy with?
Look at patterns and colours of china tea sets that you might like to use on your appliqué shapes. Willow pattern? Royal Copenhagen? Stripes and spots? Roses? Plain colours? Check tablecloths?
Spend some time looking at fabrics that will suit the design for a Tea Drinking Applique Quilt. Think about three main things when you select material: colour, pattern and texture.

Where can you keep all these ideas? Becoming ideas-rich and collating images is addictive but it is difficult to develop these ideas if all your reference is loose. You may find ideas for future projects whilst researching for a current project or you may want to go back and look at a previous idea.
There are several ways you can store and group your reference and images. Choose one or more that you are comfortable with and suits you.
Sketchbooks hard backed, A4 or A5 size, plain or patterned cover, artists’ sketch block, children’s drawing pad.
Notebooks plain or lined pages, jotters, exercise books, spiral bound books, hand made books, stapled pages. (You can buy plain books on Dawanda).
Scrap books sugar paper, scrap computer paper, foolscap paper.

Where can you find sources for design? Magazines, children’s books, catalogues, photographs, travel brochures, newspapers, postcards, paint charts, fabric swatches, architecture, nature, patterns, ethnic art, historical and contemporary art, postage stamps, found objects, pebbles, shells…..

Design boards. I like to make design boards, I have been making them since art school (a long time) and still look at the very old ones when I am looking for a fresh idea. This design board is for an idea I have for making glass sushi dishes. I sought out images of origami paper dolls and toys and have included washi paper with some drawings I have made. I am looking at three things: shape, colour and texture. The pleasure of making a design board is arranging the images and then sticking them down.
Working Drawings. Unlike finished drawings, working drawings are dispensable – they can be scribbled over, redrawn and notes made in the margin. Working drawings don’t need to be to scale – that’s the job of the finished drawing. When I have thrashed out several drawings on paper I then draw the exact measurements for a sushi dish and finalise my design.
The finished outcome. So from a design board I have finished a selection of sushi dishes called “The Sushi Girls”. My design board and drawings helped me to resolve problems and adapt my designs for glass.

A quick note about copyright – copyright law is tricky to enforce unless you are a powerful corporation who makes soft drinks or Japanese cartoon cats, or you have a lot of money to enable you to sue. This means that the little people (like you and me who can’t afford to hire lawyers) are vulnerable to having our precious work copied. Here are some does and don’ts:
Do take care when downloading images from Google that you are not infringing others’ copyright. Pasting their images on your design board is fine as long as you are not directly copying their work.
Instead, take a look at Dover Books which are 25% copyright free . These books are a fantastic resource.
Make sure that your designs at lest three steps away from the sources of reference you have collected.

Please don’t scan websites like Dawanda and Etsy to directly copy others’ hand made items and then sell them through another selling website. You WILL get found out.
If your idea and design is your own and unique then ask the viewer to respect your copyright.

And finally, please note that this article is solely the property of Glassprimitif. Please do not copy parts of it out for re-publication without the author’s permission.

Sunday, 9 December 2007


I love making sushi dishes with bubble powder as it creates totally unique dishes each time I use it.
What is bubble powder? It is a fine fusing powder that, when sprinkled between two pieces of glass, will form blisters of colour, pushing up bubbles onto the surface of the glass.

"Ocean Floor" fused glass sushi dishes by Glassprimitif

I sell bubble powder that is COE82. This means that it will fuse with picture (float) glass only. As picture glass is so cheap compared to other art glass, this makes bubble powder a great medium to experiment with.
Bubble powder comes in two grades: the finest powder is called Bubble Classic (shown above) and forms large blisters in between the glass in deep, liquid colours. Boreal Bubble is a coarser grain and forms small pock marks in the glass in bright colours. I like to mix the Classic with the Boreal to add texture to the glass too. Bubble powder comes in wonderful colours such as yellow, turquoise, cobalt, Boreal red, Boreal orange and ruby gold. By mixing colours together you can add a third colour to your glass. For example, mixing turquoise and yellow will give a rich green sheen to your glass, as seen below.

"Forest Floor" fused glass sushi dish by Glassprimitif

To use the powder: shake a small amount of powder over a piece of clean float glass and cap with another piece of float glass. Fuse to your usual fusing schedule. Where the powder is thicker, larger bubbles will form inside the glass. If you intend to slump the glass then choose a shallow mold or the bubbles will fracture if they slump too deeply.
Caution: when handling the powder, remember to use surgical gloves and to wear a mask. Wash hands immediately after use and wipe up any surplus powder.

"Pink Bubblegum" fused glass pendant using ruby gold Boreal bubble powder
Stained glass suppliers Delphi from the United States also sell bubble powder which is co-efficient with all types of glass but, as I have never used it, I can't vouch for it.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

I've been shopping!

Unlike most "normal" women I hate shopping - for anything. Wandering around shops, browsing for clothes, presents, food drives me mad because I consider it a complete waste of time - I could be at home painting, drawing or fusing! So the internet is perfect for me as I can order all my books, glass, gifts and fusing materials on-line.
Here's my latest glass purchase from It's all Bullseye including transparent colours, opal black, white, vanilla, some dichroic coated black and a whole packet of stringers. Yum! I also bought some "staples" like kiln wash, Glastac and silver plate bails but I won't bore you with those. Now, out of my way - I'm off to create with these glass goodies.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Elves Gone Wild Sale

Announcing the CGGE's Elves Gone Wild December Sale! Yes, holiday elves have put in a full year, knitting and sewing and pounding and sawing and soldering and stringing and melting and painting and... you know. And they are more than ready to take a well-deserved break in West Palm Beach, Florida, where they will frolic in skimpy swimsuits in the warm sea, and drink sticky beverages with silly names. WoooHOOOOOO! Let's help them clear the shelves and buy the tickets. See CGGE announcements in the forums and at our website at Check members' shop announcements for deals - BOGOs, discounts or free shipping - and each shop's sale dates.
OK, so I didn't write that, Getglassy of is the author, but it actually means that the Creative Glass Guild of Etsy is having a Christmas sale until December 18. All new listings in my Etsy store will be reduced in price and I also offer free shipping to anywhere in the world. So make a visit to and see what's in the sale. I will be listing more sale items after December 1.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

For all candy caners....Wow!

This is my latest glass purchase - COE90 glass candy canes from Nightcatdesign. I can't wait to fuse them but, as they are so beautiful, I don't want to use them. Ross of Nightcat will be posting some more in his Etsy store soon so don't be confused by the knitting yarn there - at

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Cut Out and Keep

Cut Out and Keep is a great site for the crafting community. The site includes a Project Page where you can learn how to make fantastic craft items, from fimo to fake blood! My favorite project is the sweet wrapper bracelet
You can also add projects of your own and the step-by-step guide makes listing a project very easy.

Here are some images from my Project on creating a Razor Blade Pendant using the Tiffany glass techique.
To buy the actual pendant visit:

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Good Luck and Prosperity

Fish play a big part in my designs. There are three reasons for this - they are easily recognisable shapes to cut in glass, they can be decorated in any color or pattern that the imagination will allow and they are symbols of good luck and prosperity in eastern culture.
So I have spent a happy time in my studio creating fused glass Lucky fish pendants and have just listed them in my Etsy store at

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Hooray for Auntie's Card Shop

Today I received a lovely set of mini envelopes from . These are perfect for sending out glass tokens or business cards. Auntiescardshop also recommends them for packaging beads, seeds, earrings, buttons and small notions. Each one is hand cut, folded and glued using acid and lignin free paper. They come with a blank white cardstock insert so you can write your own sentiment on them if you wish.
She also sent me two free gift tags and I am so impressed with the quality and also with her attention to detail. It was such a nice thing to receive in the post. It's shops like Auntie's that makes shopping on Etsy so enjoyable.

Friday, 2 November 2007

100 cranes!

I've just finished folding over 100 origami cranes for the next exhibition at Keighley Arts Factory. My next task is to suspend the cranes on fishing line from the gallery ceiling. The cranes are in celebration of our next exhibition "The Winter Contemporary" which previews on Thursday 8 November and officially starts on Friday 9 November to Wednesday 12 December 2007.
I also spent a happy morning unpacking beautiful ceramics and I can't wait to put them out on display. We have white plinths and white walls so the display will be bright splashes of colour.
The exhibition also features painting, glass, textiles, jewelry, books and decorations.
For details of the exhibition visit:

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Vote for the Colours of Dawanda!

I am taking part in the Colours of Dawanda competition on vote for your favourite participating Pinboard and you could win a prize of you choice. Here's my Pinboard
and here's the link to post your vote.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Spiritunique Gallery and Gift Shop

The Spirit Gallery and Gift shop in Eshottheugh, Northumberland is now stocking Glassprimitif sushi dishes and coasters. Visit their website at where they sell jewellery, hand bags and other unique gifts.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Glass Cutting for the nervous

My article "Glass Cutting for the Nervous" has now been published on the CGGE website. It's aimed at beginners to glass cutting or as a refresher for glass artists who are coming back to the skill. Although glass cutting is a skill, it is an easy one to learn as it only really requires two things: confidence and practice. I really like cutting strange or small shapes as I enjoy the challenge. Glass cutting is one of my favorite tasks and Bullseye is my favorite glass to work with.
Read it here and let me know your comments or further suggestions.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Frisbee Boy in action

"Throw it again! Go on, throw it, throw it again! Again! Throw it again, go on....."
Dog with obsessive/compulsive disorder.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Scarey skullies!

So, I made one scarey Skully and my son took it as a present for his friend's birthday. So I made another skully and my daughter took it for herself. I have now made five more skullies so hands off, kids! To bag yourself a scarey skully got to or

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Inclusions in glass

What is an inclusion? Well it's anything that can be fused between two pieces of glass (but not glass itself).
What objects can be fused as an inclusion? Washers, razor blades, certain types of metal foils, copper wire, coins, leaves, clock parts......
What can't be fused as an inclusion? Paper, plastic, hair, fabric, string, wood, foodstuff.
Why can you fuse plant matter but not paper or fabric? Because they will all turn to ash in the intense heat of the kiln but certain plant matter will leave behind a skeleton in the shape of the inclusion - such as ivy leaves, ferns and heather.
Why has the glass cracked around the inclusion? This happens when the inclusion is too thick for the glass such as heavy coins and bulky washers.
I have fused metal foil in between my glass but it has turned black. It could be that the foil is too thin or that it isn't a fusible foil. for fusible gold, silver and copper foil coe 90 go to:
Copper sheet sometimes sheds small rusty or black residue between the glass. Clean the copper well with a silver cleaner and wash in hot soapy water before use.
Can all types of glass be fused with inclusions? Gosh, I don't know the answer to that one - I fuse inclusions (with the exception of the coe90 foils) between float glass coe 80 -82.
Fused glass sushi dishes with inclusions can be bought from and fused glass pendants from
These glass items have been designed and made by me (Glassprimitif). Please respect the copyright of this design.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Another beautiful gift from the Creative Glass Guild

Sign up for the CGGE Newsletter.
Sign up before October 30th and you'll be entered to win this beautiful nightlight kindly donated by GazedUponGlass. Drawing will be October 31st. By joining the CGGE newsletter mailing list you will receive updates on CGGE activities, including sales, promotions and coupons, as well as the latest information on our new articles and featured members. Just go to or view the complete website on

Thursday, 4 October 2007

The Best of Asianicandy

I have been exploring the boutique store as their oriental inspired items are just gorgeous (slipped in one of my sushi dishes here).
If anyone wants to buy me the blue kimono jacket please don't hesitate - I promise I won't be embarrassed. Awww, thank you so much.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Ancient Truths

Today we held a harp meditation workshop in the gallery where I work and I got to play the harp! It was so beautiful that I really want one now (if I had £2000 to spare). The workshop went very well and was enjoyed by all the participants. Our next workshops are Wednesdays10th and 17th October - and they are free.

Sunday, 30 September 2007

Yum Orange Sushi dish

Whoo-hoo! Asianicandy has one of my sushi dishes in her store
I'm very proud of this dish as it is vanilla glass with deep orange strips fused into a plaid design with green and yellow frit in each square. Check out for more sushi inspired items.