Sunday, 26 February 2012

Friday, 24 February 2012

My Poor Thumb!

Working with glass is very hard on my hands because the processes involve handling, cutting, grinding and washing glass, not to mention the exposure to harsh chemicals and sharp objects.

Last Sunday was particularly bad for my thumb which I managed to cut, embed a small piece of glass, burn on the iron and super glue to my forefinger! I suppose these would be classed as industrial injuries but, for me, this is just part of being a glass artist.  There are plenty of hazards with glass and it is wise to have a healthy respect for the materials. Acid etch paste is particularly toxic and powdered kiln wash should not be inhaled. Then there's the possibility of ground glass being  ingested and sheet glass severing arteries (!) but these are the worse case scenarios. 

Although there is only one person with access to my studio (me) I still keep a stock of plasters and some eye wash to hand. I always make it a policy to wear work boots, never bare feet, slippers or open toe sandals and only handle large sheets of glass wearing cotton gloves. But, even though I rigorously brush my work mat down after cutting glass, there are still occasional small shards that stick to my palms. The annoying thing about cutting myself is that I have to stop what I'm doing to dress the cut and clean up the blood but at least I can't damage my work.

I'll always remember what my quilting friends would say when I pricked my finger with a needle - "don't get blood on the quilt"! Very sympathetic....

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Getting Ready

I'm really busy fusing new glass at the moment in readiness for the fairs and events I will be attending in 2012.
I was lucky enough to be selected for this year's Maker's Fair at the Saltaire Arts Trail in May and I want to have a new range of glass ready. I have been trawling through my Image file of Sold items to gauge which designs have been most popular and I have resolved not to make any more experiments this year until I have built up my stock.  
Beach Huts
I've also bought some larger moulds so that I can make bigger dishes. As PVS Glass in Calverley has now closed they have been selling off the moulds and I bagged several bargains. 
Patchwork Quilt
Then there's my table display. My skills in interior design and product placement have always let me down in the past so I am planning a simple display that will, hopefully, show the glass off to its advantage - which means Less is More!

Cool Squares
It's been two years since I showed my glass at the Saltaire Maker's Fair so I need to research and revise my retail pricing. Fusing glass has become so expensive now that to manufacture glass dishes in the UK means a struggle between costs of raw materials and customer affordability. Having bought two sheets of clear 2mm Bullseye Glass this week, I sometimes think it might be cheaper to just emigrate to Portland, Oregon where it's manufactured.
Bright coasters
I've been reassessing my glass fish - which have always proved to be one of my best sellers - but I need to rethink the design. Back to the drawing board.