I took a few days off last week to camp with my family down at Caerfai Bay near St. Davids. It is an idyllic spot (apart from when gales rip through the campsite!) and it was lovely to be with my in-laws and nephews and niece and go to sleep under the stars and wake to red dawns.
Rachel and I have been working on some new ideas for a commission we are hoping to get. It is wonderful how we seem to synchronise our ideas and often arrive at similar solutions for things. Again, it is a treat to work with her.
On Thursday I took Rachel on a mystery tour to the studio of Sara Lloyd Morris in Martletwy. Sara and I have been working together for a while to design some pieces of jewellery made from fragments from the Conwy windows. I wanted us both to have something special to wear for the official opening, which is now taking place on 13th September. Rachel was delighted! Sara has made a fab job of realising our ideas and I look forward to wearing my pieces on the day. Infact I shall be showing them off at the Glasshionista event which is the finale to the Glass Biennale.
I am writing this on the train to Wolverhampton where I am going to attend a pâte de verre course with French artist, Antoine Leperlier, followed by a long weekend at the British Glass Biennale in Stourbridge. I can’t wait! Leperlier learned casting from his grandfather, François Décorchemont, a legendary pâte de verre artist, so even though there isn’t much time, I will at least soak up the experience and wait to see how it will manifest itself in my work.
As the course is only three and a half days I have spent the past week making waxes and moulds so that I will have something to get started with. I am also booked in to half a days glass blowing with Martin Andrews again I have spent some time preparing so as to make the most of the time. I have made some refractory moulds to blow into and some glass pieces to use as inclusions in the blowing process. This is only my second experience of glass blowing, so, I am, as ever, ambitious!!
As well as seeing some fabulous glass, I am looking forward to seeing some old and new friends this week, including Bill Swann, from North Wales. Bill and I initiated a glass/paint collaboration many years before I ever dared to touch glass myself, Christine Lababidi who was a fellow student at Liquid Glass on my first glass course, and the inimitable Carrie Fertig who will be performing her Torcher Tailor extravaganza (which involves flamworking a glass wedding dress directly onto a living bride!) live on Saturday night.
Thanks to the Arts Council of Wales for making this trip possible for me as part of a training bursary.