Well it is now the 9th February, 11.30am and I am in my busy little office/showroom/gallery/workshop and it is bitterly cold, (old building with no central heating and silly old fashioned single pane windows...) and I have my 2 favourite heaters formed into a little cosy corner next to me. So I say roll on summer!!!! ...well it may be chilly in here but still looks bright and shiny...
I am uploading a very quick video from my ipod...goodness knows what it will be like or where it will be on the page, just to show you it is shiny in here. ( it is at the very bottom of this post!)
I had a lovely commission (as they all are) before Christmas, for a 40th birthday from husband to wife. My favourite Tudor Crystal Bowl, so heavy I cannot pick it up with one hand. Deliciously soft to work on. The subjects that I had to hang together were very varied to say the least, but each and every tiny piece is truely meaningful to the lady concerned and the family. Varied subjects = varied styles we decided.... and they seemed to work well together.
The Chinese year each family member was born in, for example, the calligraphy style outline of a traditional cartoon style image worked best. One of the dogs had died years before so the photos available had to do, this is often the case, remembering an old friend when no decent photos can be taken for the engraving.
The flowers, the leaves, the church, the symbols, all very relevant.
This commission took weeks of preparation and design. It was a huge thrill to see the finished piece.
Last year I was featured in 2 new publications, "Book of Forgotten Crafts" and then "Lettering - a reference manual of techniques" I have since received commission from the exposure and below is one of them, a lovely gentleman whose son lives in USA and has this wee cottage in the middle of a forest. They were coming to visit and he wanted a fitting gift. Having seen the feature in The Book of Forgotten Crafts, he gave me a ring and this was the result. He does some beautiful woodwork and had created a carved wooden sign "Big Paw" for the couple the artwork of which I copied onto the front of the glass. The house is at the back.
Well different likes for different tastes.....I suppose he is beautiful to someone....it's a bat, in case you were wondering.
However this little bunny is easier to cuddle at least.
Then it was time for the annual Guy's and St Thomas' Trust Awards again, I engrave the monthly awards and then the annuals, this was my third year and look who was there to present one of them.... Barbara Windsor! The gentleman receiving the award is Michael Killick .
In case you are going ..."what the...?" at the design, it is taken from the wonderful statue outside the hospital.
This next item is something that I have engraved from the heart, a subject familiar with many of my friends, the Flame Lily, the national flower of Rhodesia and then Zimbabwe, where I was born. This is a Dartington Crystal claret jug which I have hand engraved as a gift for a very special couple in Auckland New Zealand. I can't tell you what it was like waiting to hear it had arrived safely...thankfully it did.
Last week was the birthday of Princess Charlene of Monaco, wife of Prince Albert. I was honoured to be commissioned this gift for her, a candle holder, also featuring an African flower , the Cosmos, as that is where she is from. It is the second piece of engraved piece of crystal she has of mine, as do the other royal princesses too. I hope to add a new page to my website soon showing some of the more VIP commissions I have been lucky enough to have had.
And so my latest work is this fella.....on a Dartington Crystal Dimple Double old fashioned whisky.
This Saturday 11th Feb, I will be engraving exclusively for Acqua di Parma in Harrods from 12noon to 6pm.
Then next is Cambridge Glass Fair on Sunday 26th Feb. www.cambridgeglassfair.com
And finally ...some more awards......These get a big thumbs up from me! STOP SMOKING, it is just a completely daft thing to do if you love and appreciate yourself and your body, and it stinks too!! LOVE your body because inside of it is every age of you, love from me x
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