Sunday, 13 July 2014

A bit of everything as usual, classical engraving, technical engraving and a bit of golf...

Engraving in London at the Most Imaginative Bartender Award - Bombay Sapphire 2014

Hello everyone, I hope that this blog entry finds you fit and well. This year is flying by and once again it has been far too long since I last updated it. So much is happening both in my glass engraving world and in my golf world. In fact you can blame my golf for the lack of blog entries and from December this year it will be even harder to keep up as I take on the Captaincy at Halesworth Golf Club. I have been playing much more of the game this year both through the winter (which I usually try and avoid) and the beginning of summer (which is normally put on hold because of the grass pollen) ...I am tackling it with one anti histamine tablet at night.  I have also dramatically changed my diet / way of eating (Paleo) and I wonder if this may be also never know.

I will simply add a small selection of photos as usual, which are dated after my last blog entry...which was 11th January??!! What??!! That can't be...but it is!
Tudor Crystal honey pot - hand engraved all round

I was visiting a friend who owns a few of my works and decided to take some photos of a couple of them in situ, on the spot where they live, in a lovely well lit cabinet. It was wonderful revisiting them, my Portland Vase study, above, and Triumph of Galatea (yes the painting), below
 Family crests are very popular and I engraved this one under a crystal dome paperweight. The engraving is only about 5cm wide but the dome magnifies it hugely. Super effect.

 I have another very dear client/collector, who has many of my works and she commissioned this hand blown crystal bowl with a pond life scene.
 These were rather pretty, and show how the base is a super canvas for lettering so leaving the decoration uninterrupted on the bowl of the glass.
 This was an interesting commission, I had never heard of Northern Soul Dancing before and coincidentally it had just that week been featured on the Television. I believe this was a special gift for a 50th birthday. Heavy Tudor crystal bowl, hand engraving and sandblasting.

 Below you can see how tricky artwork can be, I took a photo of this clients ring and created the artwork for this hand engraved tankard from that. Amazing tiny detail in the original metal engraving. Yes I did ask if this was a seal ring and if my engraving should be the other way round, but the decision was that I keep it the same way as the ring.
 Sometimes simple lettering can look amazing around a vessel. This is more expensive of course, but such a lovely effect. Lovely goblets for a wedding couple.
 I received a delightful little rough sketch by email, very pixilated when enlarged and very unclear details, but after a few questions about the details I was able to create an engraving for this lady's daughter. I had great fun with it and it will mean so much more to the daughter I am sure.
 All too often I am asked if I can "rub out" an engraving that someone else has completed. Here was a batch of the most beautiful paperweights, quite large, which had been sandblasted with lettering that was not suitable for the event they were intended for. They were destined for the bin and so I suggested as "rubbing out" was not an option, that I engrave a random bit of contemporary art over each one for a very low price. Every one of the 23 pieces has a unique little bit of art that is signed and dated...and so they live on....
And then a simple sandblasted message on a lovely cut crystal vase .....
 And here is a subject I had not engraved before over my 31 years of engraving glass, I rather like the subject - Egyptian Scarab on hand blown crystal perfume bottle.
 It was soon  time for the East Anglian Air Ambulance Golf Day at Halesworth Golf Club, which I have played in for 10 years now. A fantastic day which this year raised £12000.00. I always donate the longest drive prizes and this year I hand engraved a large wine goblet with a golfer for the men and a lovely wine glass with Clematis and a bee.

The photographer was snapping away as usual, I always seem to send it into the right hand bunker when he takes the photo here on the 11th tee. 
Below is a gorgeous crystal decanter for a college presentation, sandblasted in 2 tones.

 This was recently presented to Lee Westwood as he opened the new tunnel under the road between holes at Lindrick Golf Club. I took one look at the photo and saw "hundreds" of windows!!! I decided it had to be sandblasted so went about creating the artwork in photo-shop to create the mask . After it is sandblasted I then go in with my drill and add shading and highlights and other details. The building is at the back and the lettering at the front.

 This year's Spexhall Football Club Golf day was as fantastic as ever and I am always delighted to be asked to engrave all the main prizes. The table just sparkled and looked amazing!

 I have had some tricky subjects to tackle in the past and this one was definitely one of them. It is the Da Vinci Robot, for minimal invasive surgery, stands 6ft tall and weighs 800 kg!! It is the combo of needles and spider look about it that gave me the heebie geebies but is is a wonderful piece of equipment...I believe...I'll take their word for it...eeek!

Another honey pot, a very popular subject. This time I had it especially hand blown by my "fav" glass blower Stephen Bradley who decided to add his special touch of colour, wow, it was just beautiful!! Lovely crystal which was a delight to engrave. My client was in USA and was thrilled with it. I ordered 2 so I still have the other blank one in my showroom if anyone fancies ...

 It has 3 bees around the pot.

Well for the time being that is it. I have a few biggies on the go, for example a set of 4 glass panels for a cabinet in a 132 year old yacht! Also a very important presentation in Hong Kong and a few engraving events in London lined up for gin, whisky and perfume.

I am often playing golf at this time of year and I compensate by working Saturdays and Sundays. It is important to phone and make an appointment if you wish to come and see me. My phone has an answer machine as I will get back to you. Remember to speak very clearly please as I have had a few messages lately which are not clear, spoken very fast, and I have not been able to hear the number no matter how often I listen to it.

My emails are and The both work but just occasionally one bounces back so it is worth sending to both and of you don't hear back from me just check to make sure I have received it.

Cheers everyone and take care. Remember you only live once, so be happy!!! ♥

Saturday, 11 January 2014

A belated Happy New Year to everyone. I have quite a number of photos and bits of news to share, much of which is already on Facebook, but not all of you are on Facebook, so I apologise for the delay in blogging about it all. It appears that the last time I posted a blog was around 6 months ago! For goodness sake where on earth did the year go?  Anyhow, I have skidded into 2014 a bit bedraggled after a very hectic last few months. I had so much work that I really only had Christmas day and New years day off, but that is not counting my golf days! 
 I am delighted to be in my second consecutive year as Ladies' Vice Captain of Halesworth Golf Club. I am thoroughly enjoying it all, having been involved in golf committees for many years in Harare, Zimbabwe, it is wonderful to once again to be in the thick of golf politics again.
 One of my favourite wins last year was The Granny Trophy, for the second time. Winning it for my grandson Mason who is 3. I had 43 points finishing with an eagle on the 412 yard par 5 18th and shot back down to my 16 handicap.

Here are a few of the commissions I have had in the last few months:

 Tudor Crystal honeypot:

2  Large Tudor Crystal bowls for wedding gifts:
 I am re-visiting this decanter, I still have it in my gallery. The price I have on it is only £350.00 an absolute "steal" ! It is Krosno Asquith design glass decanter, chunky and heavy with my hand engraved grape vines all around and sandblasted lettering, a quote from Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. It oozes romance! "A book of verses underneath the bough, a jug of wine, a loaf of bread and thou" 
 I mentioned a while back a lovely editorial I had in the Yachting Matters and The Yacht Owner magazines, courtesy of Colin Squire, the Editor. Well this is a little thank-you gift I gave to him. The yacht I engraved was from one of his own photographs.
 I get a lot of requests for glasses to go in the yachts and for this I create a basic drawing of the yacht and simply sandblast them, this means that I can engrave as many as the client would like on glasses, decanters, etc, simple and affordable.
 This was a different sort of commission, obviously a very treasured member of staff.
I had this wonderful commission to do on a gorgeous thick hand blown lead crystal bowl I had made by Steve Bradley of Bradley Crystal. He made 3 for me and I have sold them all. (Well one remains for me to engrave for a client who is waiting patiently!) The one below was requested by a glass collector for his niece and one of my favourite subjects! Daisies and Dog Roses.
 Then a fun commission... well my clients put their thinking caps on and come up with these ideas so I don't have to. It was not as straight forward as it looks....!! (" Dartington Crystal champagne flutes)
 An urgent one...I get loads of these, in fact I would say most of my orders are urgent, it is in the nature of the business!...and off it flew to Kuala Lumpur.
 I engrave a lot for military presentations and this was another one. An interesting choice of vessel but a perfect canvas for the subject.
 Here are a few more commissions....

 Another Tudor Crystal bowl commission, this is a house in France and the mountains and scenery are engraved on the other side in reverse so they are viewed correctly as the background .
 under the middle of the base of the above bowl was the family crest. It is one I have engraved before for this family.
This image views the engraving through about 5cm of lead crystal including some bubbles and flaws from the blowing process.
 This lady loves giraffes
 This is something different...I picked it up at an antique fair. a beautiful lamp shade for the ceiling, I am looking forward to it hanging up.....

 I got a bee in my bonnet and decided I want to create mini masterpieces with the loads of lead crystal pieces I have in my I decided to create a new brand, a new range of contemporary crystal jewellery. I love the look and I use mainly leather thong findings. Each piece is hand carved and engraved and sometimes also sandblasted and each is signed and number and is completely unique! At the moment I have a selection on exhibition at Craftco in Southwold.
Many have colour overlay which I carve through. They are all English hand blown lead crystal.
 I have so far got a Facebook page, am slowly building a website....slowly....

 I was delighted to have had some African animals to engrave at the end of last year. One was for a client I had in Zimbabwe years ago, another for a Zimbabwean friend also living here now. The ones below are Dartington Crystal hiball glasses.

Yet another large Tudor Crystal bowl, this one had a lot of details of the family home and surrounding wild and domestic life.
I mentioned earlier engraving "other bottles" well here I am in Selfridges engraving for Bombay Sapphire. Great fun indeed and it looks like I will be there again nearer Valentines day.
 Here is a Dartington Crystal beer tankard with a popular local scene....
...and a pair of loving decanters with another popular commissioned scene engraved all around the 2 vessels.
 A rather technical one here, on its own you may wonder what it I included the picture.

 This was simply a large plaque for the Masons to commemorate a special event.

 A pet horse portrait on a crystal decanter....

 And then I was at Harrods once again, at the peak of the Christmas rush, the 4 days before Christmas engraving for Christian Dior in the Colour Room. I love the buzz, the aromas, the sounds....a wonderful end to a very busy year...despite getting to Liverpool Street Station on the afternoon of Christmas Eve to find my train home had been cancelled to to the bad weather.....I managed to jump on one which took me as far as Ipswich where I was very kindly collected by my partner and taken home for Christmas!....I was back in the workshop on Boxing day though, to finish another 2 orders !!
Here I am with Joe and Petr, two of the members of Dior staff I had the pleasure of working with, ensuring all went smoothly.

 It looks like I have some more dates lined up for Dior as well this year....
And I leave you with a bit of London weather at Christmas. 
It is hard to believe it is a year since we were in Auckland visiting my sons and grandson and everyone there. I miss them terribly, especially at this time of year, but being so busy had helped keep my thoughts occupied elsewhere. Thank goodness  for Skype and modern technology. I am so grateful for living right in these exciting techno times!!
Have a great 2014 everyone, health, freedom, love and happiness!!!