Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Greetings everyone, I have finally completed one of my busiest and most stressful years of my 28 year glass engraving career! It is evident by how quiet I have been on this blog, just managing to keep up with my Facebook pages, so apologies to those who are not on Facebook. I am still here :-)

OK so what on earth has happened since I last blogged....well my wee grandson turned 1! We were visiting my sons and my new grandson and all the family in New Zealand at this time last year, I get very sad when I think about it and so try not to too much.
I have had the usual incredible variety of commission subjects,I will show you just a few.
This is a macro photograph of the cross section through a dual tandem pipe weld of a 52" oil pipe. It would be instantly recognisable and very special to the recipient. It was not as straight forward as I had thought, but with some serious concentration I think I pulled it off as my client was delighted! Picture on the back completely drill engraved, and the lettering on the front and base front, sandblasted.
NOTE: The second picture is the actual photo of the pipe weld.

Some time back I engraved this countryside scene for a presentation. The Thick heavy Tudor Crystal is a wonderful canvas for this subject.

Often I am asked to copy a glass that is broken, usually from quite a while back, this is not always possible so I create my own version with the customers "ok." This was for the Chairman of the Prince's Trust.
It was time for the World Land Trust auction again, this time I donated this crystal block with a badger in his lair.
 I had a request for this set of whiskey glasses with a family crest, they went off to the States.

One of my customers asked fror a nick name to be engraved on a lovely cut crystal whisky glass. The name reminded me of glasses I did years ago in Africa, with a hole in them so they dribble. She laughed and asked if I could do just that, so I did. Aparently it went down a treat!!

Oh dear, the tears flowed, I did my last Darsham craft day, teaching glass engraving, I have had to cut down on a number of things I have done for years, the pressure of my work this year has been phenominal. It was a sad day for me. :-( I will create a blog page one day with all the photos I have taken over the years. I LOVE you all!!

Darsham village craft day.

Greek Wedding
This crystal set went off to Greece for a wedding present to the best man from the bride and groom. The scene is well known in the village where they were to be married.
I have been engraving perfumes again, this time for Liz Earle. 3 venues, John Lewis, Stratford, London, Liz Earle store in Duke of York Sq, Chelsea, London and then last weekend was Liz Earle store, Victoria Quarter, Leeds. They have one fragrance and it is stunning!!!!

This week, the 22nd and 23rd December, I will be engraving for BOND No:9  in Harrods, London.

I have done another little thing recently, rented a single shelf in the high street, in a cute shop called Coast and Country, Halesworth. It has given me the opportunity to have a presence in town, sort of an advertisement  and at the same time I can create little gift items that I have fun doing (like dribble glasses) which I don't make for my showroom as I don't have the same foot fall.

Well there are lots more photos but I can't share them yet for obvious reasons. I hope you all have a safe and loving Christmas. A big huge Thank You to all my customers for another excellent year!! Here's to 2012!

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.”

 Edith Lovejoy Pierce quotes

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Available at my stand at Cambridge Glass Fair tomorrow, I purchased them in France and have hand engraved them, the bottom two are engraved front and back.
(quick google translation of the note that came with them.....I cannot personally vouch for any of it but they are pretty!)
Rock Crystal
Composition: Silicon Dioxide
Color: from transparent to whiteHardness: 6-7
Location: Madagascar, Europe, Brazil
Therapeutic properties: Pierre of light, it helps a
find balance of body, and I'etre Pesprit.il
makes perceptive and intuitive person who wears .Il
prevents weight gain is a bridge between the material
and the spiritual, it helps a self-knowledge.
Associated signs: Aquarius, Capricorn, Pisces, Taurus,
Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo

Website: http://www. vertusdespierres. com
email: francois-gigoi@wanadoo.fr
Cristal de Roche

Composition: Dioxide de Silicium
Couleur: De transparent a blanc Durete: 6-7
Localisation: Madagascar,Europe,Bresil
Vertus therapeutiques: Pierre de la lumiere ,il aide a
retrouver l'equilibre du corps ,de I'etre et de Pesprit.il
rend clairvoyant et intuitif la personne qui le porte.Il
empeche le gain de poids,c'est un pont entre le materiel
et le spirituel,il aide a la connaissance de soi.
Signes associes: Verseau,Capricorne,Poissons,Taureau,

 Site internet: http://www. vertusdespierres. com
Mail: francois-gigoi@wanadoo.fr

Friday, 23 September 2011

Gosh! Work load has meant I have been quiet for ages and I come back to a whole new look Blogger setup!!!

I have been watching the news regarding the dismal state of the economy just about everywhere and yet thankfully I remain as busy as ever, and at the moment frantically so as I also have the Cambridge Glass Fair this coming Sunday, the 25th September, after which I hope to calm down to a blur (a "bur blur" as one of the members of the Glass Engraving Club pointed out!!). I have been creating some rather different work, it is Me doing what I feel like doing and really really enjoying the short time I allocate myself in which to do it. I have no doubt it is not everyone's cup of tea, it is quite contemporary, but neither are my pretty flowers or meandering fish with a more realistic look what everyone fancies.  This piece is "Ice Mother" lead crystal, sandblasted and hand engraved.

I have also been doing a bit of perfume engraving again with a few more lined up before Christmas,(details to follow). The picture shows me engraving for Acqua di Parma Harrods a couple of weeks ago.

Then whilst I scrub up  ok for a grandma (so I'm told) but this job is certainly not generally glamorous! Below I am engraving and polishing the "Tree of Life 2",  wet glass dust / wet pumice and cerium oxide "juice" ......

Engraving the "Tree of Life 2" crystal overlay disc.It has two views, not a front or back. It changes dramatically with lighting.

Thoroughly enjoying my exploration of the more creative glass work I watched this piece ("Thought Process") grow with no plans at all, I decided sometimes a work of art creates itself.  And here are a couple more pieces for Cambridge Glass Fair on Sunday.

Then  there have been a few interesting commissions, too many to mention them all and some have not been presented yet,  I was asked to find and engrave an old lift!  Well here's what I did.......

Next blog will have a couple more bizarre images, pretty technical and not your every day commission, but fascinating.

Here was another challenging request, Dartington Champagne flutes with willow trees on the back and draping round the front with a couple of birds. I intended the bubbles of the champers to compliment the dangling leaves of the willow.

Anniversary celebrations for a lovely couple who have a turkey farm nearby. Then again there was the annual Rumburgh Flower and Produce show for which I donated this main trophy and a miniature to match. The base was made by a local chap and that will have some small plaques added with each winners name.
 And there have been a run of weddings of course.....very romantic!

So lastly please don't forget if you are a fan of glass, old and new, do visit the Cambridge Glass Fair this weekend!!!! It is a marvelous collectors fair and you will not be disappointed. You will find me on stand C5 in the Contemporary Hall, as you come in, to the left

PS: Next Saturday I will be demonstrating glass engraving in the Halesworth Bookshop celebrating my feature in the Book of Forgotten Crafts, which will be on sale there. A wonderful Christmas present!

Remember: Every thought we think is creating our future. Louise L. Hay

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

London Riots.....oh dear....

It is really sad, when times are so hard, to see such behaviour. Kids without a conscience or any common sense. My heart goes out to those who have lost so much.
Here are some important words to ponder over a cuppa.

I am very busy with all sorts of engraving at the moment and will catch up shortly. We have been off line at home (where I do a lot of my blogging) for some time so I have been quiet. I hope that this changes shortly.

Please stay safe everyone. Live in Love.

Stay in and Drink TEA

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Framed canvas prints of engraved glass

....I forgot to mention in the previous blog, I have uploaded a few pictures to Easyart, a website where you can order professionally framed canvas prints, your own choice of size colour mounts/frames etc. It is a new idea I had and so I am giving it a go.
Here are some example with my choice of frame:

It is a small collection of photographs (so far) of my work which for the first time is extending the life of this medium by hanging it on walls. Engraved glass has many moods and characteristics depending on the light and situation, often the best is not seen by the viewer. A photograph taken in an ideal situation records the detail of engraving and the magical effects with an intimate sense of closeness, often much larger than life.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Where is summer??...anyway it is wedding season

I can never believe how quickly a month goes by! I will be 50 next year and I thought that was aeons away!!! It seems it is racing towards me at full speed, I think I will blink and be telling you I am almost 60....in fact I blinked and it is already almost 10 years since I came to my roots here in UK from Zimbabwe!!

Well business is pretty steady I am happy to say, always a good variety of things to do. Here are a couple of photies as usual. Naturally I have been on the golf course, this photo was taken at this years Air Ambulance charity day, a fantastic day it was and a very large sum of money was raised. I took several photos on my little camera, of the prize table, then proceeded to delete them all thinking I had downloaded them......not like me.A dear little partridge for a shooting presentation.

It has been wedding season of course and I have had a number of weddings and anniversaries to engrave for. I love this swirly theme, it is very tricky to do but worth the effort, I absolutely love working the whole glass together!

I have had a huge pile of papers, magazines etc etc getting very dusty on shelves, waiting for me to make some kind of record. I have never really done this and always kick myself when I see other artists and engravers listing their editorials, it is a great thing and I need to share them with you. For the moment I have made up 2 collages.

The oldest one I have with me is from Zimbabwe, It is Air Zimbabwe's SKYHOST in flight magazine, 1996, if I remember correctly it was when Air Zimbabwe had only just started flying overseas. They had also asked me to paint 2 oil paintings of Victoria Falls, a sunset scene and a moonlight one to be used for the 2 main menus. Sadly I don't have copies of those.

Busy engraving the mirrors for the "Aviators Arms" in the Sheraton Hotel, Harare.

Lastly I have once again been asked to engraved a scene of popular Southwold, our lovely seaside town. This is a Christening present.
Well I wonder what Google+ is all about. I do try and keep up with it all, lets see what happens there. Quite exciting really.

Sending everyone a big hug, we all need hugs! There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Busy June for Glass Engraving, Back from holiday and on a diet!

Goodness knows why the waiter decided I needed a large one??!

Well I am back from the French Riviera, (sound so snooty but it is not I can assure you, it can be done very reasonably) , what a lovely relaxing time we had. Weather was gorgeous despite some scary forecasts, but any heavy rain was short lived. I could live there tomorrow! So I have lots of work on the go , hit the ground running as it were. Amongst some smaller items to engrave I have the annual East Anglian Air Ambulance golf day which is always a stunner, I always play in it too and just make it as the grass pollen season it just about finished and my eyes struggle a bit out there...best I keep my ball OUT of the long grass then hey!!
It is amazing that the government does not aid air ambulances and they run on donation only, abysmal...shame on them!

So before I left for France, of course I had the Spexhall golf prize table to do (see last blog entry) and here are a couple of pics of me preparing the glass for sandblasting.

A smile for the camera !!...it is better to watch what you are doing though :-) The mask which I have made must stick down along a parallel line I have already marked on the glass and must be central too! I use magnification which makes life much easier, nothing at all to do with being a grandma now!! (Mason has just started crawling BTW)

Practically moments before I left for holiday I had an urgent request from a regular customer of mine in Canada, can I engrave and send 6 drinks coasters, which had only a few days to get there before her dad's birthday, of his wine label, the panic was on but all completed and was sent on time and arrived JUST in time, all's well.Whew!...but I do love the satisfaction of a plan coming together.

Of course as I mentioned last month, I was about to head off to Harrods for a stint with Givenchy, engraving for the launch of their new perfume Eaudemoiselle , that was very successful and of course great fun. From the feedback I have received it was a hit with the customers, I know it was crazy busy from start to finish. The engraving was by hand on a small metal medallions which hung around the perfume bottle, so gorgeous! I was engraving initials only. We were situated in the front of the main "Black (perfume) Hall" in a spectacularly elegant looking stand!
The challenge with these sessions is of course being able to design a monogram in seconds by hand and engrave it quickly and neatly with people watching, often the customer waiting to get to his expired parking.....with people wanting to talk to you and whilst wearing the very unflattering headband magnifiers and trying to look perfectly gorgeous and un flustered throughout, just like all the beautifully groomed staff there. Meanwhile you feel like both your eyes are in the same socket and you think your face looks like a fright, but it doesn't really. With train and underground there is 6 hours of travelling with the 8 hours of engraving in the middle. I am always like a complete zombie when I get home and that was a day before we left for the airport hotel before flying on holiday the day after. I would like to say a big thank you to dear Raphaelle and all the Givenchy staff who were amazing and for this opportunity and of course Harrods once again for just being fantastic as usual!

OK so I am back in the land of engraving now and amusingly (not!) my first day back on Wednesday, I walked it and turned on my PC which just looked at me blankly.....nothing doing! My old UPS had decided to stop working, "drat" said I and had to unplug the mixture of wires and cables and find the cables that go into a normal plug...from the cupboard full of arbitrary cables we all have, where they seem to reproduce themselves and goodness only know where they all belong, but I seem to have what looks like a plague of snakes and they are all tangled???
I managed to find what I wanted and had to immediately order (more expenditure) a new UPS which amazingly arrived the next morningThe new UPS

....and I now have it all plugged in again. All for that 5 minute grace period where you can save and shut down at a safe pace without losing any work, during a power cut...yes we do get them from time to time and it IS worth it! I will give this place a plug at the end of the page because they are great.

To end I would like to mention that an old friend of mine has just this week lost her battle against breast cancer. It has been a very sad time, sad sad, just so sad. I had not seen her for years, we are both from Zimbabwe. We were planning to meet up somewhere after this last treatment, she lived quite far away, so now we never will. It is hard to realise when you are in the thick of things, work mainly, wrapped up in our own lives, that there are some things that need our attention, some people that need to be seen, visited, shown how much you care. I needed to see Karen, I really did. RIP my friend and God Bless her dear hubby and daughter.