Saturday, 15 June 2013

A variety of engraved glass projects....

It is now the middle of June!! I still feel chilly and I wonder if I will warm up at all this year!!!  At least I have been busy, you can tell by my lack of blog posts! (although I do keep my Facebook page fairly up to date) Here are a selection of engravings I have completed (and one not quite...)


The first item I will mention is the Button Project that has just opened in Macclesfield. For this project I hand carved out a 3cm piece of crystal with a thin green overlay and hand engraved a simple oak design, drilling 2 little holes in the middle as this has to be a functional button. This is completely unique and I hope that if someone buys it that they sew it onto a garment. It looks good with a dark background but white will show the subtle green. I would love to see where it ends up. I suppose it could also be put in a little box frame to hang on a wall. Oh the fun one could have.
There are a large number of buttons on display and they are all for sale, I think they are about £50 each.
For more informations please visit their page, I will add the link at the end of this page.

I was asked to engrave a cat, so my instructions to the client was to please take some good photos, level with the cat so it is not foreshortened in the picture. Well a dog is easier to photograph but out of a large number of images I chose this one .I hand engraved it onto a Dartington Crystal candleholder.

 The above image shows a little church which I engraved underneath a paperweight and around the edge, I converted the image in CorelDraw and Photoshop and then sandblasted it to keep it simple and bold.
 I had a lovely student to teach, DR. Keith Charlton. My teaching is on a Saturday only, from 9 - 5 with lunch inbetween. It is a one to one basis and I will gear the lesson according to your needs. Please contact me for further information.
 As usual there are many awards and presentations being commissioned and these crystal blocks are lovely for this purpose.
 Do you remember my Ice Cave II ? Well the person who bought it (as a special gift)  requested the recipients initials and date of birth to be engraved underneath it in the form of jewellery hallmarks , what a cool idea!!  I blasted them very deeply.

 I had a lovely request for a crystal upright plaque to be engraved for someone's Mum. This was to sit on top of an organ which had been donated to a church in her name. A considerable amount of lettering in the front and 3 poppies at the back.

 The above was a heavy cut crystal vase for a presentation, I combined sandblasting with hand engraving for this, I love this combination of techniques.

 I hand engraved this optical crystal block with 2 boxing hares (they reflect in the block) to go into an Easter exhibition, I made a little YouTube video of the engraving of this piece which can be seen here. It did not sell at the exhibition and is still available so let me know if you are interested. It is £390.00 including postage (UK) I will quote on postage outside of UK.
 The above is a gorgeous crystal jug hand blown by the Georgian Glassmakers. It was a commission from one of my regular clients. the rustic grapes (I love this subject you may have noticed)...are hand engraved (drill) all around the body. Link for the makers at the end of this page.

Every year I have several golf trophies and prizes to engrave and this was the Spexhall Huntsman and Hounds Football Club Golf Day, held as always at Halesworth Golf Club where I play, I can recommend it for all round excellence ! I worked a lot over the weekend on this job and drank a lot of coffee and tea!! I am leaning on my sandblasting cabinet in the picture above.

 (below) I had a client bring a delightful and very heavy crystal bowl, very old too. It was a family heirloom and destined to be a birthday gift for a family member. The lady wanted it engraved with lettering all round the rim, a combination of English, Greek, Spanish and Russian! Under the base, a family crest and some more lettering.
 The bowl was badly marked, looked like a patch of acid in one area too and so I managed to very successfully polish that out before engraving. A lovely bowl to engrave, the quality was amazing.
 Another intriguing little commission was this one, (above) the client had a very old very based glass that belonged to a long lost relative of his mother who used to drink out of it. It had broken 2 years before and he rescued the remains and after all that time managed to find someone (?) to grind and polish the base into a delightful little paperweight and then he ask me to engrave a ring of roses. She knew nothing of this plan and I would have loved to have seen her reaction.
....and then I was commissioned to engrave 2 little piggies on lead crystal whisky glasses....I enjoyed that!! Working like a little factory, I part engraved each one in stages to try and match them well. Hand engraving is like painting, you cannot make them identical, each is completely unique despite using the same artwork, each drill mark is as a brush stroke.

I spent a few days hand engraving a Selfridges recently, for Acqua di Parma, gorgeous fragrances!

 I had a commission to engrave a happy little scene of 2 squirrels on a crystal block. It started with a scrappy sketch......

Then I hand engraved it on every facet. On 2 of the facets I sandblasted a personal message from the client for the recipient.

I am busy finishing (hopefully this weekend...) this gorgeous little crystal jug. (below) It is a Wedgwood Crystal with the old Portland Vase hallmark of Wedgwood underneath which I had bought in perfect condition for a fair ages ago and had on display waiting for inspiration. It is a commission for a regular client of mine who loved the shape. The crystal is utterly gorgeous to engrave, there is nothing like Lead Crystal for a beautiful clean cut!!
 I was extremely flattered to have been featured in the latest copies of Yachting Matters and The Yacht Owner magazines. I am extremely grateful to Colin Squire the editor and publisher.
 You can see the magazine contents including this feature on pages 177/8/9.

Thank you for visiting my blog, I hope that I can catch up news sooner next time otherwise there is too much to include! Please "Like" my Facebook page , if you can, for more regular updates. I know that many of you are not on Facebook which is why I have this blog.

Enjoy the sunshine!!


The Button Project:
Georgian Glassmakers

Saturday, 2 March 2013

A Variety of glass engraving commissions!...and once again, perfume engraving in Selfridges, London

Canal boat scene on 6mm laminate glass 540mm x 840mm for an internal window. (see below)

 Thank goodness it is March, at least it should not be too long before we all start feeling a bit warmer. My fingers are quite numb as I am typing and I have an overwhelming need to eat??! Gym 2-3 times a week helps a little but not enough to compensate. I am not playing enough golf to burn it off either  as it is still too cold. Golf days for me have been 10 holes followed by a good ol' natter over lunch with the ladies. I am much more involved now as I have launched myself into the role of Ladies Vice Captain (Halesworth Golf). I am organising the mixed matches and we have our first match near the end of this month. I am really looking forward to normal golf and weather again.

The first glass engraving commission  I am sharing this month is this lovely crystal vase which is for a special anniversary, the images are unusual, but that is the nature of my business, everyone is different and isn't it wonderful to be able to create something that is so unique and personal, meaning so much to just themselves.
The lettering was sandblasted and the rest was hand engraved with a drill.
 Then I had to rather urgently engrave 30 enormous wine glasses!!

In the sandblasting cabinet
 You can see how much was involved with each one, the logo was on 2 sides of the glass.
Here I am busy sandblasting them.

 I believe they were to be centrepieces on table at a Valentine's Day event in London.

Presently I have 4 pieces in the World Land Trust "Birds and Bees" exhibition in Halesworth (link at the end of page)
One of the pieces is this Tudor Crystal honey pot. It is thick and heavy lead crystal, so beautiful to engrave. I simply engraved 3 honey bees around it.

Then it was time to start a commission that I received at the end of last year. An internal window for a private home.

 The image was supplied by the client and I blew it up to size, enhanced it and added features for the composition.
 I used 3 major glass engraving techniques, the first being acid etching. After preparing the background with a special resist, I then painted on the acid. The mask and glasses help protect from the fumes being produced.

 Then I began hand engraving with my heavy duty flexible drive drill and a large stone bur for bright effects.

The dust extractor can be seen on the right of the picture, this is sucking up the dust being produced. I also used a micromotor with smaller stone burs for smaller details.

  The third technique used was sandblasting, this produced some soft watery tones which could then be further worked on with the drill.
The boat's name is indistinct so does not appear back to front when viewed from the other side. This window will be viewed from either side within the house.
It will appear simply in mirror image whichever way you look at it. The engraved side will appear matt and the other side will have a smooth finish (being the unengraved side)

An update on the glass engraving lessons: I am STILL waiting to hear from the village hall about the updated price.

On the 7th, 8th and 9th March I will be in Selfridges, London, engraving perfume bottles for Acqua di Parma. Of course it is the lead up to Mother's day. I am normally in Harrods so this will be a new experience!

Here is the link for the World Land Trust exhibition:
Featured article:

Remember - "Enjoy yourself - it is later than you think"

 CLICK HERE to go to my main website Lesley Pyke Limited - Glass Engraving

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Glass engraving lessons for beginners, learn to make your own gifts.

This is call for those interested in learning how to engrave glass "from scratch" .

Glass is a wonderful medium and the craft is very theraputic!
Many of my students in the images below (taken at the Darsham craft days) had never scratched a glass in their life before!

In these days of high costs of living, this craft opens a whole new meaning to the word "gift" it will no longer be a 4 letter word, but one that excites and inspires you.

I am building a list of names of interested people, aged 15 - 100 (or over if you can) !

I will advise details of where, when and costs etc at a later stage.

Glass engraving is the art of scratching the surface of the glass so that it captures the light.  Therefore if you do it in an orderly fashion, you can create a beautiful and fascinating image.

I have taught glass engraving for many years, mainly one to one specialised lessons. I also taught for several years at the Darsham craft days, which I enjoyed beyond words!

Click on image for a larger picture.

The location will be in Suffolk, UK, near Halesworth IP19.

All I need is an email from you to say you are interested and when would your most convenient time be:

State in the subject line "GLASS ENGRAVING LESSONS"

You will be under no obligation whatsoever, to attend. I will simply add you to a mailing list of those interested.

Should this be worthwhile, I may in future extend lessons to more advanced engraving using drills. Following that can come variety workshop days and exhibitions!

The beginner classes will be using a simple hand held diamond tool which will be included in the costs along with the glassware.

Let's get scratching!!!!!!!!!

CLICK HERE to go to my main website Lesley Pyke Limited - Glass Engraving

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

All new year, bright and sparkly!! New glass engraving video.

 Hi everyone, I hope that all those in UK have not been too adversly affected by all this snow! It is a bit of a novelty here in Suffolk, for me anyway, luckily just enough for fun and not major disruption as I have only 5 minutes of driving to get to work! I did have one day of digging my car out and waiting for the farm digger to clear a roadway off the farm, but that was sorted soon enough.

The last couple of months last year were pretty hectic with work, to say the least. For me it is a time of many awards and presentations as well as Christmas gifts large and small. Many I had no time to photograph.

I did take a few though and I have added them below. The Guys Hospital Trust awards took place as normal, I have completed their awards for a number of years now, smaller monthly Care awards as well as the major annual awards. This year, being the Olympics, they had run an extra group of awards and I had to create some engraving with quite tricky hand painted colour infill. The colours blended with a rainbow effect for the logo and then I had Gold Silver and Bronze to include. I mixed my own bronze colour by adding a little of the black paint to a deeper gold paint. I sandblasted deeply first to contain the paint. These paints are NOT permanent and would not be suitable for anything which would be washed regularly.

These are rather lovely heavy lead crystal whisky decanters, they make excellent presentations. They are £47.36 before engraving.

An interesting subject to engrave, a daddy-long-legs, but with maximum accruacy as it was for a serious bug expert, to put it lightly! This is an optical crystal cube.
On several occasions I have been asked to re-create a major award, where the original is handed back and the winner gets a small token as a reminder, or when the same piece is awarded to two people to share. Once I engraved large crystal bowl for a winner of the Chelsea Flower Show, this one was for The Francis Elkin Award. The glass is a piece I had in my showroom for some time, a spectacular large hand blown and very old trophy shape vessel with the most beautiful sounding ring, it even rang when I sneezed on one occasion!!!  I had been looking at it an waiting to be inspired with a masterpiece, but had not come up with an idea before my dear friend spotted it and decided it would be perfect for what they wanted!!! I had bought  it years ago off a deceased estate of an engraver (who no doubt had also been looking at it and waiting for something special to engrave)
I did not really want to part with it yet but I had no choice but to give in, it was indeed perfect for the job, it was its destiny if you like. I wonder if magnificent glass objects have a special soul?

I love engraving the subject of trees, why I don't know, so I was delighted when I was asked to engrave these for a gentleman in the UK by his daughter who lived overseas. Quite special.

I was asked by a returning customer, to engrave another special gift for her husband.  They have some meaningful memories regarding the subject and it was well received according to a lovely email I got from the recipient which brought tears to my eyes! What a sop I can be sometimes! This is a stunning heavy Atlantis Crystal decanter.

I had this gentleman ask if I could copy this old engraving. It had been broken whilst being framed. I had not heard of the engraver and aparently it was pretty old. It appeared to have been engraved with a diamond point, very neatly, so I engraved it in a similar style but with my drill, copying it as acurately as I could. The glass used was non reflective 3mm glass. An interesting exercise. I signed it with both my name and the original name.
Sometimes a simple monogram on a beautiful delicate Dartington Crystal port glass is just the job!!

These are great little glasses which I have in stock, the Glencairn Glass. I have my Scotch out of one at home, especially shaped for the nose.

Then it was December and we were OFF!!! 5 weeks holiday in New Zealand, to spend valuable quality time with my 2 sons, my grandson, friends, sunshine, golf,....and more golf!

....oh boy, then back with an icy bump!
My golf experince will be rather different from now (once I can get back onto the course) as I am now very proud and delighted to be the Lady Vice-Captain of Halesworth Golf Club
(18th white...I mean green...pictured below).
  My morning dog walks of late are pretty spectacular!
....and pretty chilly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

...anyway, then I decided to do a quick new video whilst things were not too busy yet, I have been thinking of this theme for some time. I am FAR from an expert at filming and just enjoy playing with the very old camera (with remote control) and some decent software (which I know about 10% of how to use)
It is a light hearted look at basic glass engraving.
Stay safe out there and be happy!!
CLICK HERE to go to my main website Lesley Pyke Limited - Glass Engraving