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!!!