Wednesday, 23 November 2016

It's been a while....

...warning:.... this one is long and has quite a bit of golf :-D 
It has been almost 2 years since I last wrote a newsy blog entry. Those that follow me on Facebook of course will have already seen most of the pictures but of course there are many who do not "do" Facebook and therefore miss out (I have been asked by a number of you) .
  What can I say, time flies! SO much has happened. As this blog is names "Glass Engraving And Life", where you have followed a few personal bits and pieces, there have been a few dramatic changes. Sadly I had to move on from my relationship with Brian (we remain friends) and I have a new man in my life. My long standing golf partner soul mate David.

Last year (2015) I was Lady Captain of Halesworth Golf Club. This meant that my work time was limited, which I expected and prepared for. My business took a back seat for the year and it did hurt badly, however I was extremely proud to have completed my year as well and efficiently as I possibly could. I loved every moment! It was the club's 25th anniversary and so a very special year to be captain, a great honour. There will be photos further down this page.
So much glass has been engraved. I will, I think, lay out a "shed load" of photographs and comment briefly on their significance....otherwise you will be bored out of your skull! If I don't comment on a photo, it is probably self explanatory, or simply a random commissioned engraving along the the gorgeous Coat of Arms above and the completed decanter below. Although not a "coat" ...and I forget the correct terminology I should be using for it, so my apologies.

I was asked to engrave a very large wine glass....I had to share it with you, such fun. You can see the normal red wine glass next to it.

The Guild of Glass Engravers were having an exhibition at the Red House Glass Cone, which ran alongside the Festival of Glass in May 2015. I really did want to put something in but was so so busy with work and golf. Anyway I looked at one of the many cullets I have and thought....hmmm...curious.... I got stuck in a it became "Curiosity" A solid lead crystal cullet, which I have hand engraved (drill) with sandblast and silver leaf, detail. It sold at the start of the exhibition....oh how I wish I had more time for such things! One day!! The way it works at the moment is that I work on commission to pay the overheads. Next year I plan to fit in more creative work.
By the way, I also plan to teach more (which I have been doing this year, even travelling outside the country to teach...south of France) .

In 2012 the Contemporary Glass Society put on a fun exhibition which involved designing and creating  a "medal" as it was the year of our Olympics. My piece was bought by Alan Poole and sits with pride in the immense private collection of The Late Dan Klein and Alan Poole and is featured in this wonderful book which shows the entire collection. I am immensely proud of this and ever grateful to Alan.

I will add a link at the end to purchase a copy.

Southwold beach early one morning. 

A gorgeous hand blown jug, by Georgian Glass Makers.  I have a blank on in stock just waiting to be engraved..... Let me know if you are interested. I will add a link to their site at the end.

Strelitzia on a in progress.

 Testing my hey fever remedies....on the golf course...grass pollen is my enemy in spring!!!

What a great commission this was. I love engraving dragons, they are SO decorative.

The decanter is a stunning Atlantis Crystal one. I have one more blank one available...waiting to be decorated!!

The finished piece, completely hand engraved (drill) and the happy recipient (in the USA) below.

The 2015 Past and Present Captains day at Halesworth,  Winner - yours truely. This being our silver anniversary,  the trophy was presented to me by the very first Lady Captain Sidi Scott. Classic moment I will treasure. (I successfully defended my title this year, 2016)

 Then there was the big storm!! It flooded my whole showroom. UGH!!! Oh well. I wet vaxed it and put a de-humidifier in and managed to somehow get past the long period of mouldy smell. Then several month happened again, not quite as bad though. I got a phone call from my neighbour, who was luckily there working,  and off I went, back to the office to wet vac at near midnight!!!

So then there is nothing like a cuppa tea in a funny mug!!

The  25th Anniversary of Halesworth Golf, a week of celebrations. Here, myself and the Men's Captain for 2015, Ian Ransby

 The ladies 25th anniversary celebration was in the most gorgeous weather and we had the prize giving on the balcony in glorious sunshine!

We donated a bench for the 15th Tee box. Jenny and Rhona joined me for a superb fun round.

 We were joined by many of our founder members, what a joy! A very memorable day.

 OK then this one was a real winner! My all time favourite day of the year. The Lady Captain's|Day where I got to choose what we all got up to for one day....and what we wore. Movie theme!
 There were many pirates, the Wizard of Oz and many more. Oh did we laugh!!

OK so back to the grind stone....litterally I got more into my hand carved, hand engraved jewellery. Selling from my showroom, Etsy and even while I was teaching in France!

I had an interesting commission where I was asked to hand engrave handwriting around 2 lovely rummers.

 Then it was time for another superyacht triptych across 3 crystal decanters. A combination of sandblasting and hand engraving, for a client in USA.

A great friend of mine, Stuart Wylie,  made this wonderful custom tray for the decanters to sit nice and snug in. It was made from reclaimed Teak. Part of the cargo salvaged from the Norwegian Cargo Ship "Tennessee" which ran aground on May 25th 1940 after a collision with the British Ship "Baron Fairlie"
 The finished to USA

 Back to the golf course, and my partner in life and golf, David and I won the Addison Trophy at Halesworth Golf!

 Just felt like engraving Chaka Zulu on a crystal you do...
 I have been engraving for a number of perfume houses and also booze companies.
 ...and a BIG DAY...a golfers dream, at last, having been playing golf since 1983...I finally had a Hole in One! The 4th at Halesworth!

 I had great pleasure  presenting a prize to young George Swallow, Williams Cup Runner UP  2015 our youngest member. He is absolutely flying with his golf!! Watch this space!!
Glass Sellers Commission competition. William Knocker MA MSc , Prime Warden, bought our piece. He was to be Master of the Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers from December 2015.
 I collaborated with glass blower extraordinare Steve Bradley to create a piece for which we were highly commended in the Glass Sellers Commission competition.
 The very grand Ironmongers' Hall.

 All the finalists had to stand and be applauded
 A dear old friend was there.....Stephen Pollock-Hill of Nazeing Glass

 The main AGM at Halesworth Golf 2015.

 Christmas 2015....lots more fun! Lynda and Emma joined me out there that day.
....and enjoying a drink with my buddy Eileen - Cheers!
And so my year of Captaincy ended, there is so much that I can't fit in here but it was a blast! I said goodbye to my parking space and having spent 3 years parking in the Vice and then Captain space.... I took ages to turn a different way when I drove into the car park!!
A great AGM and my Vice, Sally (on the left of the photo) took over as the new Captain. She has now almost finished her year...where did 2016 go??
So it was straight back to London for my usual Christmas engraving events, again for Bombay Sapphire, at was litterally the day after the AGM....hitting the ground running, as they say!

For those who often ask..."do you do simple orders?" the one below, yes of COURSE I DO!! ..and I enjoy them just as much. Often they are a nice break from something difficult. They are clean, neat, elegant, contemporary and very attractive.

A cute teddy, why not?!

So I finally got a chance to catch up with filing at the office...OH GOSH, I then realised just how busy I had been with the golf throughout 2015. It took me ages and ages.
Here is a blast from the past...Taken back in 1992, at my golf club in Harare, Zimbabwe, where I had played for 19 years, Warren Hills Golf Club, with a famous member and friend, Bruce Grobbelaar, then Patron of the Zimbabwe Special Olympics.
I have a large batch of blank firing glasses if there are any Masonic lodges out there interested.

Another one of the hand blown jugs from Georgian Glass Makers, these are sweet peas, each representing a family member.

 Sometimes I win my own glass, this was one and I didn't mind at all, I had really enjoyed engraving it and if I didn't win them I wouldn't have any nice engraved crystal.... you know the story of the cobbler and his shoes :-)
Spiralled lettering on a glass can be very effective, something to keep in mind if you have a lot to say.

Sometimes I am asked specifically to hand engrave lettering (as opposed to sandblasting like I usually do) this monogram is one of those commissions.

 I really do meet some amazing people in my work, these clients got me to create some presentation pieces representing some of their rallies. The crystal discs were hand blown by Stephen Bradley.( Link at the end) then I sandblasted the design and lettering.

 Some advice...when taking pictures of your dogs for me to engrave, this is the view that you must NOT take. It is very foreshortened.(Really cute dog though) What you have to do is get down to the level of the dog to take the photo. Often I have clients bringing their animal to me to take the photo. This of course is perfect if you live nearby.
 One of my students this year, Mario from Gibraltar. I find my students have so much enthusiasm, it is an absolute pleasure to see and to teach them. Remember I will be teaching much more in 2017, one day, strictly one to one, 9am-5pm, £280.00 , materials and tools and lunch included.
I played with a different style of engraving for this lovely crystal wine glass.
Dreadful news is my sons lost their father (my ex husband) to Cancer last week, in New Zealand. He had just turned 58. RIP Ian Pyke.
We will be visiting my boys early on next year,  They are still both in Auckland and still playing golf together!! Always my dream, my heart swells with pride....and of course I will also see my grandson who has just turned 6 (I created this card for him in photoshop, which he proudly took to school to show his teacher, he told me) I last saw them all 4 years ago. I cannot begin to tell you how difficult it is to be so far apart for so long, it is why I keep to so busy. Just keep busy...just keep busy.

The wonderful effect  achieved when combining sandblasting with hand engraving.


 Golf tour to Ashbury Manor....with a group of good friends. LOTS of golf played every day, beautiful weather, breathtaking scenery. My gorgeous man, David. Oh and he plays off 12 by the way, I am of 15, so there are only 2 shots between us.

I was very sad to hear that my one and only art teacher, Peter Birch, (Salisbury School of Art) died. Peter was a legend!! He taught me A Level art and then later I did oil painting classes with him. The main thing is he taught me to be CONFIDENT in my art.  He taught me how to create any colour I wanted just out of the 5 primary colours. It was obligatory to flick your washed brushes across the room. LOL In fact Peter's was the ONLY art training I have ever had (apart from watching my Mom and Dad painting at home) . RIP amazing man.

 I hadn't been "domesticated" for 20 odd now there are some new young people in my life who belong to David. An opportunity for me to re-domesticate myself. I decided to ice this cake for his daughter (made by his sister) I had to go and buy everything required for such a task. The horse is her own, I thoroughly enjoyed !!

 So off to the south of France we both went so that I could teach my new student. Nessie and Jeremy were amazing hosts and, well, Nessie ooozes enthusiasm and there is really not much glass in the house which has not been engraved...and that is no exaggeration!!

 There was no pressure at all (!!!) to engrave this Greater Horseshoe Bat for a gentleman who has studied them for 60 years!!! I think he looks happy with it.
 One of my mentors in life was a great Zimbabwean artist Patrick Mavros. (link at the end) you have to see his website to appreciate his tremendous work. I was absolutely delighted when I was recently asked to engrave a set of jugs to be presented to him as a gift by a lovely young lady.
Over the last year I have been donating a set of awards for my town. Humorously I know nothing at all about gardening!!  They have just been presented to this years winners. See link below.

Some of you may remember Zebedee. I was heartbroken when he died at a good old age. He was extremely ill and I held him in my arms while he died. Such deep deep sadness really hurts. I cried until I had no more tears, it was also at the end of my previous 14 year relationship.

 This was Zebedee when I was in London engraving at an event. Waiting for me. Oh my heavy heart. RIP my doggy .

The private collection of The Late Dan Klein and Alan Poole 
Georgian Glassmakers
ETSY shop
Bradley Crystal  
Patrick Mavros  
Halesworth In Bloom 
Nazeing Glass
Glass Sellers Dinner September 2015