Friday, May 22, 2015

End of an era

On Wednesday the  13th of May, team rock had their last blowing session together for I don’t know how long. Dani, Jaan and me have been blowing glass together for nearly 9 years. I guess I kinda knew we only had Jaan temporarily but I never thought too much about it. He seems like a permenant fixture in both Dani and my lives but now it’s time for him to go home to Canada.  I had to remind myself more than once, there’s no crying in glass blowing…

“Theres no crying in glass blowing”, that’s just one of the gems we have come up with over the years. Another personal favourite is, “Make what look like what to look like what?”, or “back in my day I we blew 16hrs a day 8 days a week” and who can forget the call and response “your’e good”  “and youre pretty”.We have built our own hilarious language together and I am going to miss that idiot so much.

Jaan and Dani started their associateship together and they came in my second year. Over this time we built a solid crew and they were my team everytime.  I remember one of the first times I absolutely busted his balls for rocking up late to a sand casting job, still drunk, with a coffee in his hand and a sheepish grin on his face. I was fucking seething! Furious! I wanted to go to that fucking free cointrau party too, but no, I knew we had work in the morning. So I was the only bozo to man up, call him out and send him home. Oh man did he feel it. After we finished the job I think I came back to my phone with like 5 missed calls and a voicemail appologie. (Little did he know if he had of rocked up with a coffee for me none of this would have happened…) Man, how things have changed.

We worked so hard but we laughed just as hard. In the last year I could rely on Jaan to make my work for me when I couldn’t get to Adelaide.  We formed a tight lil trio and I am sad to think we might not work together again. But you know, nothing lasts forever. We are always in a state of flux, that’s just how it is. It was amazing to be able to rely on him and I’ll miss his headbanging at the gh. This goon is loved by so many, there is going to be a huge Jaan shaped whole in the Adelaide glass community and in me and Dani’s little hearts.

So it turns out there is crying in glass blowing because man did I bawl like a baby when it came to say goodbye. Shit, I ever tear up a little just thinking about it now… At least I was there for the last party and we got to send him off right. We even got our team rock t-shirts that we had been talking about for about 5yrs. Polerock, Rockaby and Dzierock.

I sure do love you Jaan. I love you so much. You know Dani and I are coming to visit in Canada right??


Sunday, May 10, 2015


So I had one of my lovely stockist ask me for some vases. Do you make vases? I sure do! I was a bit cheeky and just totally put it out there what I wanted to make, and do you know what? They said yes! (This is the crux of my career and the one rule I live by, you ready, here goes, this may be shocking;

Just ask! It's so simple. It is also what alot of people ask me, how did you get that? How did you get that colab with Gorman? How did you get that solo exhibition? How did you get your works in there?!
I just asked.
It is as simple as that. 
I asked and they said yes!
Not everyone says yes, but how are they going to have an opportunity to say yes if you never ask?
You just gotta put out there what you want and I believe 9 times out of 10 you get it.

So I wanted to make really simple vases in nice bright colours. Turns out the stockist wanted that too!

So before I delivered them I wanted to get a couple of nice shots while I had all the colours and sizes in stock. Maybe others might want them too? It was a little rushed but I think they should turn out nice. Being a florist is hard!

I can't wait to see the 'real' shots. Next time I am going to book my sister who is an actual florist and we are going to be unstoppable. BAM.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Autumn; King of the seasons

Goddamn look at these colours!! Autumn is my favourite time of year. Look at it, it is stunning. I can't believe that these colours are for real, it's ba-nay-nays. (Thats crazy in Adeventure time speak don't cha know?) 
These were taken at Mt. Lofty Botanic Gardens in Adelaide and at The Rhododendron Garden in Olinda. 
Everything about Autumn I love. The colors, the smell, the gorgeous grey days perfect for glass blowing and eating toast with grilled cheese and cups of tea, my kind of paradise. Good for wearing flannel, nice scarves and maybe a sweet jacket? I even like it that you don;t have to drive anywhere to see it, it's on every street. One day I am going to have my own stunning autumn garden. (I've made a start, I gots two maples.)

I also like it how Autumn starts to creep into my work.

Autumn; I love you.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Some stuffs

Just a quick image/brain dump before I dash off to an appointment. I gots 15 minutes, go!

(Me and Angry Cat)

So much has happened since I last wrote (sounds like an old time war letter..), the big news is that I was awarded a scholarship to go to Penland School of Craft in the states to take a class with flame worker Amber Cowan! And I leave at the end of May!! So, so pumped!! I can't believe my good fortune sometimes. It's not all popsicles and rainbows though, as my husband puts it, things seem to come to me when I need them most. It's a lonely thing working for yourself sometimes. I beaver away all by myself in the studio and sometimes I loose focus. I was sad that I didn't get a spot at Pilchuck this year (well I did, but not a scholarship so I couldn't afford it) and sometimes I feel like i just drift around. I think it is because I seem to work in batches. I drive to Adelaide and go balls to the wall for a week then I come home get that work sorted and spend three weeks putting things in play until the next balls to the wall period. Just adjusting thats all.

It does seem to work though. I make my orders, make a little extra stock to cover myself if I get any new requests for work then plan the next big adventure. Which by the way is going to be my very first solo show in nearly six years!! So while I was in Adelaide last I also managed to line up a solo at the Jam in gallery two. Gallery two is where it's at. I have wanted to be in that space ever since I first laid eyes on Tom Moore's show in there when I was an associate. I can remember Tom setting it up and he said I could come take a peek. I walked in to his other world and could not stop grinning like a loon! I think Tom said something like I'm glad you like it Amanda. It is a little self contained space, a 'U' shape that is perfect for an installation. The possibilities are endless. I'm going all out for this one. I've got a whole year to plan, scheme and make. Let's see what we can come up with.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

One Golden Day

About a month ago I ventured back to Radelaide to go to the Aus Glass conference for 2015. I wasn't even going to go but then I found out my buddy Jeff was going to be there gaffing for Berlin Glass and I knew if I didn't go I would never hear the end of it.... Man oh man am I glad I did! I had the best time! It was so inspiring to be among your peeps. I had so many amazing conversations mostly with people I already knew but I felt like alot of good ideas were hatched and I feel like the majority of those were not pipe dreams. Like they have the ability to grow legs and become reality!
So I got to watch Tobias Mohl demo and hear him speak. He makes truly beautiful work and speaks so well. I could listen to that dream boat allllllll day....

I finally got to meet this amazing woman! Jess Dare! I have been following (stalking) Jess on instagram for sometime now and just been hanging out to meet her. Turns out she's an absolute peach! You know when you meet one of those types of people and you're kind of like why the flip haven't we met before?! She makes exquisite, delicate flameworked pieces and I was so pumped to see her demo. I have been banging on forever about learning some flameworking and I think this might be the way to do it. We got to chatting and she was lovely enough to invite me to her studio to chat. I think we might have hatched a plan to exhibit/work together that I am so excited about!! She also gave me the excellent tip off to visit the museum of economic botany in the botanic gardens. MIND BLOWN! Wowzers what a collection. I just loved it in there.

Lets see, what else? Saw some more demos, listened to some great talks, had a couple of hangovers...

And then, I had THE day. The ONE GOLDEN DAY where everything clicked and was amazing. It started with getting to luck out and assist Jeff for the Berlin Glass Demo. I was just kinda standing around, making sure he had everything he needed then before you know it, BAM!, I'm on the glass!! Just like old times. (My little heart was beating so fast!!)

And get this, here comes my crowning moment of glory; I had made this killer playlist for the Berlin Kids to work to (I wanted to introduce them with a mega phone ala-lets get ready to rumble style and have them walk out to back in black...) and at the exact time that we went to join the two pieces together Back in Black cranked up at the exact moment!! Bang on!

So after this little high, this led to the next win free fringe tickets!!

Which led to seeing a phenomenal (free!!) show where toned gentlemen performed acrobatics in bathtubs to Tool songs. Fine by me. Which led to espresso martinis and large swing rides with this champion.

I really did have the greatest time. One of my most favourite things was I got to spend so much time with one of my dearest mates. This girl is a total champ.

And this goon.
He's pretty alright too.

 I also got to meet a koala!!

So yeah, I guess Adelaides pretty kewl. I crammed 4 fringe shows in two days, sweated it out in 40 plus degree weather (at a glass conference, oh the irony), met a whole heap of new friends and got to blow some glass.

till next time Marmelaide.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Power of a good Breakfast

For a little while now my friend and I have been meeting for breakfasts every now and again. I met this amazing creature when we both worked in the dark depths of retail. I love this woman, I think she is just so inspiring, a real creative soul and funny, man is this chick funny. I could laugh with that idiot all day. We bonded over terrible customer experiences and our wanting to cast off the shackles of the repressive 'man' that is a life in retail so our creative spirits could fly. Well that and a well poached egg it seems. And we even used to live on the same street!

So in 2014 our mantra was 'the year I turn pro' and I am so stoked to tell you that we both did it! I feel like we totally had each others back on this and gave each other the little prompts when we needed it. Probably without even knowing it, like today for instance, I did not really even feel like going into the studio today but after a delicious breaky and a chat with her I'm feelin good and ready to hit the studio again.

I also think it is pretty awesome that even though we don't work together anymore we still make the effort to catch up over our love of breakfasts (we are just two women eating our way through the north). That is one thing I do miss about work is not seeing those gorgeous women. That was the best thing about that job was the people hands down.

So I think it's a pretty special and rare thing (maybe just for me?) to make a chick friend like this, especially as I get older. (Why is it so much harder to make good friends when we are older?) and I think she is pretty rad. I mean look at her, whats not to love?!

So thanks Bing, I think your'e alright, and kid, I've got your back. 

(Ps. the second choice for a pic was the one where you cut and paste your own face onto some chick standing next to Richo. Gold.)