Monday, April 29, 2013

The Golden Beet

I did it.
I fucking did it.


I did what I came here to do!! Victory is mine. I am particuarly chuffed with myself. Cue triumphant music, me dousing the other artists in champagne, the smoking of cigars and me wearing a pink sash. Too much?

And thats all I have to say about that.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Pretzel did good

I am constantly surprised by glass blowing. It pushes me to my brink and then pulls me right back in again. So last post I talked about feelin a little tired and making pretzels. Well what a difference an early night (i fell asleep in my clothes whilst sending emails) and a new day can make!

Today while still being squirell-ey Friday, could have the potential to be a game changer of a day!!! And I owe it all to making pretzels!!! If I had not spent a day miffing about making, or trying to make pretzels i never would have got that one step closer to.....THE GOLDEN BEET.

Thats right friends, today I think I made the golden beet. Experimenting with colour on the pretzels led me possibly to the gold colouring I have been dreaming about. I thought I would get there with gold leaf or a kind of rub on gold but as it turns out, like most of my answers to problems it was in the hot shop all along. Tomorrow will tell as i get to pull her from the annealer. For the love of god, fingers crossed! All hail the pretzel in all its worldly glory.

Yesterday we were also extremely lucky to be taken to the most spectacular garden. I think it was called Dunbeath castle. The gardens are huge and I can just imagine that they would be stunning in Summer. The green house was what blew my mind. I just wanted to live in there. Maybe they won't notice?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Pretzel king of Thornbury

I am over half way in now and I think I'm feeling it. I just feel a bit tired but I'm trying so hard to work hard, fast and smart to really pull the most out of it. Today I just felt like I could not face making another beet. The daikon I pulled out from yesterday just looks like rubbish to me. He is a sandblaster candidate I think. So what did I make today you ask?


Thats right pretzels. What the hell? I spent four hours trying to perfect the pretzel. I probably should have been spending my time perfecting the beet, but like I said, I felt like I just couldn't face another today. It is always frustrating beginning work on something entirely new, but I think it is good for the mind to try and switch gears and make something new. I get frustrated easily and because I was feeling a bit tired I think I have the potential to give up easily. Lucky for me Jeff was there and he must have figured out what buttons to press to make me flare up and get on with it. I was struggling with this thing over and over, just about to give up and ready to switch off when he goes to me something along the lines of, "if you give up now I'm making a fucking pretzel tomorrow in my session." Of course thats like a red flag to a bull, you can't make a fucking pretzel! I am! So I persevered and I think, hopefully I might have something nice to bring out of the annealer tomorrow. I am the ultimate jerk. Don't tell me I can't make something and voila, there it is.

Trish took some shots of me making a beet that are pretty sweet. Prepare for the onslaught of images now....

And there you have it.
How to make a phat beet.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Git around!

Today was the big day....
The pitch was open yo! First roll of the season!! Do you know how long we have been waiting for this (well technically only two weeks but lemme tell you it feels a lot longer) we have been watching the same dude out there, rain, wind, hail or SNOW buffing that pitch within an inch of its life. All ready for today; lawn bowls day. Allllllllrriiiiiiiight!!

So this is how it goes down, you rock up, write your name down to go into the draw to see whos team you are on (kinda feel bad for the old mate that got stuck with me) and then we roll!! 
Check out this dude, rollin with a pipe (thats my new mate by the way). On my team was the Scottish doppelganger of my very own grandfather. Tall, kind of like a big barrel, balding (or bald actually), stern, a snappy dresser and quite the kidder. (If he had started reading any sign out aloud I would have known for sure they had been separated at birth.) He was the best by far. 

I was the only one who managed to knock the jack into the ditch. Sorry boys. It was just the first social day for the club so everyone and anyone can play, we have already been invited back to play Tuesdays  and Fridays. I'm thinking my Fridays might have just been kicked up a notch..

And afterwards theres refreshments!! I had a cup of tea, cake with pink icing, a cider for $1 and some lovely gent bought me a whiskey. Like I said, my Fridays are lookin good. Now here comes the kicker, there is a raffle!! So I asked if I could donate a piece, surprisingly I think this boosted ticket sales at the last minute (mainly from my new mate).
This was the booty up for grabs. I really wanted the wizz fizz look alikes. Oh and in the grey bag? Just a cheeky bottle of tanqueray gin....

Oh no you di'nt!!! Flip yeah we did! WINNERS!! (Actually the winning ticket was Annas but she had left it in our care...we figure any win is counted as a win for the group. A delicious gin based win.) So now Anna will be hailed as the gamblor of Lybster, having won both bingo and the bowls raffle in Lybster. Two major events I might add. Lets just say I am going to sit extra close to her tonight at Bingo and possibly try and rub her little paw like a lucky rabbits foot.

And just incase you were wondering, I did make some stuff this week too (in amongst the bingo playing, whiskey drinking and bowls).

So as another week is about to begin I feel as though I have a few tricks up my sleeve and about a list as long as my arm of things I want to make in the hot shop. I'm thinking bottles with radish stoppers...

And lastly here is a picture of my two beloved gents just because I miss them so much;

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm late for my bingo date. 
"Lucky for some, number 7."

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Finding the silver lining and taking advice from Batmans dad

Snakes alive, did I have a rough day on the glass today... Yesterday was so good and today just terrible! What the flip? Today if you watched me you would have thought to yourself, how in the hell did they let this moron in? I think I blame exhaustion. We have been working flat out since last Monday and I think I just need a little rest. I'm looking forward to the weekend. I think the problem is that I don't want to waste a minute of this fantastic opportunity I have in front of me and be on the glass 24/7. The problem is, I know in my heart, if I give myself a day off I will be so much more productive on the next. It's like my brain needs a day to catch up, a day to process all that I'm learning and then transfer these learnings to my mitts and make me make the work.
So tonight after work there was the call out to go help some guy herd some deer. On any other occasion I would have jumped but this time I chose to stay behind by myself and get to know....the cold shop. (Not my natural environment.)
So after blowing glass for 8 hours, I had a shower, downed a berocca and began the second shift; the cold shop. 

I'm kind of glad I did. I had the whole shop to myself and I could do some experiments and see whats what. Turns out I might have to buy myself a lathe....Started to cold carve some beets and got some nice results. It's fun to carve the little details on their tails. And as a bonus, my hands are finally clean! Huzzah!

So all I could think about as I mangled the glass all day today and pretty much made pretty garbage, was the wise words of none other than batmans dad. "Why do we fall Bruce? So we can pick ourselves up." or something like like that. Thanks Batmans dad, lets hope tomorrow is a better day. 

I'll be up at 6:30am to spark it up and hopefully find my way again.

Friday, April 12, 2013

One week in

Well hey there, time for a weekly wrap up...

I have kind of lost track of how long I have been here (so far I know it has been x2 shopping expeditions for supplies (booze)). It has been our first week of full work. Blowin glass everyday like a boss. 8hrs on the glass a day, amazing. It has only just dawned on me how much glass I can blow here and what an amazing opportunity it is. It kind of feels like being an associate again, up at 7 to light up, first shift 8-12 then lunch then 1-5. I guess except this time I feel a little more prepared and kind of know what I am doing (red end = hot).

At first I just felt like a ball of nerves but I seem to be settling. It helps that the other artists here are just lovely. There is Anne who makes beautiful and complex moulds which she then casts with frit she has made herself. Trish is working on some sound installation ideas. And then there Jeff who is making sculptural work. Seems to be that me and Jeff are pairing up to drain that sucker dry. We work 5 days a week and share the day. I kind of feel like I have lucked out seeing as he is such a skilled up dude (i'm sure he doesnt feel the same...sorry!) so there is tons of tricks I can learn from him. It also helps that he seems to be a bit of a fellow arse clown like myself.

This is my first beet outta the box. A little gnarly but I was pretty stoked to get one away. I already know where I went wrong and things to improve on. Today we made a daikon radish with a pretty fancy/scary way of finishing it off so technically there is no coldworking. None. Nadda. Say Wha?? Oh and then I pulled possibly the worst stuffed cup cane of all history. Just as the director decided to rock up and stick his head in. Why couldnt he have rocked up when I was making the god damn radish!!!

Lets see what else, well the bulk of our excitement in Lybster seems to consist of us chasing a fish guy of some sorts. Theres fresh fish guy on Tuesday and fish and chip van guy on Friday. Allllriiiiiight. I particuarly don' thtnk the fresh fish guy had ever been greeted with such enthusiasm. "Oh my god the fish guy is here!! The fish guy!! Get the money!!" Jeff made a super sweet beer glass in the hopes we could trade glass for fish but apparently the last guy got the sack for trades... Bummer. Oh and get this, there is pretty much nothing to do outside of blow glass, check out the coast or go to the pub, but there is a fucking pristine lawn bowls club. Next door!! I have seen the dude out there everyday buffin the pitch. Even in the snow!! I think game day kicks off this Sunday, super pumped. Already been invited in for a roll from an old man and his little dog. Ooh that reminds me, Lybster is good for dog spotting (maybe I am just missing my mont). Today i met a super friendly border collie named "Scallywag". And get this, where we go to do our weekly shop there is always a cat hanging around out fron just waiting for a pat!!.

We have also managed to get our grubby mitts on a projector so now we can watch crappy 80's movies, Suhhhweeet. So far we have watched Highlander and Friday. Pretty hilarious. I never knew Sean Connery was a "Spanish Peacock"...The back flipping was my favourite part. And thats about it.

Look at that ridiculous cup!! Its hilarious! 

One thing I do wish is that i packed more freaking clothes!! Or at least something semi decent to wear after work. I already feel like a smokey gritty hobo. At least I have a shitload of socks, I have Clare to thank for that, thanks Clare!!