Foxgloves in place

Just thought I would bring you up to date on the Foxgloves in situ..  If you remember I talked you through the building of these before Christmas last year in the post ‘Debbie does flowers’

Taking the eldest back to uni last weekend, thought I would stick my head in the door and see how things were looking. Wow, beautiful house, but the windows, why, they even blew me away. A riot of colour in the stunning new hallway.

Amanda, the owner, tells me that they wash her walls and rug with colour when the light floods in at the right time of day. And her Mum apparently insists on dragging everyone through to see the windows before any thing else! Lovely. (Gosh. i quite proud!).

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Happy Days…

..are what these two latest personal commissions are all about.

Amy commissioned me for her own special birthday… “You know what I like Debbie, and I like your glass… chickens and tractors… I trust you,” was pretty much how it went!

Aww, a dream of a wee job. Amy lives in Silverdale; her family farm at Gibraltar Farm and, live on the Green in domestic bliss. I wandered around her wee patch of paradise and without having to use too much(!) artistic license came up with her idyllic scene.

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I like to use local crock and found bits stuff in my work if I can, so I was delighted to hunt out some perfect pieces of pottery and salvaged metal bits. The lead geese and gates were found whilst ratching in an antique shop. The trailer and ‘wheel’ were excavated by Dave, my metal-tecting neighbour and the crock was found by me down on the shore over the years… How cool, I found a bit of pot with Amy’s hubby’s name on it – James! (from an old Keiller marmalade pot).

And I had fun making the wired washing flapping on the line…my favourite bit.

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Detail was added with paint.. Gibraltar Farm offer raw milk from their lovely dairy cows and Amy also ‘invented’ the delicious Gibraltar Farm ice-cream.. It doesn’t get any better than a scoop of their vanilla, sat on the bench overlooking Morecambe Bay.

Happy days.

Oh, and I gave you a sneak preview of my other personalised commission at the end of the previous post…

A 25th Wedding Anniversary gift that pulled together lots of important places for the happy couple.  Hee-hee… quite a bit of artistic license needed here to link home and Rivington Pike in Lancashire, Stirling Castle in Scotland and the Prom and holiday home in Arnside. Even managed to squeeze in a couple of cyclists as they are mad keen on biking too!

Even more happy days….

 

 

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Summertime and the living is easy…

Time for a catch up i think…

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These sandals have seen some hammer… Just back from an Italian adventure pounding the city streets of Florence and Rome, the sandy beaches of the Cinque Terre and the Island of Ischia… Beautiful, beautiful sights and sounds and smells….

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But before i kicked up them heels i had my favourite Art Trail yet (although I say that every year!) Here are some pics of the stuff I had on show over the weekend.

Brother Duncan exhibited at mine this year too and we had a grand time (he’s good company) (and stunning craftsmanship)(and he ate a lot of cake!)

Lots of birds..(well they are my favourites)(new and old)

and other stuff too… works in progress… commissions… and a riot of colour in the front window.

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I am now busy working on orders and commissions but, you can still get to see some bits of my work by calling in to Debbie’s Shed of course. Or visiting the Pier Lane Gallery and Gallery H in Arnside; Northern Lights in Keswick; Brantwood near Coniston; and Witherslack Community Shop for the month of August.

These wee things are going to Pier Lane next week….

And this goes to its new owner tomorrow (Congratulations!)

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A special 25th Wedding Anniversary commission featuring special places… Sirling Castle, Rivington Pike, Arnside prom’… and of course, the beloved bikers.

 

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Curlews in Flight

It was lovely to meet this family and a delight to find they wanted curlews…in flight!

This is an internal window panel giving borrowed light to a dining area. A lovely artwork viewed from both sides.

I do enjoy working out the patterns that the birds can make…. Happy with the lead lines flowing through this one too…

Not much more need to say…so let’s work backwards this time….

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Penny and Tom live at number 5!

‘Are you sure you don’t just want a number five’ I asked, of Penny and Tom, my ultra-enduro-ironman-BG holding friends…

‘No way,’ they said!

Ha-ha, so, the only five in their panel is the pair of size five fell shoes that are leaping off the Knott..

‘Something that reflects us’, they said, ‘and where we live….’

(A friend of theirs visited from the south this week and he found their house from the stained glass panel. Hee-hee, he knows them well)

So, here is what I gave them…

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The panel is a fanlight above their front door measuring 740mm wide x 390mm deep.

Drawing first… I wanted to capture movement and a sense of the place… (the viaduct helps with that!) And Penny and Tom’s beloved Cumbrian hills to the north.

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Then cut glass… apply paint….. build up layers and details…

Fire and fire again for depth of colour.

Relaxing leadwork, soldering and grout.

Then polish and polish till it gleams. (I make it sound so easy don’t I. Trust me, it is dead tricky!)

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Yeah, they live at number five!

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A Pre- – – -Tense of Bitterns

A design idea sparked by a call for artists for an open exhibition entitled ‘Telling in Full’ as part of the Lancaster Festival of Words.

The brief  (in brief) was to come up with a piece of artwork inspired by words, be it a piece of literature, a poem or even song lyrics. And oh my, this sounded good to me.

I pondered and bounced a few ideas around and then it came to me, one sleepless night, brain churning and whirring with thoughts and ideas…..

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For Christmas I had received a copy of Bill Bailiey’s Guide to Birding… a very entertaining account of his 100 favourite British birds splattered with his funny tales, illustrations and anecdotes. And one phrase had stuck. Wedged in a part of my brain was ‘pretence’ being the collective noun for a group of Bitterns. Upon reading it it had immediately conjured up images  with me, of camouflaged bitterns pretending they were reeds!…. Something to think on, i had paused to think at the time….

And now. Now. Worming away in my head was an earworm by Radiohead. An hypnotic repetitive tune that makes me stop and dance around my shed whenever it is aired on 6 music. ‘In you I’m lost, In you I’m lo-o-ost’ being whistled and hummed constantly by myself as I cheerfully go about my business….

And then. On that sleepless night the two ideas crashed together and the germ of an idea was born. A doodle was drawn and bounced around friends…  And, oh. The idea? … Here you go.

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Now, if you don’t know the song, inside out and back to front, like myself, then I would suggest you pause and go take a listen. You can find a really terrific live version on youtube. I am sorry I can’t add a link here as I have a budget blog(!) but I am incredibly happy with it and Youtube is very easy to navigate to in any case…. so off you go. (Open a new tab and play…play whilst looking at these pics…)

So first, I drew up my pair of Bitterns. I decided to go reasonably big as I like my subjects to feel real and have scale. Then I copied and slid the images around. No fancy photoshop…just scissors and a pritt stick…. This sliding around and distortion from the song ‘keep it moving’.

And then the tragic part of the song when the world comes crashing down. I slashed the piece horizontally this time with fractures that respond to that repetitive hook of the melody that repeats and repeats endlessly throughout the song.

In you I’m lost. In you I’m lost. repeat, repeat…repeat.. repeat….

And so it works on paper but ….can I make it work in glass?

I settled on a simple palette of four colours, 2 yellow, 2 grey and set-to testing up some samples. Here is where I am at..

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I do love this experimenting with paint. And I think I am nearly there… But for now I submit my ideas to the ‘Telling in Full’ submission panel and see if my piece will make it to the exhibition.

I should know soooooooon. (But hey, I’ll make it anyway. I’m sure.)

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The Finished piece will be constructed using traditional stained glass methods. Painted sections of glass joined by leadwork to unpainted sections of glass… playfully and gleefully distorting the light and imagery.

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Colour

So this is where the design ended up. (Not as easy as it looks this abstract stuff)

 

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You wanna’ see how I got here?…

My initial designs were a little ‘tight’. Too curvy.

So I scrawled some words… edgy ….free….spiky… loose…. And with the help of some good tunes I loosened up and ended up with curves I was happy with.

Projecting the lines to get the top light was fun… a wee scale drawing  exploding upwards and onwards and I found my star (you spot it in those intersecting lines?)

 

So, now to add colour…… Tracey and John knew what they liked..

We had spent an overwhelming day in the Summer at Pearsons Glass in Liverpool. And came home with a psychedelic rainbow!

My ‘glass easel’ came in handy once again for colour checks. (Few head banging moments I tell you). And many bits cut and re-cut to get the arrangement and colour combination just so.

Oh dear. Not liking that milky heavy cream streaky. Without the light it looked fine. But with the light. Oh No. We can’t have that… back to the cutting block…. rearrange the grounded bits.. add more of the orange..

Now we are getting somewhere….

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Happy. Construction can begin…..

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And then the fitting….. great being an apprentice with John and handing him chisel…putty….scalpel…coffee!!

And here it is finished.

 

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