Black Cat Blog

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New Jewellery Range Launch

Today, we have relaunched our jewellery range on the website.  It still shows some of the old favourites but largely, it is a new selection of totally different designs. I am so pleased with the way they have turned out and I really hope that you like them too.  I have had brilliant winter in the studio learning new techniques and designing these pieces.  By the way, I say ‘I’ because Rich doesn’t make jewellery – not really his thing.

Some of the pieces were experimental, prototypes if you like.  This peacock for example:

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I absolutely love this, so much so that I have commandeered it for myself but although I love it, there are things I would do slightly differently with the next one, which will be for sale. This is not a small piece but I think that something so dramatic needs to be bigger and to be honest, you would lose a lot of the detail if it was any smaller.

Some of the techniques I have learned and adapted I can use in other pieces too.  Take this mini round dish:

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It is made in the same way as the peacock pendant.  This piece isn’t for sale as I made it for my lovely mum for her birthday.  (Poor Mum, she gets glass most birthdays but the way I look at it, I didn’t paint any pictures at junior school which she had to display on her fridge so she’s just getting it all now.)

I will be back with an update in the next week or so……until then, please take a look at the jewellery!

Becci x

And so the learning continues…..

Hi there – I’ve just got back from running the London Marathon and thought I’d come home and write another blog as I’m not too tired.

Since I last blogged, we have been to Norfolk for two days tuition on using the camera.  Suddenly, it all seems clearer!  We cannot believe how much we have learnt in that time and now feel both ready and able to start photographing all the new stuff.  Actually, I say ready, we have just ordered a new camera so will have to wait for that to appear first – I guess that’s kind of important…..  We both feel indebted and ever-grateful to Ian, our tutor – he was brilliant at explaining to two complete novices (idiots?), and very patient.

And the training continues.  On May 7th and 8th, we are both going to the Warm Glass studio in Wrington, to attend a ‘pattern bar’ course.  I have been waiting to do this course for at least two years but you have to be so quick to get a place – the courses tend to sell out the minute they are advertised on the Warm Glass website.  I booked my place in July last year and at the time, it was the last place going.  Thankfully, they had a cancellation so I’ve managed to book Rich on the course too.  I won’t explain now about pattern bars other than to say they open up a whole new design in glass.  I will post what we’ve done after the course.

Anyway, an update for you: remember these?

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Well I’ve now added them to a glass piece and this is what I’ve come up with – a gothic-style candle bridge complete with black roses and thorns.

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I personally love it and am really happy with how it’s turned out.  I will be putting it up for sale on the website very soon.

Hopefully the camera will be delivered some time this week …..until then…

By the way, I’ve  no more run the marathon than I’ve made the Times’ Rich List……

Speak soon,

Becci

We’re still here….honest!

SUCH a long time between blogs. This has to change (note to self: don’t be such a lazy ass). Anyway, hello to you all – I won’t say ‘happy new year’ as that was like eons ago.

So, we are back to the studio but without the madness of Christmas. I actually quite like this down time because it gives me chance to try out new things which I don’t have time to do in the latter half of the year.

I’ve been working on some new jewellery and it is such good fun. What isn’t such good fun is trying to master the digital camera to take photos of said jewellery. Crikey, cameras these days are ridiculously complicated. On my 13th birthday, a couple of centuries ago, my parents bought me a Halina camera. It had no instructions – not because it was the equivalent of a Fisher Price toy, but because it was so simple, you just didn’t need them. You basically decided if you were indoors or outdoors and whether it was day or night and that was the limit of the decision-making process. In a nutshell, flash or no flash. Now I admit, the quality of the photos were rubbish but at least I’d only spent half a second taking the photo. Nowadays, if you can’t master the camera, the photo is still rubbish but it’s taken 45 minutes to get to that state of ‘rubbishness’. Anyway, I continue to excel at bad photos. I need to resolve this problem!

I have just attended another class at the excellent Warm Glass studio at Wrington. The quality of their teaching is just superb and I can’t wait for my next one in May. Sadly, due to the sat-nav in my car, it took me AGES to get home as I got horrendously lost. There seems to be a bit of a theme here – technology……Thank goodness the kiln is easy to operate!

We will be adding a whole new range of products in the coming year. New products are exciting to make but there’s also the slight apprehension when you open the kiln after they’ve been fired! We will obviously let you know when new ‘stuff’ arrives in our shop.

Bye for now!

Becci x

A really busy time (which of course we’re thankful for!)

Crikey!  This has been a long time coming – sorry it’s been so long since my last post (and yes, you’ve guessed it, it’s Becci writing this again!)  This time of year is incredibly hectic: we have craft fairs booked for nearly every weekend from now until Christmas.  We are also filling the kiln on a daily basis to fulfil orders.

But I’m not saying this so you feel sorry for me, honestly!  No, it’s great being so productive and having people wanting to buy our stuff.  This is the storm before the calm and I love it.  During the quieter times of year (generally January, February), we can relax a bit and use the less pressured time to design new pieces but in the meantime, it’s full-on and it’s brilliant.

Craft fairs are generally good fun.  There are times when it’s really cold (for some reason, the people who arrange these craft fairs think crafters never get cold) but so long as I’ve remembered my blanket……  Rich doesn’t seem to feel the cold, which is great because we only have one blanket.  If you are interested in where we are displaying, the venues are:

  • Friday 28th November          Worcester Victorian Christmas Fair – all day
  • Sunday 30th November         Worcester Vicotorian Christmas Fair – all day
  • Saturday 6th December         Whitemead Leisure Park, Parkend, Forest of Dean – 11am – 4pm
  • Saturday 13th December       Hartpury Village Hall Craft and Farmers’ Christmas Market – 10 – 12pm
  • Sunday 14th December          Whitemead Leisure Park, Parkend, Forest of Dean – 11 – 4pm
  • Saurday 20th December        Whitemead Leisure Park, Parkend, Forest of Dean – 11 – 4pm

 

So – I best get on.  I have started to upload products for our Christmas shop – please take a look!  I will be adding Christmas tree decorations in the coming week.  Rich is busy in the studio making some more of his lovely gothic, stained glass mirrors so I’ll let him off writing this blog for now.

Until next time…….

Becci x

 

 

Hello!

 

Hi and welcome to our first blog!  It’s Becci here and although I am writing this first blog, I’m hoping that Rich will take his turn too occasionally……..

It’s hard to know where to start so I figured I’d just share with you what I’ve been doing in the studio this week, which is micro-casting.  This involves the use of powdered glass painstakingly added to a silicone mould with drops of water (and hopefully no air bubbles….) and then frozen.  After a few hours, the glass is ‘popped’ out of the moulds and placed on a kiln shelf ready for firing.

You may wonder how on earth the heat of the kiln doesn’t reduce these frozen objects into puddles of nothingness.  I still wonder that!  All I know is that it works and, it’s very satisfying.

Putting the glass powder into the moulds takes hours.  This is because I have to do lots of moulds at once otherwise it’s a waste putting the kiln on for just a couple of small items.  Despite taking hours though, I love it.  It’s an opportunity to sit in the studio, which is lovely and warm, put on the radio and just engross myself in the process.

I have spent hours perusing the internet for moulds to use.  My favourite is this Halloween cat.  He’s come out rather well, even down to the fur on his back standing on end.  I’m very fond of him but, I have no idea what to do with him yet.IMG_1904

My next favourite is these black roses.  I love gothic art and have yet to find a way to introduce it within my glass pieces but I think with these black roses, I can make a start.  I have one or two ideas and when they come to fruition, I will let you see the final product.

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I also love the cream and pale pink roses.  They have a sort of ‘antique’ look about them.  As with the cat, I’m not quite sure what to do with these yet – they are so beautiful though, I think they need to be the centre of the piece rather than just the decoration.

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I’m also including pictures of these daisies.  I like these because they are fun, bright and happy-looking.IMG_1905

The possibilities for micro-casting are endless.  You can see other micro castings I have done on the shop page – the blue soap dish has micro-cast shells on its edge.  In the meantime, I’m going to keep the radio on, the radiator blasting and will continue to indulge myself in the art of micro-casting.  I’m looking for a bat mould – but I’m having trouble sourcing that!

Until next time – when hopefully this will be written by Rich…..

Best,

Becci x