Well there is mayhem at the studio as we are off to Grand Designs at the Excel Centre for a great week of meeting old clients, meeting new client and making lots of friends. The preparation is always the worst bit. Are we ready, have we remembered everything. What notes did I make last year about the changes we should make. What must I remember to do that I always forget? The worst thing is that however prepared you are this last week always creeps up on you with a bang! You think you have lots of time left and suddenly we will be putting up the exhibition on Friday and opening on Saturday. I always like to take new work but that means it must be completed and ready days before as the last thing you need to worry about is unfinished works of art. Oh, and last but not least do I have nine days for cleaned ironed shirts! This may be mad but it is a totally different place, a lot warmer than the studio and not somewhere you are doing a messy practical job, and it is always the last thing I remember!
Back to work now, watch for updates on twitter, or best of all come to see us.
Sometimes you have to look for inspiration so a day out at Stonehenge seemed like a great idea. So stained glass was put on hold as the company took a visit to the historic site. Arriving early it was easy to get near the stones and walking in the larger area around the stones is free. It is much easier to understand the whole area if you move away from the stones and look at them from the many barrows that are on the surrounding fields. We had an amazingly warm Spring day and the dogs enjoyed the freedom of large areas of open land that is however well fenced near the road.
There are many skills you need and some you develop but the skills for exhibitions are not high on my list. Working with stained glass suggests you have some good art and design skills. Moving this skill into a business means that you have then added a set of commercial skills to you art skills to develop you business. In a large business each of these areas have specialists departments to navigate the difficulties and skills needed. However, in a small business all workers need to have more than one specialism and the owner often needs to have many skills that they didn’t know we’re necessary. So now Stained Glass Studio have done a series of exhibitions and displays we have to be able to put up an exhibition in minutes. Our theories are; don’t rely on what they say they provide, make sure your display or stand can be put up by you alone, make sure you have power cables and extension leads and finally depend on yourself. Make it simple, and make sure you can cope is a small or large space as you don’t know what you will be given. After all this you will be expected, within seconds, to turn around and be happy and cheerful to meet the public. This is a role that learning your art skills and then your business skills did not prepare you for. Sometimes you must think about how comfortable it might be to be a specialist in a larger business. Alternatively, you are the modern explorer, inventor and creator, perhaps even a modern Isambard Kingdom Brunel!
GreenerHOMEevent Belsize/Hampstead. Inspiration and advice. 16 talks,
20+ exhibitors. Thurs 21 Mch, drop in 3pm-9pm, tinyurl.com/auokrcx
Stained glass studios will be taking part in the Greener Home Event in Belsize Park and Hampstead area of London this week. Lots of help and advice about a greener home and ways to make changes and improvements. Always a great event with talks and discussions and lots of helpful advice to think about. We can all make changes that if added together will make a big difference to our world. It can also save you money on bills in your own home. I hope you can visit the event, and if you do come for a chat. Matthew Lloyd-Winder, director of Stained Glass Studios, will be at the event. See you there.
After weeks of rain and rain and guess what…..more rain at last we have summer and summer light. As we have early summer morning sun the light comes in through a stained glass window with bright jewel like colours. Sometimes we don’t have a large area of glass that can be changed so even a small porthole can still let the light in. Using very light glass and patterned glass can throw great light inside a building giving a little piece of the summer inside.
As we move from rain to more rain and even more rain, I start to think of ways to make the world a bit brighter. I have decided that yellow, orange and gentle reds are the colour of the moment to try and pretend that the world is slightly warmer and brighter than it really is. This is the magic of glass. It is such a simple idea. Plain glass lets the light in and brings the light into our homes and workspaces but a little bit of colour can add a warmth and glow to that light. This can lift our mood, make us more positive and make us nicer to be around. Is it all that simple? Yes it can be. We all now know that we can recover quicker in hospital if we can see out a window and can see trees, fields and animals. So as you walk across the room and you pass through a warm glow of light coming in a stained glass window it can lighten our mood and lift our spirits. It does not need to be a great deal of colour but a small additional pool of light can make so much difference to us all.
The kiln is working, having been mended with a great deal of effort, interesting language and time. So now thoughts of bowls can start again, after a delay of a good few weeks. There is also the opportunity to start firing the glass painting that has been done and has been waiting for a mended kiln. When the new kiln came into the studio we thought it would be a great studio heater. Sadly it is so well insulated that it keeps all the heat inside not sharing it around. Now this is very fuel efficient but not a great solution to cold dank mornings like today. I always remember at college that the kiln area in ceramics, pottery, was always warm and dry with a cosy cave like feeling. Anyway no such luck at stained glass studio, all efficient and well insulated.
This also means that the lamp shown below can now have a new fused glass lid instead of the material cover that was on the original lamp. A new photo will follow once the lid is ‘cooked’ or fused in the kiln.
Time for Spring as it will be 17C this week and my snowdrops will melt! It is still February and we are not ready for this weather so I went looking for the Spring Window. Flower image taken from the window at St Bart’s.