Art on Piper

I’m excited to share with you my latest venture. Two of my creative friends and I have opened an art gallery in Kyneton! Art on Piper is a not-for-profit art collective where local artists can rent gallery space to showcase their work. The gallery can be found at 44 Piper St, Kyneton and is open 10am to 4pm every day except Tuesdays.

The start of the month has been an absolute whirlwind of activity. We got the keys to our premises on 1st of March and spent a week fitting it out for opening on 9th of March, in time for the Lost Trades Fair that was running in Kyneton over that long weekend. There was a lot of heavy lifting, rewiring, setting up wall panels, carpet laying…so exhausting! But also a wonderful feeling seeing the space come together in such a short time. Already we have 16 artists with wonderful pieces. There is room for more who do not need wall space.

I am very excited about out new gallery and hope you are able to pop in for a visit and perhaps purchase some art. But if not then you can still find a selection of my work on Etsy and Made It.




Tasmanian Craft Fair 2017

The Tasmanian Craft Fair has been held in Deloraine for the past 36 years.  I previously attended 2010-2013 but haven’t managed to make it back until this year.

The Craft Fair runs from Friday 3 November to Monday 6 November and is open from 9am to 5pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and from 9am to 4pm on the Monday. It is spread across 8 venues in Deloraine, with a free shuttle bus between venues.  My stall will be located in Venue 8 which is Gays Pavilion.  There’s lots of yummy food stalls next to Gays Pavilion so it’s the perfect venue for a tasty lunch.

Normally the walls of my stall are blank which is a waste of space.  This year, the walls of my stand will be decorated with my brightly coloured acrylic paintings.

I will also be selling miniature paintings in the form of necklaces. These small works of art make unique jewellery.

As Christmas is approaching, I’ve made lots of glass Christmas

I’m really looking forward to attending the Craft Fair this year to see what has changed since I was last there.  One thing that won’t have changed is the quality of the work presented.  It’s all handmade.

Now all I need to do is pack everything in the car which will be quite a squeeze and catch the ferry across.  Tassie, here I come.

New addition to website

I have added a new gallery section to my site – Paintings.

Experimenting with acrylic pouring is something I have recently started to do. With this technique, no paintbrushes are used. It’s fun to combine colours, pour the paint onto the canvas and tilt the canvas around so the paint flows and creates different effects. Even when I use the same colour combinations on a new canvas, the results can be completely different.

I’m looking forward to offering my new paintings for sale at the my next event – the Tasmanian Craft Fair. I also have a small selection available at Works of Art in Kyneton.

A Peek Inside My Studio

It’s been a while since I wrote a blog so I thought I’d invite you into my studio.  I live on a hill and my studio is located under the main part of the house, with two large windows that provide ample light. It’s only on the darkest of days that I need any lights on.  I had to work inside a dark cold garage at a previous house so this is a luxury.

My studio is divided into two sections: my fused glass area and my lampworking area. With my fusing area, I have two work benches where I cut glass and lay it out into patterns straight onto a moveable kiln shelf.

There’s storage under each bench, as well as the kiln table.  I also have a rack behind one of the benches which holds my molds and lots of jars of frit (crushed glass) in different colours and sizes. It doesn’t matter how much storage I have, I still seem to need more.

My benches tend towards very messy. Occasionally I’ll clean up my benches, taking off all the scrap glass etc, which isn’t easy or enjoyable.  Despite my efforts, the benches don’t stay clean for long.  Someone once told me that a messy work area is a sign of a messy mind.  I disagree.  I think a messy bench is a sign of a creative mind.  Often it is the scraps of glass laying around that trigger ideas for new projects.

Here’s my kiln.  It sits in the corner on a metal table. I’ve just finished a slumping cycle and the pieces are ready to be taken out of the kiln to be cleaned.  I actually slumped two items at the same time.  There is the large bowl that you can see clearly.  Below it, there’s a small square plate.  The largest item I can make is 40cm square and I can load two kiln shelves in there when I’m fusing pieces (the step you do before slumping where all the glass is melting into one piece).

Whilst there are many larger kilns available, this one suits my needs.  I did have to get an electrician to install a special powerpoint for the kiln.  I’m thankful that I don’t need three phase power.  The bottom shelf of my kiln actually pulls out a fair bit so I can load the kiln quite easily without anything getting in the way. This is the first kiln I bought and I’ve had it for over 10 years.  I did buy myself another kiln last year but that one is specifically for lampworking.

The other part of my studio is my lampworking area where I make glass beads.  Everything I need to work with is within arms length.  I deliberately placed the bench away from direct sunlight as sometimes when light streams in a window, I can’t see the flame.  If I can’t see the flame, then I don’t know where to work.  Where I hold the glass and mandrel (metal rod on which the bead is made) in the flame is very important. Depending on what type of detail I’m adding to a bead will determine the position within the flame. If I hold the bead directly in the centre of the flame when I’m adding fine detail, the glass will melt too quickly and ruin the design.

You can see my blue lampworking kiln in the foreground of the above photo with mandrels poking out of the kiln.  There are two little flaps on this type of kiln.  When I finish making a bead, the hot bead goes straight into the kiln.  The flap is quickly lifted and I then place the hot bead into the hot kiln to anneal (strengthen) it.

I love my studio and have spent many hours there.

Painting workshop

finished painting 2017

I haven’t painted a picture in years.  It’s not something I have spent a lot of time doing so my efforts aren’t very good.  I even paint rooms badly.  However, I was browsing Facebook recently and an ad for a painting workshop popped up in my feed.  I just loved the use of colours within the ad – they seemed to be calling me.  One of the key points that was stressed in the workshop blurb was that you didn’t need any painting experience.  The workshop ran over a Saturday and Sunday but was about 2 1/2 hours drive away.  I booked in anyway.  I stayed with my daughter on the Saturday evening to cut an hour off driving time.

The tutor, Susan, was lovely.  Some of her artwork was displayed around the art room we used.  Susan’s paintings in real life are vivid, full of colour with lots of layers coming through.

A canvas had been provided on each of the workspaces.  I was a bit surprised by the size – 30 inches square.  I did wonder whether I would be able to fill the canvas with anything meaningful.first layer

Using acrylic paints, I finger painted the first layer.  It was quite liberating to just smear the canvas with my fingers.  It didn’t matter what I did, just that I did something.  Mind you, my eyes were closed whilst finger painting.  I guess this was to just let you go with the flow.  Susan stressed several times that we weren’t to get too caught up in the result of each layer as the painting would evolve through each layer.

As therfourth layere were many different layers to complete in a limited timeframe, you can’t put another layer of paint onto wet paint as it will smudge, I used my hair dryer to dry any wet paint.  My hair dryer, which has lain dormant in my cupboard for years, came in handy.  Good thing I didn’t throw it out.

More layers were added to the canvas using different styles, words were also incorporated.  One of the other layers also involved using your fingers.  At the end of it, I had lovely, colourful fingernails, almost as if I’d been for a bad manicure. I also really enjoyed mixing colours of paint together.  With glass, you can’t mix the colours in the same manner.  I found it quite liberating.  After each layer, the hair dryer came out once again. There is no right or wrong method, you just play with the paint.

At the end of the second day, my painting was almost complete.  I took pictures of each stage as I went as a record for future paintings.  Whilst my painting isn’t perfect, I’m very happy with the result.  All the paintings in the workshop looked great.  For a few of the participants, it was their second time round.

Now I need to buy a few painting supplies so I can continue working with these beautiful colours at home.  When 2017 started, I never imagined I would do this type of workshop.  Workshops I usually attend are glass related.  No, I’m not giving up my glass art – I love that too much.  I just need to express myself in a different way sometimes.