Sunday, August 17, 2008

DECLUTTERING MY STUDIO

A cluttered work space creates a cluttered mind and even dulls your senses and creativity (my own opinions, not an expert's, mind you). This must have accompanied me during the past months as the more I piled up in my studio, the less organized I became and the less ideas I had. Since I have decided to shelf teaching lampworking for the next 12 months, I decided that the studio should been re-organized to cater to my own needs. Previously I had a large worktable with 5 torches in the middle of the room as it was convenient for teaching. That, itself, was the biggest hindrance - it was smack middle in the room and standing at the doorway, you'd see this huge mess - I was torching, cleaning my beads, metalworking, stringing, basically everything was done in the middle of the room. It looked like the after-effects of a tornado which touched down and left the debris behind.

I wanted my studio to have a spacious feeling/look; be able cross the room directly and not have to go around some furniture in order to get to, say, my glass rods. I have now designated areas for different purposes such as torch area where I just lampwork, cleaning-beads area, metalworking area and office area for my administrative and paperwork. On Thursday, that was the overhaul my husband and I did in the studio. It took us all day, I had thrown out things which I had not used in the past 12 months. I believe that if you haven't used something for more than six months, chances are you're not likely to use it anymore!! With the mess behind me, I feel burden-free. Without my husband's help, I would not have been able to step out of my chaos. Sometimes you need someone to steer you out of a situation.

This coming week, I shall be flying to the UK for the bead fair (held at the Bonded Warehouse) which will run concurrently with the biennially-held International Glass Festival in Stourbridge. Before the bead fair, I shall be teaching two one-day lampworking classes at Plowden & Thompson's studio - the first class focuses on complex twisties/latticino and simple murrini canes, the second class will be on stringer and dot control. I might have mentioned it before, this will be my last teaching stint and I do look forward to these last two workshops.

So, back to lampworking now - it is such a fascination with 'shifting' glass, ie the color of the glass will gradually shift from one shade to another depending on the type of light source. To be honest, I haven't bothered to find out what makes the color shift - I guess one fine day, I would ask but in the meantime, I'm just happy using the glass. The focal bead below is made with Lavender shift from Effetre, which hovers between blue and pink. I have taken a photo of the same bead under different lighting to show you what I mean by 'shift'. Cool, huh? The dots in the middle are made with Double Helix glass and have a greenish metallic finish.

Size of focal: 3.6x2.4cm

Since I'm into lavender shift glass, I decided to make round beads with the similar motif:

Size of each bead: 1.5x1.7cm

As well as in lentil-shaped... These lentil beads are actually quite large and can be used definitely as a focal on its own. As a set, it is great for making into a necklace.

Size of each bead: 2.3cm in diameter

Yes, yes, yes, I am definitely hung up with making 2-D florals again! In black and light ivory with Double Helix dots.
Size of focal: 3.6x2.4cm
And of course, let's not forget my favorite designs with straight lines and dots as well as fav color combo -
Size of focal: 3.6x2.4cm

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