Thursday, 23 March 2017
Invest in a professional portfolio filled to the brim with beautifully laid out colour photography on a black background. Don’t walk into the gallery with a handful of snapshots.
Sending Biography and VisualsSend general descriptive information about yourself and your work to the gallery first. Then follow this up with a telephone call. Find out the contact name you need for the relevant department within the gallery. If you send something with no contact name your presentation can sit in a pending tray for months! Contact as many galleries as you can handle, rather than waiting for a reply from the first one on your list.
Research and Make Appointments
Don’t just turn up at a gallery with your work. Galleries plan their exhibition schedule at least two years in advance. They are busy most days with artists and dealing with clients so it is always best to make an appointment first.
Pop in regularly to your local galleries, or research on the internet, to get an idea of the kind of designers they display, and the style and quality of work on show.
Keep in TouchContemporary galleries are always looking for new original designers for their exhibition programme, so update the gallery regularly by sending emails, transparencies and CD (with images).
It is especially important that the gallery can see how serious you are about your work, how it develops in style and that you are still exhibiting and producing work 2-5 years later. Make sure your work is unique and difficult to duplicate. Keep your own designs and patterns dated and own the copyright to them.
Don’t give up. There's someone out there who will like your work. When you find gallery owners who are crazy about your work, stick with them.
When you have an offer of a show
Watch the papers for announcements of other openings at the gallery to see how well each opening is advertised. Ask around the arts community to see how well known the gallery and its owner are.
Check on the gallery/artist percentage agreement when calling each gallery. Your price to the public must be calculated based on this. Charge what the work is worth!
Check around with other artists represented by the gallery, asking them about promptness of payment by the gallery.
Be businesslike in all dealings.Prepare a contract, if the gallery does not have one, to cover mutual expectations. It should include who does what, e.g., mounting of the work, invitations to the opening, opening night, payment terms, artist’s residual and resale rights, etc.
Don’t be a pain to the gallery owner. Don’t pester. If you have to be anxious about the show, do it privately.
Enjoy the opening night!
Wednesday, 22 March 2017
Wednesday, 15 March 2017
Sunday, 12 March 2017
If you have always imagined owning something unique and original, or like to be distinctive and stylish and can’t find what you are looking for on the high street, then commissioning could be the way forward.
If you are nervous about taking the next step and uncertain what is involved, these are the key stages.
Step 1: What do you want?
Step 2: Research by looking at ideas and images that suit your imagination. Note who is working in that kind of style.
Step 3: Write a brief of what you have discovered and then discuss your ideas with the artist you have identified.
Step 4: Discuss the budget and get a written quotation.
Step 5: Agree on the time frame for progress and delivery updates. There are sometimes difficulties in making unique items.
Step 6: Communicate regularly with each other.
Remember, because the process is about communication, there is the potential for misunderstandings and differing expectations by the commissioner and maker. Make sure you have thought the process through before proceeding and ensure all aspects are clarified in writing before you begin - including the quotation, payment schedule, time frame, etc.
And finally…… Enjoy it
The opportunity to commission a piece is an exciting experience and can be rewarding to both you and the maker. As long as you are prepared, and keep communicating with each other, you will become the owner of a unique and special piece of work which will bring hours of pleasure and will be the envy of your friends.
The full information can be downloaded from craftscotland
|A shoe polishing brush|
It is important to keep these brushes free of hardened cement, as a brush containing pieces of hardened cement will scratch the leads rather than darken them. As soon as the polishing is finished, inspect the brush for little balls of cement. Rubbing the brush against a clean rough surface will clean it while the cement is “wet”. Also running the brush at an angle on the sharp edge of your work bench will clear some of the cement adhering to the bristles.
|A polishing brush with slightly stiffer bristles|
If the cement hardens, you can clean the brush by crushing the hard balls of cement with a pair of pliers. Or you can just get a new shoe polishing brush.
Saturday, 11 March 2017
- Calculate half the measurement of the longest line. In this example the long line is 340mm and the short axis is 200mm long. So the diagonal is 170mm.
- Measuring from the end of the shortest line, mark off this amount on the longest line, top and bottom. You can use a ruler or compass set to the correct length.
- Insert a pin at both these points.
- Place a piece of thread, string - or in this case a quick release tie - round one pin. Tie a knot in the thread at the far end of the longest line.
- Put a pencil inside the loop. Pull the thread taut and begin to draw the oval.
Wednesday, 8 March 2017
60 grit belts and disks provide a very aggressive grinding action. This grit takes large amounts of glass away very quickly. It makes shells and takes chips out of the glass with anything greater than light pressure. You need to create a small arris to avoid the shelling before grinding the face. The metric size is 0.2337mm.
80 grit belts and disks provide a slightly less aggressive grind. But you must push lightly until you get the shape you want. On a new belt this is a remarkably fast process. Eighty grit belts can also take chips out of the glass, so be careful. Again an arris will help avoid the shelling. The metric size is 0.1778mm.
100 grit belts and disks can also remove glass quickly with a new belt. Work at 100 grit until you get the shape or the big scratches are all gone from the 80 grit. As the belt gets worn, you may want to push harder to get the desired shape, but let the belt do the work. The metric size of this grit is 0.1397mm.
120 grit belts and disks remove scratches and still do some refining of shape. The metric size is 0.1168mm.
200 grit belts and disks remove smaller scratches only. The shape of edge can still be adjusted, but only slightly. The metric size of this grit is 0.0737mm.
400 grit belts and disks begin the polishing phase. Look for bigger scratches that you may have missed. The use of paint markers will help in this. Cover the the dry surface with the paint marker before beginning the polishing. This will show up any large scratches remaining after the first pass with the belt. If you find these, move back up to the level of grit that would remove any of the visible scratches, then work your way down again. The metric size of 400 grit is 0.037mm.
600 grit is a polishing phase. Take your time and move a little slower. At this stage, all the larger scratches should be gone and you are only polishing. The metric size of this grit is 0.020mm.
You can proceed to finer grits if you wish - such as 1200 (0.012mm) - but 600 is a practical grit at which to switch to cork and pumice, rouge or cerium oxide.
Cork is the final polishing phase before getting an optical finish with cerium oxide. The cork will grab the glass, so hold it securely. It is the friction between the cork and the glass that actually does the polishing. But do not let the glass overheat.
Grinding method You should not push hard with any of the grits. If you find that you want to get the work done more quickly, then it's time to put on a new belt or go to a coarser grit to remove the glass. You can use older belts as though it is a finer grit. The belts with finer grits will usually last a little longer than the coarser ones because the work is less agressive.
The grits of 100 and coarser are for shaping the piece. The one you choose will be related to the amount of glass to be removed.
After achieving the shape desired, it is usual to half the size of the grit (or in grit sizes - double the number) at each stage. So after 100 grit, use 200, 400, and 600 one after the other.
Of course you can do all this work without machines. These grit sizes are available as loose powders. The methods of working with a slurry of water and grit are described here.
Cutting the Handle
Wrapping the Handle
Mark the paper 5 mm – 10 mm above the top of the handle. This will be the fill indicator when pouring the lead. If you over-fill the cone, the stopping knife will be heavy and uncomfortable to use.
If the paper cone is too long, you can cut it shorter with scissors or a knife. It does not need to be a smooth cut, as it will not affect the poured lead.
This shows the fill line inside the cone before pouring the melted lead.
Pouring the Lead
Finishing the Handle
Wednesday, 1 March 2017
- · Unity – all the elements form a whole.
- · Balance – note, not only symmetry, but a distribution of elements that allows each piece to appear to be in its proper place. Imbalance provides dissonance and tension which can be the purpose of the piece, of course.
- · Rhythm – this can be repetition with or without variation. This provides energy, animation to the piece.
- · Emphasis – or contrast between a main element and the rest. This can be size, colour or placing.
- · Harmony – all the elements work together to form a whole.
Wednesday, 22 February 2017
The process takes advantage of two things - heat and weight. The glass on the shelf side moves less than the top as it is not quite so hot, and the weight of the glass above keeps the lines the way they were cut. The glass on the top of the piece begins to move first and fill the gaps that are left between the pieces.
|This piece has been assembled with the final upper surface on the shelf and the base sheet placed on top.|
The simplest method to achieve straight lines is to fire the piece with the final surface down to the shelf. After fusing, turn over and clean any surface contamination, usually by sandblasting. Wash and polish dry. Then fire the new surface to a fire polish temperature.
|The same piece fire polished after cleaning the fused glass.|
This technique works best on pieces that are of one uniform thickness.
There are other factors at play in obtaining crisp lines.
Smooth glass will fuse straighter than strips of textured glass. The individual strips fit closer together, leaving less room for lines to wander and create a wavy appearance.
The quality of the cut of the strip is important. Straight strips with right angle edges and no flares make for crisper lines.
The thinner the strips, the less opportunity for movement in the fusing when they are placed on edge. Ideally, the strips should be 6mm wide. This is the thickness that glass tends to take up when full fused. The greater the width beyond 6mm, the less likely the lines will be straight.
The viscosity of the glass affects the crispness of the lines. A glass that is less viscous will tend to be more wavy than a more viscous glass. E.g., black glass, a less viscous glass than white, will tend toward waviness more than the white. This is not a variation between manufacturers; it is a variation within a compatible range of glasses.
The firing surface will have an effect. Firing directly on a kiln washed shelf will give crisper lines than firing on fibre paper of whatever thickness.
Damming the composition before firing will produce straighter lines. The dam holds the strips in place during the heat up and restricts any flow that would be caused by strips thicker than 6mm.
Wednesday, 15 February 2017
- Soak Times
Another element in slumping glass not formulated for kiln working is the annealing of the glass after the slumping. The annealing temperature can be estimated as 40C below a low temperature slump of a 280mm span of glass. The slump point test mentioned earlier will help determine the annealing point. You need to soak for a time - maybe 30 minutes - at the estimated annealing temperature and then cool slowly in case you have miscalculated on the annealing temperature. In any case, a long slow anneal cool will pay dividends in a more robust glass.
Remember TADSET - temperature, annealing, devitrification, soak, edges, test.
Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Wednesday, 1 February 2017
The follow-on question is about why devitrification occurs on ground edges that are not near the kiln shelf. There are two elements to consider.
It is claimed that the fumes of the binder burning off can settle in the pits of the ground glass, providing those nucleation points for the glass crystalisation. The suggested solution is to vent the kiln to about 400C to allow the combustion fumes out of the kiln rather than keeping them inside the kiln.
The second and more certain element is that the grinding creates microscopic pits and fractures in the glass where the powder from grinding settles. Almost no amount of cleaning will completely remove this residue from the tiny pits and fractures resulting from grinding.
There are at least two solutions to this cleaning problem. Don't grind unless absolutely necessary - groze instead. The second is to lightly cover any ground edges with clear powder frit. You could of course consider ultrasonic cleaning or power washing, either with a dishwasher, or outdoor power washer. Both these seem to be so completely out of proportion to the problem, that I have never used them.
Tuesday, 24 January 2017
|Mandrels prepared for bead making. In coating them for a melt, you need to have the whole length coated.|
Once dry, you can arrange these coated mandrels in any shape of grid you choose. Lay them across your supports whether fibre board or brick with about 25mm on the support at each end. Lay all of one direction down first and the follow with the second, or more layers. Place you glass on top of the grid created and fire.
Wednesday, 18 January 2017
- · What are the initial rates of advance, are they different?
- · Where is the bubble squeeze, is there one?
- · Are there different rates of advance from bubble squeeze to top temperature?
- · If you can compare their larger and smaller kilns, is there a difference in schedules?
- · Are the top temperatures different for tack and fuse?
- · Is there more than one tack fuse temperature to allow for various levels of tack from lamination to fully rounded?
- · Is there a difference in soak times at the target temperatures?
- · Are there low and high temperature slumps?
- · Is there a difference in temperature or time between various slumps?
- · Is there any allowance for span or size of mould?
- · Does depth of the mould make any difference to the schedule?
- · Is a difference for the depth of the mould offered?
- · Are there different schedules for Spectrum, Wissmach, Bullseye, etc. fusing glasses?
- · Are float glass schedules any different for rates, soak times, annealing points?
- · Are the schedules printed in the kiln handbook or manual?
- · Are you given clear instruction on when to alter the programs?
- · Are you given clear instruction on how to alter the programs?