Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Handmade Hell!!

I have recently been accused of 'stealing' and 'copying' designs on another blog. As you can imagine, this fuelled a lot of debate and comment from others. Here's my side of the story. The lattice bowl you see above is one item. Latticework is not a new concept and one of the first things I learnt - there is even a tutorial in 'An Introduction to Glass Fusing' book. Albeit tac fused, but I did not like this version, so fully fused it, which in my eyes is a much better finish.

Colourways - I'm glad you asked. My Spey and Burns ranges were created for the Scottish market (where I currently live). I live near the River Spey - colours associated with rivers = blues. Hence the creation of the blue 'Spey' latticework. The Burns range, after the famous Scottish Bard, Robert Burns. But what colour would you associate with a poet?? A tricky one, so I got my thinking/creative cap on (yes, I actually do have one!) and thought of fire - colours commonly used for fire = red, yellow, orange. How's that for creative thinking! These are the only two colourways I have created and have not made these bowls or wave vessels (that's right, I don't only make bowls) since February/March last year. These designs have also been documented in the Press and Journal Newspaper (more so explaining the idea behind the tartan wave, please feel free to read facts). Anyway, I have moved on from latticework in these forms, I found that it is nothing new to retailers, they have seen it for years. So, if someone was to accuse me of stealing ideas - then surely it would be a Scottish artist, who had created such a piece.
Here's the 'Spey' Tartan Wave creation (above)

The 'Burns' range (above)

Moving on...Don't these look familiar?? - By the way's this is not my work (above). These are Fused Erin AdamQuilt Tiles

My creations (above) - so similar it's uncanny. No, I didn't copy the colourways above, I only found this site yesterday.

These glass nuggets were also created in my early years (yes I have been working with glass for more than one year, since 2003 in fact, I started in stained glass initially). The first thing to learn is layering and test firing - to see how glass pieces look after firing at different temperatures. This technique is also in the book mentioned earlier. You first start with clear, so not to waste, but move on to colourways - it's a natural progression. These nuggets also form part of the Spey and Burns range - they had been arranged in picture frames and made into wall art. I don't have a photo of the finished product, but can be seen here on my website. I do agree that they are similar to ones I have seen over the internet here is another framed wall art, I love this one (not my work):

But inspiration for my designs were in part due to Brenda Griffith - the queen of fused glass Pop Art. She has written a book ' A Beginner's Guide to Kiln Formed Work', the second book I bought when I Started. She's been fusing since the mid 80's so a very accomplished artist (and a brilliant one - I love her designs). I also make Pop Art ranges - pendants, rings, cufflinks. The other part came from a glass artist (can't think who it was now, it was a long time ago) on the Warm Glass USA website gallery - glass nuggets were arranged in a black box frame, but using a lot black glass - I didn't particularly like this version, so created my own variation.
Coasters..... I love the lattice coasters and still make these. If you read the newspaper article mentioned earlier, it was stated that I was to exhibit at the Royal Cornwall Show (I'm Cornish and proud). I thought it would be a good idea to make the lattice coasters, which look similar to tartan, in the three Cornish tartan colours. Cornwall has tartans too! So I made the Hunting Tartan, National Tartan and St Pirans Tartan colourways (St Pirans is above and my favourite - black, white, red). Each colour from the tartans have been used in each of the coaster designs. The colours in the tartans also have meanings i.e., the national tartan contains black and gold which were the colours of the ancient Cornish kings - hence I now call the coasters Black and Gold - clever! It's actually really interesting, if you would like know about the Cornish tartan colours here. I thought this was an ingenious idea and don't think they exist anywhere else (but don't quote me on that, as I could be wrong!!). So again, if I was to copy the colourways, a Cornish glass artist should be banging on the door. Whilst exhibiting at the show, I was one of EIGHT glass workers - WOW, that was a lot of competition. I also made some St Pirans cufflinks, thinking this was a great idea - low and behold, there were two other fusers who made exactly the same. Is it possible for people who I had never met/seen/knew of to make the exact item. I didn't know who was going to be exhibiting, I hadn't visited the show in years, due to moving away and certainly do not any Cornish fusers (oh, apart from Jo Downs - who's big business down there). The answer is yes, creative people do often think alike, especially when using the same glass/equipment from the same suppliers (glass supplies in this country are limited compared to the States). That goes for equipment - moulds are readily available, designs are going to be similar, I am not that blinkered to realise this fact. This is why as an artist you have to think outside of the box - which I think I do. Feel free to disagree on this one!!

As for stealing the words 'glass love tokens' - this expression has been used for years. The glass company Spaceform make lots of them, and they have been calling then glass tokens for years, since the mid 90's infact. I saw another glass artist making the same ones as mine at a show - also calling them love tokens.However, I'm not going to beat them up about it. I never invented hearts, glass, the design etc. Besides mine are called Dinkies and include the cute Highland Coo.

I started making heart hangers, then latterly coasters as I always get people asking for 'heart things'. Copper heart inclusions in coasters has been around for as long as I can remember, so added the swirly frit as 'something different'. Well at the time of making them, I thought they were different. I have a paper punch with the same swirly pattern and tried to incorporate this design in copper, but it just chewed the copper. Hence the creation of the infamous 'swirl'. Here's some more frit swirlyness - not my creations - I love the swirly coasters:

I could ramble on for hours, but you're probably zzzzzzzzzzz by now. Oh, one final thing, one particular comment made was that I am the same as the first word in my business name 'LAZY'. I think not! I work very hard at making my business work (it's not a hobby). And I take such comments and accusations seriously. As they say 'Frit Happens'!!

Kathryn, (not so) Lazy Daisy Glass xx

Sunday, 21 February 2010

New Additions to Website

I have added some new coasters to my website - these are the Doodles range, available in black and white with contrasting patterns.
The Fusion range of dichroic glass pendants were looking a bit wish, so have added some more designs, available here. These are one-off designs, full of vibrant colours and patterns. The Tree of Life pendant, which is hand etched, and the Orb have also been added.

Kathryn, Lazy Daisy Glass xx

Thursday, 18 February 2010


I recently had an enquiry from a shop owner residing in Oman, wanting to stock my glass jewellery in their retail outlet. I have to say, I was dubious to begin with - "another scam of some sort", I thought to myself. But, communication developed over the days with the owner picking the jewellery items and some glass fishies - I began to feel at ease. The shop owner was informing me that glass jewellery hasn't really hit their area, so they want to be the first to sell it.

Anyway, I sent a parcel last week using the FedEx 3 day service and have to say that I was very impressed with the couriers (it was quicker to ship to Oman in the middle east, than to Glasgow, four hours down the road!!! - a recent bad experience, but that's another story).
It's a lengthy process having to write out commercial invoices for customs, but once you understand it, it's straightforward.
Don't you just love the photo above - it's a beach in Muscat, Oman - the location of the shop I supplied. Perhaps one day I could even make business trips!! Well, there's always hope.
Kathryn, Lazy Daisy Glass xx

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Meet The Designers

I took my daughter to Matalan on Saturday, where we were lucky enough to meet Colin and Justin (I admit it, it was really me that wanted to meet them). It was manic to say the least - the queue was too long to join when we first arrived. My daughter is only two so as you can imagine keeping a two year old entertained whilst standing in a queue for any length of time - not an easy task!!

However, lucky for me, she fell asleep in her buggy - ahhh.

We queued for over an hour to finally meet Colin and Justin. They were really lovely, very smiley (Colin more so) and spent time chatting to folk. I also gave them a special valentine present, which they really liked.

The designers were at the store promoting their homeware range, which Matalan now sell.

Kathryn, Lazy Daisy Glass xx

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Alot to Say...

Just a keep post - I haven't been able to blog lately due to my laptop dying on me!! Finally gave in and bought a new one today - so here I am at last.

A lot has happened in the last week, but have some photos to download before I tell you my favourite story.

Watch this space.

Kathryn, Lazy Daisy Glass xx

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Haiti Charity Auction

A group of like minded jewellery designers and lampworkers have come together to raise money for charity. Each of us has donated beads or jewellery items (even some plushies have been donated) to be auctioned over at Kookie Designs. All proceeds will be going to the Haiti Disaster.

The auction starts at 10am on Monday 8 February.

Pop along and have a look at some of the great lots - there are 16 in total, many with two/three items in each lot. The mushroom focal beads (above) are made by the very talented Laura Sparling.

Kathryn, Lazy Daisy Glass xx

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

How to Drill Holes in Glass

Since purchasing my bench pillar drill, I have been busy drilling holes in my glass pieces. I first created my wave clocks, then moved on to the 'True Blood' Hearts (above). I have to say, the thought of drilling glass petrified me. But, with the right tools, it's quite easy. And you do not have to buy a flushing head kit to drill holes. I create wells around holes by using clay:

Fill the well with water:

Here you can see I have drilled eight holes in the heart:

Some useful tips on how to drill holes in glass:

1) User diamond drill bits, not carbide. Sintered drill bits have diamond content throughout the tip of the drill, so when it wears down, you can run it through a dressing stick to expose new diamonds. Thus extending its lifespan.
2) Use diamond hole saws to drill holes 1/4" or larger, but also for drilling thick glass. I drill 6mm, so I use a hole saw.
3) Use plenty of lubricant (water) to keep the drill bit cool and clean.
4) Use less pressure - the drill will work at its own pace. Don't be hasty!
5) Diamond hole saws work better at 600-900rpm.

Kathryn, Lazy Daisy Glass xx

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Trade Orders

My latest kiln batch has just cooked - as you can see the Lazy Bones fish are extremely popular. I have some clocks and coasters included in this lot as well:

My new clocks turned out to be a good seller at the trade show. They are fired flat first, then placed over a mould to make their shape:
And here is the finished product, the Arc Clock - Retro:

Oh, did I mention we have snow - AGAIN (that's all I seem to talk about these days!!).
We have a new lodger: Kathryn, Lazy Daisy Glass xx