The loose structure of our 10 day course was based around demonstrations first thing in the morning and then spending the rest of the day developing our own work. This enabled us to work at our own pace, interact with our fellow course mates and discover the local area. Above is a demonstration by Jiri on the 'big' lathe, showing us a very fluid way of engraving with a large diamond cutting wheel, then stone wheel to highlight and semi-polish some areas and finally using a large felt wheel for a final polish.
The second day we increased in scale and depth working with thick slabs of float glass.....interesting to work with float as i'm exclusively Bullseye Glass in my studio and found it so much easier to cut into than Bullseye (later to be explained by April that Bullseye is one of the hardest glasses). Beginning to feel mentally exhausted by early afternoon as inspiration, thinking, talking and physical work on the lathe takes it out of me.
Every evening we eat as a group in the Hotels around Lybster.....this is great as you can catch up with the other class, talk more glass and generally relax with some extremely good food. We had our first group slideshow from the Hot Shop group introducing themselves and their work.
We're into our stride now on Day 3 - April demonstrates her cameo engraving technique on layers of Bullseye glass. I must admit this was my draw to this course...I find Aprils work fascinating, it draws you into the scence full of emotions and detail but with an undertone of darkness suggesting things are not quite what they seem. April explained that she thinks about the image she is working on (taking mostly from her own photographs) and changes the image to suit her emotional reaction to the piece.
We start on our own cameos, two pieces made from Bullseye one with thin glass and the other with two layers of powders on top of one sheet. It took me the rest of the course to finish both my cameos....slow going but a very meditative process.
That evening was the engraving course time to show and tell (had to get mine over quickly whilst the evenings meal birthday celebration lubrication was still working!...very nearly cracked at a very large picture of Snowy on the wall...I always get homesick).
A very significant birthday for Kathy.....