When the first wee chap arrives, soggy and weary, waiting patiently on the telephone wire to be let into the workshop, I know it must be that time of year again. Since moving into Corsock nearly 7 years ago I’ve had annual visitors from Africa staying with me in the eaves of my workshop, squabbling, making a mess, swooping in and out, getting angry with me when I shut the workshop door to run the compressor for sand blasting, but generally being very good company from April til September. The past few years the nests have increased; last years total of baby swallows bred in a glass workshop was 11.
I think they must’ve known that I was just finishing the winter maintenance, painting floors, walls and doors but may have been a bit confused with the new lay-out and a brand new mezzanine floor added since their last visit. It doesn’t seem to have put them off and they are currently flying in and out of their very own ‘swallow hole’ in the door.
It does focus the mind though that Spring is here and soon (very soon!) other annual visitors to the region will be planning their routes and looking forward to seeing some great art and craft. Taking part in Spring Fling Open Studios over the years has been extremely beneficial to my practice, establishing my glass business in the region after re-locating from London. I really look forward to meeting seasoned visitors who give such great feedback on my new work and how things have changed since their last visit and of course meeting new visitors to my studio keeps the event fresh and gives me a new perspective on how I present my work.
This year will be very different as I will be opening up my space to the most wonderful jeweller Natalie Vardey . Natalie lives and works just a few miles up the road which means she will be showing her beautiful pieces very close to their home. Many of you will know Natalie from showing with Trevor Leat over the years (Trevor will still be opening his space in the south of the region).
I feel having Natalie share with me gives me a chance to be more selective of the work I have on show and I plan to have a lot more of the work and ideas behind the finished pieces, such as models, prints and work in progress to show a complete side to my practice as a glass artist.
Still much to do before the event at the end of May; I have new work going out to the Open Eye Gallery in Edinburgh and new stock to Blackwell Arts and Crafts House in the Lake District. Also I have a little trip across the Atlantic to get in before Spring Fling; I was invited by Bullseye Glass (the company based in Portland, Oregon whose wonderful glass products I use) to attend an intensive Teachers Forum for a week. I expect I will arrive home exhausted but even more ‘fired up’ about kiln formed glass…..expect several more updates from me before the big weekend!