I honestly need to be better at keeping up my blog. I decided this past month to revamp my website and couldn't believe that the last time I did an entry was September 2017 - tsk, tsk. So much has happened in the past 7 months! In my September entry I was disappointed that the Fisher Park Craft Sale wouldn't be happening but as luck would have it, two wonderful ladies stepped in and saved the day so the pop-up Christmas market was a go after all and a resounding success for me. I love the experience of meeting people, hearing their comments about my work and seeing repeat customers!
I also participated in the Ottawa Glass Bead Show at the RA Centre in October and debuted my latest creation - The Journey Bead. After taking a class with Janika Filipkova on using double helix glass, I spend lots of time experimenting with this beautiful iridescent glass that does magical things when introduced to other glasses and varying degrees of flame. The idea was to mark my journey from diagnosis of kidney cancer to recovery. The light and dark glass represented the journey and I encased a small cubic zirconia into each bead representing all the blessings that I received throughout my journey. In an effort to give back, a portion of each sale goes back to the Canadian Cancer Society and so far, they have been a wonderful success.
In the new year I was met with disappointing news. The Studio - GSS Flameworks was closing in March. My teacher, friend and mentor Grace Edwards felt it was time to retire, to spend time with her family, bond with her grandchildren and take time to do all the things she didn't have time for while running a business which meant closing the studio and relocating to London Ontario. I can't express how much of an impact this incredible woman has had in my life. She helped me find my creative voice and provided a place for like-minded artists to meet, torch together, share ideas and inspire each other. She brought in renowned glass artists from all over the world to share their techniques and help us explore this wonderful discipline. The glass community in Ottawa and I will miss her very much.
All this meant finding a new space to torch and after much consideration I decided to set up a studio in my home. I love this art so much. I'm not willing to leave it behind and with Bob and I being empty-nesters, we have lots of room in the house so we set about clearing out Bob's office in the basement and converting to a studio.
We headed off on a 3 week trip to Portugal in February/March and while we were away the ventilation system was installed, the studio was painted and furniture moved in. When we returned home we moved in the final pieces, picked up my new kiln and concentrator and hired a wonderful man - Ed Joy - to come in and install the propane and set up the torch.
It's been a very busy couple of months, between our trip and the arrival of our new grandson, I've only had two opportunities to torch but both times, it was pure bliss. How great is it to be able to walk downstairs in the morning, open the kiln and see my beads. This room is my little slice of heaven. We are still waiting patiently for spring to arrive. The weather is predicted to be awful tomorrow - freezing rain, snow, yuk - but how great is it to be able to head down for a couple of hours and lose myself at the torch. I am one very lucky girl - sigh!