Open Studios West Gippsland Exciting Times

Yesterday I attended the RACV Gippsland Tourism Conference at Lardner Park with Helen Timbury and Kay Lancashire on behalf of Open Studios West Gippsland. It was a tremendous opportunity which was supported by our wonderful Karen Whittaker-Taylor from the Baw Baw Shire.
Helen did a 10 minute presentation on OSWG to 150 tourism people. It was excellent and the outcome is we have been offered a partnership with the Mercure Hotel in Warragul to design a weekend stay and visit package for the upcoming Open Studios West Gippsland on the last weekend in November. We firmly believe that by giving visitors the option of accommodation, they will enjoy the whole experience without trying to fit in 18 studios in one day.
There will be more to say in coming weeks but this is tremendous news and we wouldn’t have connected with the Mercure people without attending this conference. Yahoo!!

Sometimes you just have to go with the flow

I’ve always had a love affair with copper.  Recently, I’ve been playing with cold connections, copper, glass and enamel (fine glass).  My bright idea a few weeks ago was to make a funky bird enamelled brooch.  No probs, I say to myself.  Just make an enamelled piece and cold connect it to another piece with the brooch pin in back.  Sure!  I’ve found out the hard way that it’s almost impossible to hammer a rivet into an enamelled piece without cracking the enamel.

First try and I went back and re-enamelled to heal the crack.  Then I scoured the internet to see if there was a tutorial somewhere about it.  Why reinvent the wheel, eh?  I found what I thought was the answer, paid $38 for a digital tutorial.  What I wanted to know was at the very end and lasted about 10 seconds!!! No answers there and I’ve wasted $38.

I don’t know about you but my brain keeps stewing about these things until I finally come up with an answer.  Life is busy here so I put that project and problem aside and got ready to teach a beginners bead embellishing workshop.  Just as I was packing up I looked at the little red bird on my table and thought – ‘I’ll just embellish this guy and turn  him into the brooch he was meant to be.’  And it worked.  Here he is and he’s quite fun.

bird brooch

I guess the lesson in this is you have to go with the flow.  Often, when I’m melting glass it takes me where it wants to go but not necessarily where I want to go.  The whole thing of trying it from a different angle and being flexible was my life’s lesson here.  BTW if anyone out there knows how to solve my dilemma, email me please!

I’ll keep working with copper and enamel and will find my way but I realise now it may not be the way I want to go.



One door closes another opens

You may know I am Canadian and moved to Australia from Collingwood, Ontario (not Melbourne!).  My Mother still lives there and is an active participant in the arts community.  She’s been managing my work at a gallery in Collingwood.  She’s on a new journey and moving closer to family so my connection with Collingwood is going to change.  Part of the deal with exhibiting in the BMFA Gallery is a volunteer requirement.  Mom Maggie has been willing to do my stints until now.  So, that means at the end of September, my work will no longer be available in Collingwood at the BMFA.

It’s sad but happy too because Mom is excited about her move.  I hope to find an alternative in Toronto so who knows what will come of it.  In the meantime, we’re concentrating on getting her moved and settled in.  I continue to concentrate on making more beads, making custom work and getting ready for a very busy November!  The Melbourne Bead Expo is happening on the first weekend of November, then 2 weeks later, is Open Studios West Gippsland which is now on for 2 days.  So, no rest for the wicked.

So, that’s it for now!  Have a great day.


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