Sunday, February 5, 2012

dirty hands

I have been toying with the idea to create another blog that will just be about ceramics, so that I can keep this one all glassy.
Although I have not been melting glass for more than 3 months, I do intend to go back to it as soon as possible. It is just that my ceramics is keeping me head above water at the moment and I have not yet had the chance to set up my torch and tools in the new place that I have moved to. That too will happen in due course!
The fun part of making beads when I want, is that I no longer have the pressure on me to 'manufacture' and will now have the opportunity to start being creative again. I will share what ever I make :-)
Take care

Friday, October 14, 2011

Phew, it's been a long time!

I have really neglected my blog for way too long, and sincerest apologies!

It has been a turbulent year, with a lot of ups and downs thrown into the mix. What has happened, you may ask.

Well, Design Indaba happened in February. My stand was part of a group of 11, and we got the most gorgeous charcoal black/grey walls. Which made all my work dissapear. The black clay bodies were totally invisible, all one could see was little bits of colour peeping out of the rims of the vessels. So after a bit of a panic we painted my stand a traffic yellow colour (the accent colour).

I had some sales off the stand, and got a couple of orders. Which kept me busy for a while :-)

I moved home at that time too, just a couple of weeks before the show. Unfortunately my beloved Thomas Cat could not move with me, and I decided to bring him to the shop. I kitty proofed my door and hoped for the best. But my darling Tom was a real trooper and made the shop his new home. He loves the shop, loves the lovely garden in the apartment block next to my shop even more and demands that all the shoppers say hello to him with hugs and tickles.

The shop kept me busy, but I could see numbers of shoppers dwindling, and customers also tended to spend less. This was confirmed to me by other shop owners in the area.

So I spent some time preparing a tutorial!

And in June I launched my Disc tutorial. I was very happy with the response I got and it helped me financially :-) Thank you to everyone that bought a tutorial!

In August I traveled to Johannesburg for another sponsored trade show. I came back with a few sales and some orders again. but this time I really started to panic. My little shop was not doing very well, and on some days I had more beggars than shoppers visiting me!

And the beginning of this month I realized that I had to close my beautiful little shop. Financially I could not carry it anymore. I also found that my ceramics demanded more time from me, as I sold more of it than my glass range. But I spent up to 8 hours a day with glass, and could only squeeze 3 - 4 hours of clay into my day at night.

So now I am planning another BIG move in a few weeks!

I will try my best to be a well behaved blogger from now and is already thinking of my next blog-tutorial, as well as another 'for sale' tutorial.

Thank you for still following me :-)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sneak preview :-)

Geeze, it's been ages since I have updated my blog! Between a nasty case of internet stalking, and me preparing for Design Indaba things were really hectic here in the Mother city!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

To all the wonderful people in this world

Normally I keep my blog sterile of anything personal. I might show the odd picture of me hiking up Table Mountain, and slip in something here and there, but has always shy'ed away from things that affect me personally.

A lot of times I regretted that decision, other times I am glad that I did not spill my guts for all to see!

2010 was not my best year on a personal level. My dysfunctional relationship is finally on the rocks, and it blew out it's last breath a week or 2 ago. To say that I am sad, is an understatement. I have tried very hard to save it, but I had to give up the love of my life due to an unfortunate triangle situation.

The shop, my darling little place of safety is not so secure. Too many hours working, and adding frequent night shifts to earn enough money is slowly taking it's toll on my body. But I love it, I believe in it, and doggedly I will not give up without a fight. Reality is unfortunately sitting on my shoulder, and forced me at gunpoint to make a decision.

I have decided to keep up the fight till the 27th of February. What will happen then? The 27th of February 2011 is the final day of Design Indaba here in Cape Town. Should I get enough orders during the Indaba for my work to sustain me and the shop through the winter of 2011, we will stay open. If it fails, I will close the doors of Art of Hand ...

I have always been a cautious shop owner. I make contact with shoppers as they walk in, and listen to my gut. But last week, I did not follow through when my gut told me to ask someone to leave the shop. Twice he came back, the second time he managed to disappear with my shop rental, which was due the next day.

It felt as if my insides fell out when I discovered the theft. (About 5 minutes after he left the shop) Panic rose in me, bile taste in my mouth. I could feel how my body temperature changed. And seconds felt like hours. He disappeared down the street, gone, with money which was not his.

I had to voice my disaster, and wrote about it on An hour later I left the shop, to go and work a night shift. When I arrived the next morning at the shop, I was given the surprise of my life.

One of my best on-line friends, Davina-Marie (, sent out a plea for donations. She arranged some grab bags. Other friends jumped in, and offered some of their glorious work as part of the grab bags.

Loco donated the monies raised from 3 sweet toothpick glass holders, handmade by Loco. (I could not find Loco's website, but will add it as soon as I have it!)

Mary Kate offered a beautiful fused dichroic earrings and necklace set in a shimmery blue. (

Jo, our resident MacGalver on LE and another good friend ( contributed the sale from a tutorial to my plight.

Beth, the maker of the most amazing owl beads (, offered 5 (yes! FIVE) of her owl beads.

The monies that were donated by you were enough to help me to recover the stolen money. I am in debt to you and this community of caring people for ever. Thank you to everyone that helped me. Thank you for every one that made a donation to me for my free tutorials.

At this moment I can only offer my limited knowledge of glass bead making. should anyone need any help at any time, please feel free to contact me, and I will try my best to help you.

As soon as I can, I will pass this wonder that happened to me, forward to other people. I have always insisted on offering free tutorials as a way of thanking all the Lampworkers out there that offered their knowledge for free to me. I think I need to continue with that :-)

Summery bell flower pendants

I have sold the 2 bell flower necklaces that I made a couple of months ago, and had a request from a shopper to make a delicate little pendant using just one bell flower. Fine silver stamen anchors the glass bell flower to the chain. the stamen does move around, adding interest to the design.
It is available in my shop, Art of Hand, 305 Long Street, Cape Town. I ship anywhere!