Clifton Suspension Bridge

After the challenge was set by Dave and Pat I resolved to do something creative with my spoilt photographs. Under the read more link is the result.

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Kimmeridge Bay

Underneath the 'read more' link I've uploaded the first panorama I took last weekend at Kimmeridge Bay. Me and my friend Dave got together in his neck of the woods to take photos and use each other's gear. Dave has a nice ultra-wide Sigma lens which I borrowed in the hope of taking some panoramas that didn't consist of masses of photos to stich because my 60mm doesn't give a large angle of view. As there was not enough time to do a proper calibration of the lens onto the tripod head I just used a quick and dirty calibration based on the settings for my 60mm. The resulting images proved a pain to stitch but thanks to a lot of help from johnh over at the PTAssember Formums, I eventually got it stitched and looking reasonable.

I'm keeping my beady eye on you

Here's one of the beads made with the Lentil Press, (used for making a shape out of a molten blob of glass held on a mandrel). I decided to have some fun. What is life without fun. So,

I'm keeping my beady eye on you
Kat bought me a lentil press for my last birthday. The press is so called because the bead is pressed between two blocks of brass to give it a lentil shape, a flattened sphere.

Dave's Weekend

A couple of months ago I visited my friend Dave for a weekend of photography. It's always fun to take photos with someone else as they view things in ways that differ from you so you can start to see a little what their world looks like. We started by driving out in the forested area near where Dave lives. Since I'm meant to be travelling back down to Dave's for another photo jaunt I thought it was probably about time I put some of the first lot of pictures up here.

West Kennet Longbarrow

Yesterday was another 'random' photo day in that I just got in the car and went looking for interesting things I might photograph. I ended up at West Kennet Longbarrow which is near Avebury around 8:30pm. At that time it was pleasantly empty with one couple just leaving and a fellow photographer with a tripod trying to take pictures of the inside of the barrow. The barrow is well restored and quite roomy compared to the Nympsfield and Hetty Peglers Tump barrows which I visited recently.

Minature Safari

A couple of weeks ago, rather than going on a big photographing and walking trip I decided just to travel down the motorway a bit and stop at one of the picnic areas. I eventually settled on the picnic area near the junction of the A420 and the A46. There's a nice patch of grass on a hill which gives a nice view of the surrounding countryside. After taking a couple of photos here I then decided to walk round the edge of the grass and see what there was to photograph in the surrounding undergrowth. What followed was a sort of minature safari which was an enjoyable way to spend about an hour in the sun. I've only just got round to sorting through the pictures and I've put a few up here for you to look at.

Getting hooked

Over the last week or so, I've been frantically trying out different colours and types of glass both from bought Moretti rods and Bullseye ones together with all the various bits and bobs of stained glass left over from other projects, including Bullseye fusible glass and Spectrum fusible too. I've also looked at what in the house I could use to create different shapes in the glass before buying any presses or mashers. I've discovered that a good ridged barrel shape can be made from rolling a bead along a fish slice and a stainless steel paint scraper can be used with a marver to flatten a bead from front to back. At first I was disappointed that some of the paler colours such as pink and white streaky opaque or pale blue and white opaque came out smokey coloured as well as the oranges, greens and yellows but after trying to work further out from the flame of the Hothead, the colours stayed true. It does seem to take longer to make the bead though. I had contemplated getting an oxygen supply for the torch to improve the combustion but decided to try working further from the flame first of all. I'm glad I did as I've spent far too much money on glass and tools this month.

Experiments with colour and shape

I wanted to experiment a bit more to see what happened to some of my store of stained glass when made into a bead. I cut strips 1/4 inch wide and about 9 inches long. When my offcut of glass was smaller, I cut short strips and held the end with a pair of heavy duty pliers. There were some surprising results, not least that a pink and white streaky opaque glass gave a grey bead even when overlaid onto a base bead of white. Some results were better than expected colourwise and the shaping went not too badly too. The barrell shape is the 1st bead on the fourth row and the flattish egg shape is the last bead on the fourth row. I have kept notes of what glass went into each bead, whether one colour was overlaid onto another. I attempted to keep compatible COE (Coefficient of Expansion) glasses together, but time will tell after the beads are kiln annealed.

I've got my Hothead Torch

After waiting too long for one Company to fullfill my order for a torch, I phoned Tuffnell Glass in Yorkshire last Tuesday PM and the torch and ancillary equipment was delivered Thursday morning, so very good service from them. I got a tank of propane gas on Friday from the local camping store and we sorted out a temporary place for me to torch on Saturday. The beads in the photo following are the result. Basically I played, trying out first Moretti glass rods and then some Bullseye fusible. I even tested some Spectrum fusible and waterglass to see what would happen to the colours. I kept notes because although most of the non-Moretti colours produced dark/greyer/beigey shades, I could see that such odd colours might come in useful some day. I even melted a piece of Kokomo brown and green streaky to see what happened. The squarish beads in the picture are the result. I also made some twisties for the first time and used them in a few of the beads. I cooled the beads in vermiculite for the time being but when I have a few more, will put them in the kiln to properly anneal. At the moment, I am standing to torch but have to take a rest after each bead as my back muscles go into spasm, (old injury).


As I've been trying to archive images off my hard drive this week to free up more space for pictures I've come across a lot of images that I'd 'forgot' about or put to one side to deal with later. One of these is a picture of my brother Mat which I took this Christmas. He was just sitting on the stairs watching TV while I was sat playing with the settings on my camera. I realise that I already have a portrait of my brother Edd on this site but no picture of Mat so without further ado....

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