Saturday, 8 December 2012

Enamel pendant

I tried recreating a sample a couple of months ago that I made in 2nd year with a few changes. Although I don't like it as much as it's predecessor I have worked out a couple new methods to make wet ply enamel easier to deal with. At the moment I have been using shot glasses for storing enamel and applying it onto copper blanks with cut straws. They're great because I can stack my enamels when not in use and my house mate can use the spares for vodka jelly.....hint hint hint Hannah.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

etched an enamelled samples

I haven't done any enamelling since the summer and I've missed it so much!!! With these samples I wanted to get better transferring photocopied images onto copper for etching with ferric acid, with the hope of playing with rubbing enamel back and blacking with Liver of Sulphur etc. I thought It would be therapeutic process where there'd be a satisfying feeling of peeling back the acetate like a temporary tattoo to reveal an immaculately transferred image onto copper. Instead I accidentally murdered the laminater and had to perform surgery to get it working again and the spring-back steel components weren't springing back and the tutor leant over it and subsequently dipped his hair in the safety pickle. 8 hours later in the ferric acid (with very little etch) I had some lovely imagery of telephone pylons and these are what I ended up with :

Sifted grey and black enamel (the grey turned green but I like that), rubbed back to reveal etch and  dipped in Liver of Sulphur. I prefer the section on the far left where it is more detailed and not a geometric.

 Flux, buffed back, wire wool, re-fired, Liver of Sulphur. Good to know I can have a glossy background and matt detailing if I wanted.

OK so this is what a sample looks like before I buff the enamel back. Both colours are in fact grey unleaded enamel. The green is a result of multiple firings and the white is after 1 firing. I could have wet plied the enamel which would have given more specific coverage and less mess but there is more of a likelyhood of wet enamel getting contaminated in the workshop than dry for some reason....

.....And this is After!! Still deciding on whether to make it black or not, I think it may suit the white more than the copper. I should really try more colours.....

Monday, 26 November 2012

Summer Sqiggles

What better way to spend a rainy Saturday in Cumbria than to play with inks!! It's like a mini surprise looking through my coursework sketchbook and finding these because It reminds me of the week I spent  with my boyfriend and his mum over the summer. As I go home now and battle with 11p noodles I will remember the fish pie and the pork I scoffed my greedy little face with. 

Sunday, 25 November 2012


More pages will be uploaded soon.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Friday, 28 September 2012

The Hand Warmers Are Back Again!!! Coming soon to Etsy

After curbing my hand warmer obsession for about a year or so I went into overdrive in the summer and made about 6 pairs. Once I have them all photographed they will be going up on Etsy in time for chilly Autumn days - so keep an eye out!

This pair is 25% wool 75% acrylic, and features a little ceramic button (White St. Thomas) made by myself.

Shell stitch pair, with 5 different mixes of acrylic/wool/mohair

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Crochet enamel pendant

This is my favourite sample from one of my uni projects last year.  I have given a couple of samples to my mum and sister but I couldn't part with this one. The aim for this piece was to be double sided, however the other side got contaminated with white enamel and looks a bit splodgy. The size might be what appeals to me the most, its roughly like a squashed 10 pence piece.

Saturday, 25 August 2012


Its that time of year again when I attempt a degree of accuracy in portraiture. I think This version is an improvement from the drawing I did of my sister Kate when I was in Prague last year. 
 Shame I got her nose too big.

My Etsy shop is now open!!! Have a cheeky snoop around!

Friday, 24 August 2012

Nothing like making stock for the ol' Etsy shop while watching Hairy Bikers

It didn't take me that long to crochet these little brooches, it was the beading and finishing that took forever. luckily I had good TV and a lovely elder sibling to keep me company. These will be available for sale on my Etsy shop tomorrow!!!!!! I'm so excited!!!!!!

Sunday, 12 August 2012


Another cuddly thing that may or may not be sold on Etsy. It has a little pocket on it's tummy so you can put sweets or messages in and hide it around the house for others to find.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

New Earrings for Sale, once I get Etsy sorted

Copyright Steffi Glaves 2012

Little crochet flower earrings with a little silver coloured bead that I bought from India, measuring 10mm across. They'll be available once I get an Etsy shop up and running, which will be some time because I have no internet to call my own. It's been a bit of a journey because in order to set one up I needed a Paypall account, which involved retrieving my long forgotten internet bank login details and admitting to myself the sorry state that is my bank balance. But never mind.....long live the dream of a suffering artist!!

Monday, 30 July 2012

First Etched and Enamelled Samples

Have you ever done a project where at the end you suddenly ask yourself, "my goodness this looks tragic, what was I thinking? Why didn't I realise sooner?" Usually when I think this to myself I'm referring to sorting out my wardrobe or some over-experimental cooking, but not with something I've made. With this mini project I had that sinking feeling that the end result wouldn't be as striking as I imagined, and all the work I put in would be a waste. Fortunately, a couple of accidents in the enamlelling kiln changed the colours more to my liking, and with a little more destructiveness I might come out with something that was worth the time I put in. 

Copyright Steffi Glaves 2012

Before I went home for the summer I had a month or so where I could pretty much do whatever I wanted in the workshops. After doing those triangular laser cut pendants I fancied having some done in copper as well, and it gave me an excuse to try enamelling onto an etched surface, which I have never done before. I experimented with liquid grounds, tape and marker pens for making resists for the nitric acid, onto large triangular pendants. I found that some resists worked better than others so the crisp geometric shapes and textures I marked out were lost. I was a bit peeved, but suddenly realised they would look better to cut them up into more manageable pieces. 

This came up a treat in the enamelling process. I didn't realise how little enamel was actually needed to fill the etched spaces I made. Plus, as I was grinding down the surface, the masked parts that were initially etched away suddenly were reappearing. Every time a piece was put back in the kiln and ground down the pattern kept changing. 

measures 55mm long
Copyright Steffi Glaves 2012

My next issue now is that I'm tempted to pierce holes into the blobby bits, as Ive crudely drawn on Photoshop above. I think the green pendant, which is looking a bit plain, would benefit most from this. I'm worried that the enamel could crack but if that happened I could always refire it again......could I.........? Could anyone give their opinion please?

Sunday, 29 July 2012

A Cosy Crochet Cover for a Cremated Loved One

18th May 1922 16th May 2011
May I introduce my Grandad Bill.  Although he passed away last year, he is still a big part of our everyday lives. He stands by the fireplace where he liked to read his paper, making him very much present on the three birthdays and the Christmas that my family have spent in his house.  His jobs in farming and gardening never stopped him from looking his best in a shirt, waistcoat, tie and jacket. Nowadays he is a bit more travel sized but this doesn’t mean he can’t look as distinguished as he did when he was alive. The functional green plastic urn we received him in may have appealed to his inner gardener, but it doesn’t quite reflect his warm persona, and neither would a traditional ceramic urn.  I didn’t want to create a cosy for him as such, that would put him in the league of a teapot cosy or a loo roll doll, but I wanted to cover him in something smart and familiar looking. Plus we still have a lot decorating to do in the sitting room and don’t want him to get freckled with white emulsion again…

Copyright Steffi Glaves 2012

I looked towards his waistcoats and jackets for colours and worked out a pattern with a few button holes so it could be easily changed. I started off with a granny square for the base, and when the square got big enough I stopped increasing the stitches at the corners so the walls can be formed, working my way upwards in single stitch. 

Copyright Steffi Glaves 2012

I’m really pleased with the end result. It almost has jacket lapels, and it doesn’t make him like a hot water bottle, which was my biggest worry. There's also an extra button hole for when we start painting the sitting room again.  I think Grandad would be happy with it too.

Monday, 23 July 2012

SO.......... MUCH........WOOL!!!!!

About a year ago I was very kindly given about 9 bin bags of wool by friends who were clearing out a house they had just inherited. However, in the midst of moving house in Yorkshire and spending most of my time at Uni in Leicester, the wool has been packed in boxes and I haven't had the time to have a proper look through them. I had some shelves put up specially and indulged a whole day in putting it all in colour order and stacking it. 

I can't have it like this forever though. I can imagine moths and spiders making a cosy winter home here when I go back to Uni, so it is my mission over the next month or so to find some nice boxes that I can have on the shelves instead.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Chien-Wei Chang Silver smithing Class

Earlier in February I was taught to make a cylindrical box as part of a class from Silver smith Chien-Wei Chang, which coincided with his own exhibition at the New Walk museum, Leicester. The aim of the 
session was for people to form, solder and make a tightly fitting lid. Everyone in the class had to bring along a personal object that is special to them to attach to the lid. This humble looking twig may look totally bonkers but it's special to me because it reminds me of a really nice walk I took with my Mum and sisters on the grounds of Shandy Hall near Helmsley N.Yorks. It also became the basis of one of my favourite projects this year. 

It may only be the ugly duckling that made me realise my appalling soldering skills but I love it any way. It was a really fun day and I came out with something that I can keep my beer money in. 

For More information on Chien-Wei Chang follow these links:

Monday, 2 July 2012

Guest Book for Artisan Exhibition

This is one of those posts that should have been done waaaaay back in April while the final 2nd year exhibition was happening, but was too busy tearing my hair out to give a thought on how bad my time keeping is. 2nd year Design Crafts students were given the task to organise an exhibition as well as creating artefacts for it. This involved finding a premises, Marketing, organising food, catalogues, fundraising and pricing etc. It took place in Fabrika, Leicester on 24th-28th April and was a huge success, but more on that later.......
Along with helping out with fundraising I was asked to make a book for guests to write cheeky little comments in.
 I had holes laser cut into the plywood to so I could crochet a spine onto the back. It took about 3 hours just to get the spine done, as no matter how I sew it the back cover just wouldn't match the front perfectly. In the end I just gave up and let the squew-wiffness happen. I decided that it is the nature of a crochet stitch that doesn't enable the back cover to be in line with the front, as seen slightly in the image below. It created a bulk on the inside of each covers that caused issues for gluing end-papers. I decided in the end not to have them as I could attach the folios neat enough for it to become a decorative feature on the inside.

The idea was for students to contribute images that I could manipulate on a digital format so that there was a little surprise on each page. What I didn't expect however was how guests would doodle around them.

This image, donated by Martha Harris was crying out to be on the opening page. I love how someone added the worm on the other side.  I also love her blog:

 Can you see what someone's put amongst Steffnie Percival's cut out shapes? Check out her blog too, she exhibited some gorgeous spun and pierced bowls :

other contributions were made by textile, ceramic and light designers on the course and truly completed the book. Although not all the pages were written on I did see the odd one or two flicking through it to find   more images.

UNDER THE SEA!!!!!! Check out Nicola's laser cutting loveliness on her blog:

I'm sort of itching to make another one...........