Wednesday, 14 January 2015

A Selection of happenings in my life over the last 6 months......

 I was once again amazed to see that 6 months had passed since my last blog entry, where on earth does time go to?? I have been busy so that usually eats up the days it's true.
I have put together a selection of images from the MANY I have on file. Instead of adding the chosen ones individually I have grouped them in little collages, I hope that they open up big enough for you to see the details!
Above is a commission I had a few months ago, a thick heavy optical crystal free standing wedge circle. I hand engraved the cow on the back and sandblasted the lettering on the front.

 This was a lovely commission to do, a special presentation to the two craftsmen who renovated the Alfred Corry. I drew the details of the vessel from an old photograph on my computer to suit my sandblasting technique, keeping it simple and neat but showing as much detail as possible. I then print a very clear transparency and make masks for each decanter out of photo film mask which I then use to sandblast the crystal decanters. There was no hand engraving involved.
 I engraved at several events last year for Bombay Sapphire both for promotional (press event) and the public. Mainly at Selfridges both in London and Birmingham. At the events I hand engrave the bottles but I also sandblast bottles they send to me at my workshop for presentations to clients. I also engraved Grey Goose last year.

Then I was back in Harrods engraving for Givenchy, such beautiful perfumes. I have also been sandblasting bottles for their clients at my workshop.  
Then look who I bumped into again.... :-)
 

 I played loads of golf last year, my second year as Ladies' Vice Captain. I managed to win a few trophies which was fantastic, both individually and with my mixed partner. What a team!!
Then in December I was voted in as the Ladies' Captain at Halesworth Golf Club, for which I am extremely honoured and proud! I have a super busy year ahead and am really looking forward to it. With this in mind I must remind anyone wishing to come and see me, please make an appointment, especially if you are travelling from far. Keep in mind that Thursday is Ladies Golf day at my club.
 This is a lovely Dartington Crystal candle holder which I engraved a while ago, the little girl is on the front and the moon and star on the back. I took a photo on my phone of the moon together with this star one evening at home so I am happy that the angle and positions are correct. I have put this in my ETSY shop which I have recently re-opened. Do pop in and have a look. I have just this week sold a crystal wine glass with a bee engraved on it to a customer in USA from this shop.
 This chap is also in the shop, "Cockadoodledoo" ... he is hand engraved on a crystal whisky glass.
 One of my pre-Christmas commissions was this lovely set of wine glasses, each with different flowers, what an enjoyable commission that was.
 A very special presentation was made last year to the Captain of The Hong Kong Golf Club by the Captain of Lindrick Golf Club to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of the club. Lindrick will celebrate the same anniversary this year. What an exciting trip to have made, lucky Captain!
 I exhibited 2 pieces in the Guild Of Glass Engravers exhibition last year at Morley College in London. A breathtaking display of the best engraving you could possible wish to see! I met up with Mark Raynes Roberts from Canada, and Freddie Quartley from London, who were also exhibiting.

This was an incredible event to engrave at, Johnnie Walker Symphony In Blue, Merchant Taylors' Hall, London. I cannot begin to describe it. There were 3 sessions for the guests to enjoy. Each guest experienced 6 different situations for which to partake of the whisky, (you will have to search some of the detail on the web) they then enjoyed a massive banquet (I was lucky enough to be a guest at one of them) after which was a cabaret that is beyond words! The event was created by those that created the London Olympics opening and closing ceremonies....that will give you an idea of the scale! I engraved on Johnnie Walker Blue and King George V .... breathe....slowly.... these were VERY expensive!! Some I was engraving at 11pm!
 I attended the Guild of Glass Engravers AGM and Conference in London at The Artworkers Guild. It was fantastic to catch up with old friends and fellow engravers especially Nancy Sutcliffe (pictured above) and Edmond Suciu !
Here is a delightful commission I had at the end of last year. I had to engrave 2 small diamond shape glass panels (Opti-white low iron glass) for St. Mary's Church, Swaffam Bulbeck. A memorial to Leonard Jenyns. Have a look at my Facebook page to read a little more about it.

 I had a very busy day engraving for L'Oreal at a press Event in London, not glass but lipsticks this time!
 Here's something different....A photographing challenge for sure! Yuletide/winter solstice celebration with Old Glory Molly Dancers.....arriving from across the moors at Geldeston, rural Suffolk, on a cold winters night...so authentic, it was like being transported back in time. I enjoyed it with a dear friend and we just had to have a pint of the special Ploughboys Winter Warmer Ale! The rest of my photos are HERE.
 Above and below are a few more of the #glassengraving commissions I had between August and December.....
...and for those who have followed my long family story...here is a lovely piccie of my two sons Gavin (youngest, on the left) holding my grandson Mason and Shane (on the right, dad of Mason). How I do miss them.... oh so much! Thank goodness for Skype and computers and Facebook! They live in New Zealand and Australia! My heart is swollen with such pride. I LOVE YOU GUYS XXX
I wish you all happy engraving out there and always experiment and practice if you are learning to engrave glass, don't be afraid, just get in there!!!

I have to also admit that I get emails and phonecalls every single day from all over the world!! I wish I could help you all, but as you can imagine I simply can't answer everyone. So many questions! There is a hunger for learning glass engraving. Again I say when I have more time I will be able to create more videos, probably write a book, but in the mean time I have to earn a living and life is very expensive ... not to mention of course this year I will be involved even more in my golf, it is a one year position. So please understand if I don't answer your correspondence. There is a lot you can learn from my little videos if you keep watching and practising.

Take care everyone!!! Have a wonderful 2015! ♥

 Please visit my website HERE

Sunday, 13 July 2014

A bit of everything as usual, classical engraving, technical engraving and a bit of golf...

Engraving in London at the Most Imaginative Bartender Award - Bombay Sapphire 2014

Hello everyone, I hope that this blog entry finds you fit and well. This year is flying by and once again it has been far too long since I last updated it. So much is happening both in my glass engraving world and in my golf world. In fact you can blame my golf for the lack of blog entries and from December this year it will be even harder to keep up as I take on the Captaincy at Halesworth Golf Club. I have been playing much more of the game this year both through the winter (which I usually try and avoid) and the beginning of summer (which is normally put on hold because of the grass pollen) ...I am tackling it with one anti histamine tablet at night.  I have also dramatically changed my diet / way of eating (Paleo) and I wonder if this may be also helping...you never know.

I will simply add a small selection of photos as usual, which are dated after my last blog entry...which was 11th January??!! What??!! That can't be...but it is!
Tudor Crystal honey pot - hand engraved all round
  

I was visiting a friend who owns a few of my works and decided to take some photos of a couple of them in situ, on the spot where they live, in a lovely well lit cabinet. It was wonderful revisiting them, my Portland Vase study, above, and Triumph of Galatea (yes the painting), below
 Family crests are very popular and I engraved this one under a crystal dome paperweight. The engraving is only about 5cm wide but the dome magnifies it hugely. Super effect.

 I have another very dear client/collector, who has many of my works and she commissioned this hand blown crystal bowl with a pond life scene.
 These were rather pretty, and show how the base is a super canvas for lettering so leaving the decoration uninterrupted on the bowl of the glass.
 This was an interesting commission, I had never heard of Northern Soul Dancing before and coincidentally it had just that week been featured on the Television. I believe this was a special gift for a 50th birthday. Heavy Tudor crystal bowl, hand engraving and sandblasting.




 Below you can see how tricky artwork can be, I took a photo of this clients ring and created the artwork for this hand engraved tankard from that. Amazing tiny detail in the original metal engraving. Yes I did ask if this was a seal ring and if my engraving should be the other way round, but the decision was that I keep it the same way as the ring.
 Sometimes simple lettering can look amazing around a vessel. This is more expensive of course, but such a lovely effect. Lovely goblets for a wedding couple.
 I received a delightful little rough sketch by email, very pixilated when enlarged and very unclear details, but after a few questions about the details I was able to create an engraving for this lady's daughter. I had great fun with it and it will mean so much more to the daughter I am sure.
 All too often I am asked if I can "rub out" an engraving that someone else has completed. Here was a batch of the most beautiful paperweights, quite large, which had been sandblasted with lettering that was not suitable for the event they were intended for. They were destined for the bin and so I suggested as "rubbing out" was not an option, that I engrave a random bit of contemporary art over each one for a very low price. Every one of the 23 pieces has a unique little bit of art that is signed and dated...and so they live on....
And then a simple sandblasted message on a lovely cut crystal vase .....
  
 And here is a subject I had not engraved before over my 31 years of engraving glass, I rather like the subject - Egyptian Scarab on hand blown crystal perfume bottle.
 It was soon  time for the East Anglian Air Ambulance Golf Day at Halesworth Golf Club, which I have played in for 10 years now. A fantastic day which this year raised £12000.00. I always donate the longest drive prizes and this year I hand engraved a large wine goblet with a golfer for the men and a lovely wine glass with Clematis and a bee.

The photographer was snapping away as usual, I always seem to send it into the right hand bunker when he takes the photo here on the 11th tee. 
Below is a gorgeous crystal decanter for a college presentation, sandblasted in 2 tones.

 This was recently presented to Lee Westwood as he opened the new tunnel under the road between holes at Lindrick Golf Club. I took one look at the photo and saw "hundreds" of windows!!! I decided it had to be sandblasted so went about creating the artwork in photo-shop to create the mask . After it is sandblasted I then go in with my drill and add shading and highlights and other details. The building is at the back and the lettering at the front.

 This year's Spexhall Football Club Golf day was as fantastic as ever and I am always delighted to be asked to engrave all the main prizes. The table just sparkled and looked amazing!

 I have had some tricky subjects to tackle in the past and this one was definitely one of them. It is the Da Vinci Robot, for minimal invasive surgery, stands 6ft tall and weighs 800 kg!! It is the combo of needles and spider look about it that gave me the heebie geebies but is is a wonderful piece of equipment...I believe...I'll take their word for it...eeek!

Another honey pot, a very popular subject. This time I had it especially hand blown by my "fav" glass blower Stephen Bradley who decided to add his special touch of colour, wow, it was just beautiful!! Lovely crystal which was a delight to engrave. My client was in USA and was thrilled with it. I ordered 2 so I still have the other blank one in my showroom if anyone fancies ...

 It has 3 bees around the pot.

Well for the time being that is it. I have a few biggies on the go, for example a set of 4 glass panels for a cabinet in a 132 year old yacht! Also a very important presentation in Hong Kong and a few engraving events in London lined up for gin, whisky and perfume.

I am often playing golf at this time of year and I compensate by working Saturdays and Sundays. It is important to phone and make an appointment if you wish to come and see me. My phone has an answer machine as I will get back to you. Remember to speak very clearly please as I have had a few messages lately which are not clear, spoken very fast, and I have not been able to hear the number no matter how often I listen to it.

My emails are glass@lesleypyke.com and llespyke@aol.com The both work but just occasionally one bounces back so it is worth sending to both and of you don't hear back from me just check to make sure I have received it.

Cheers everyone and take care. Remember you only live once, so be happy!!! ♥