Well Cambridge Glass Fair came and went in a flash! It was a fantastic day, excellent weather and a huge number of visitors. I met many very interesting people, many of them collectors, and had great feedback on my work. Sales were not a good as I had hoped , however I did sell my Carp and Lilies bowl, virtually as the fair openned.
There are over 80 stands at this fair, all crystal and glass, from 300 years old to the present day, so if you fancy a Lalique, a Galle or any of the other famous names, or maybe a piece that has recently been "slumped" by one of the contemporary artists.....this is the place to visit. It was exceptionally well run as per usual and I would like to say a big Thank You to Paul, Denis and all those involved. I am looking forward to February and already have many ideas buzzing around my head.
In the mean time I have a lot of tidying up to do and orders to get back on track of....including another 2 Tudor Crystal bowls, one for a Diamond Wedding involving a continuous collage of the couple's life and loves......and the other a musical presentation which will feature many musical instruments, so I had better get on with it... click here to see another example of a Tudor Crystal Bowl in a previous commission.
* Per Ardua Ad Astra*
1st September!!!!!! gosh... time flies.......
Just had a fantastic wee holiday in Belgium with some friends of mine in a place called La Panne,
We went water colour painting in the Dunes and took long walks on the expansive beaches, as you can see the beaches were exhibiting some interesting creatures. So now back to work with less than a month before Cambridge Glass Fair. I am presently working on some very interesting commissions, 2 involving large buildings, so keep watching for the finished pieces. As for new pieces for Cambrdge...watch this space.....or come to and see for yourself on 24th September!! Keep happy and healthy everyone!
31 July 2006
How is this for an order?....somewhat far from my pretty flowers, I had to completely redraw this massive vehicle scanner line drawing, so that I could adjust each line thickness to make the masks for good clear sandblasting. Quite a mission, but the end result was worth all the effort. Sometimes a supplied drawing can be used for the artwork but 90% of the time I do have to redraw. This was sandblasted onto White Fire Optical Crystal 7" wedge circle. The design is sandblasted into the back surface and all lettering is on the front giving that great feeling of 3D.
31 July 2006
Well, I wonder if there is anyone out there wondering how the exhibition at Snape Maltings went.........sigh......7 days of road diggers and endless noise right outside the gallery.
From DAY 1 right through to when we packed up, See if you can spot the gallery. It was so noisy at times my chair and floor were vibrating and I could not hold a conversation with the customer...when I saw one. It did not help that it was an average of 30 degrees C. All 4 of us felt the damage this work did and I must say at this point that our organiser had no idea this was going to happen and had put a HUGE effort into promoting this Charity event.
I emptied my eBay shop and closed my business during this event so I learnt quite a costly lesson.....Needless to say I did not sell much. On a plus note though, I did engrave a few small pieces whilst there, 2 of which I have in my eBay shop now, both featuring mermaids.
SO the next big event is Cambridge Glass Fair, this, I know, is ALWAYS good!!!
17th July 2006
Just added new web page : Wild Africa, check it out!!
Don't forget Select Crafts in Snape this week (see above)
NEW : ***GIFT SERVICE***
If you would like a personalised gift, engraved and posted direct to the recipient with a greetings card, simply e mail me with your request.
Once complete and posted, you will receive a letter with a photograph of the finished item.
3rd July 2006
Last week I completed a rather complicated piece for a customer. It is the Tallow Chandlers Company Coat of Arms. I hand engraved this on the back of a 7" White Fire Optical Crystal wedge circle. The effect was stunning, I sandblasted the additional lettering on the front surface. This quality crystal is by far the best for this subject.
24 June 2006
Well I have had family and friends coming to stay (from Africa) and life has been pretty hectic of late. I have also been juggling between commissions and stock both for my showroom and my eBay shop.
This little eBay shop has been going great guns in fact. Not only selling items in the shop but receiving orders from eBay viewers whether they are eBay customers or not. Recently I had to design and hand engrave 2 crystal flute champagne glasses for a young couple getting married in USA. I was sent pictures of the dress fabric detail, the ring and various other samples of the theme. How lovely to know they will be used at their reception and will match the surroundings.
Have a look at my "For sale" page you will see that I have now included my eBay shop details at the end of the page. Yesterday I successfully sold my "Big 5" decanter to Florida USA, I am delighted it is going to someone who shares the same passion for African Wild Animals. I plan to engrave a set of crystal wine glasses with the same theme. Watch this space.
On Sundays I have been having the strong urge to paint....so out came the oils, the watercolours and even the pencils. Working small and completely out of my head, so just imaginery places, I have completed several pieces which I will bring along to the Pond Gallery next month.
I had never engraved a red Indian (that I can remember anyway) and so I was thrilled when a customer asked for one. They chose a Rock Tablet as the "Canvas" and this worked really well.
13th May 2006
I have been selling on eBay for some time now, but this week I took the plunge and officially opened my own little eBay shop!! "Engraved Crystal And Glass by LP"...so many possibilities.....lots to do...must dash...
5th may 2006
I have been waiting patiently for a certain date to pass, so that I can go ahead and show you this commission I recently completed. Of course it was a very special gift from a Bridegroom to his Bride, he put so much thought and time into providing ideas and pictures and references to enable me to create a unique and meaningful masterpiece. An heirloom that will pass on for generations to come. The vessel I used is a hand made Tudor Crystal Bowl weighing around 6kgs, measuring 18cm high and 25cm diameter. VERY THICK lead crystal and an absolute delight to work on.
The details included:of course their names and the date of the wedding, flushwork from the church (where they got married) , statues from Venice, Cambridge, music which is played by the bride, a quotation from Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, matching illustration, their new home, favourite bird, Edinburgh castle, the pet dog. I thoroughly enjoyed blending all these subjects together, quite a challenge but I believe a success in the end. I would like to again thank William very much for this opportunity and to wish them both many happy years together.
Click HERE for more details of the progress of this bowl
27th April 2006
Well Top Crafts came and went and was great fun and I met many fascinating people, sold fairly well and took orders of course.
Note the lovely view I had overlooking the sea for 4 days!! Thank You Albert and Sheila for another wonderfully run event. Over £4000 was raised for East Anglian Air Ambulance which (unbelievably) relies entirely on donations!!
Showing my stand to The Mayor of Southwold, Miss Ann Betts and the Town Crier Mr. John Barber.
Photo taken by Mrs. Annette Roberts of Top Floor Studio. Woodbridge.
Recently I was asked to hand engrave the most AWKWARD shaped bowl I have ever worked on, or at least had to engrave lettering on. It was very large and changed curve and angle every cm. It was not even nearly straight and I had to engrave upside down (...that's the bowl, not me...) and mirror image on the outside of the bowl to be viewed through the glass. I do say that I like a challenge..............
Generally I supply the glass, but if the customer has something very specific they want me to work on that I cannot provide, then I will use their glass. Note that all glass is left at your own risk.
4th April 2006
Now it is Full Steam Ahead for Top Crafts in Southwold! I have a few things on ebay at the moment, but they will end before this event at Easter (see above) and anything I have not sold will be on my stall along with Much Much More! I am trying to think of as much variety as possible ...how do you think of everything Joe Public likes to see on crystal??? So anything goes now.
I have donated a glass for 3rd prize in the Top Crafts Draw, it comes in a Satin lined box. The picture of Southwold is on the back of the glass with waves , lettering and the seagull on the front, the East Anglian Air Ambulance Logo is on the base, proceeds go to this organisation this year. There are 20 great prizes, do make sure you have a ticket !
Another Darsham Day of craft experiences was held in the village hall on Saturday 1st April. This was my 3rd teaching day, where I join another 13 or so teachers of a huge variety of crafts. With 6 students in the morning and another 5 in the afternoon, great fun was had and bearing in mind most had never engraved glass before and were very nervous, I am sure you will agree they were STAR pupils, using as many surfaces as they could on their glass and "boldly going where none of my students had gone before!!!" Well Done Everyone and a big thanks to the organisers who do a fabulous job of organising this event.
9th March 2006
......I managed to put together my first Powerpoint slide show to use in conjunction with the Lecture and Windows Moviemaker documentary of my work......and they all worked!!!
20th February 2006
Well yesterday was the big day, Cambridge Glass fair was a great success and I said goodbye to a couple of my favourite (smaller) pieces and jewellery. I did not sell my larger pieces although there was great interest. Some of them will be appearing on eBay soon.
The halls were as usual glittering with the most beautiful display of glass and crystal, old and new. The dining hall offered the yummiest of food and at lunchtime we heard the delightful sounds of a harp being played by a talented young lady. If you missed this one, put 24th September in your diary for the next one!!!
The next big event in my diary is a days workshop I have been invited to hold for the London Branch of the Guild of Glass Engravers. I will be lecturing, with a slide show and offering practical engraving advice....my techniques!
9th February 2006
Get yourselves a copy of the weekly Antiques Magazine, it will have a feature on the Cambridge Glass Fair and they may even give my work a mention. There should also be a half page advert of mine, I would like at least someone to have a look...I worked hard on it and it cost a lot!
17 January 2006
The BREAKING NEWS is that I will be an official Stockist of Rock Tablets as from the end of this week (20th Jan). It is a Great range of flat glass for use as trophies or presentations and can be used for general glass art ie: suitable for both sandblasting and hand engraving. It is totally hand made (I watched them being made whilst I was in Scotland in December) very thick and with a lovely green tint, each comes with a certificate of authenticity as does my work. This range is being used by commercial glass engravers around the country and even for presentations to Celebrities and Royalty!!
Well the end of last year was quite hectic, as it usually is for everyone. I did not have my sons with me once again and so I was not feeling very festive as one should at this time, but as ever my dear Brian was an angel and looked after me as only he can!!! 2006 arrived and this is going to be a GREAT YEAR!
At the end of last year I spent 4 days up in the very north of Scotland on business, touring, learning, eating, drinking, singing and dancing with a group of fabulous people also in the business of glass, we were guests of our glass supplier, celebrating their 21 years in business!!! Thank You Simon and Gina for a special time!!!! I feel very priviledged to be involved with a business which includes such wonderful people.
I spent yet another day at Darsham for their Craft Experience Day. What a day!!! These village people are such fun to teach and they catch on very quickly as they are so keen to learn and would you believe almost all of them produced 2 pieces of engraved glass in their half day lesson slot, most having never tried engraving glass before. I am always amazed at their enthusiasm. All ages , teens to eighties!
12 November 2005
Well for the last few months I have been trying my hand at being an eBay seller! I do not have much passing trade in this Business Centre that I am situated, so I did this in order to generate more business. It is like building a business from scratch, getting a reputation for being a good trader by building your "positive feedbacks" from your customers, and if you buy...feedback from your sellers. This is an excellent system. I have had some success to date, although some items have gone for a very low price, but there is much to learn about controlling your price and getting it sold.
So once a business has been established, you can move to the other side of the world and still take your reputation with you, and not have to start again. I have sold to America, NewZealand, Europe and UK so far. Take a look at my page of past ebay sales . I have this link on all my listings on eBay so the customers can have a look at what I have sold and to which country. Also what personalised lettering I have added to some of the items.
For items I have presently for sale on eBay go to www.ebay.co.uk and type Lesley Pyke into Search.
Anyway, as one generally starts at a lower price, you may find you can grab an absolute bargain (as some do) when you see the real value on my website's For Sale page. Naturally items for sale on eBay are automatically reserved on my website until the auction is complete.
I have so far managed to gain myself a Blue star, which means I have more than 50 positive feedbacks. One even gets a certificate!!!
I have some pretty serious commissions on at the moment including 2 large Tudor Crystal Bowls weighing almost 6kg each , both of them for different wedding presents (OF NOTE!!!) especially as the bowls are £100 before I start engraving, both will be fully hand engraved! Other recent commissions include dog portraits on Whitefire Optical Crystal and a trophy of the same named crystal for a Scottish University.
I am looking forward to the Christmas rush, I can still take plenty of orders and will be engraving right up to Christmas eve....BRING IT ON, remember I post anywhere!
Cambridge Glass Fair at Chilford Hall, Linton, on18th September 2005.
This was great success and I have to say I am always delighted and feel very privileged to be a part of such an amazing day!! Thank You to everyone who came to see me and the organisers who did such a brillient job. Here are a couple of pictures of the day
East of England Market Towns Award was recently presented, I was asked to produce the trophy. A large crystal bowl which I Hand Engraved.
The Halesworth Thoroughfair was quieter than last year, but a very good one for me.For further reports on this fair see: http://www.blythweb.co.uk/thoroughfair/
The following weekend was the Wisset Wines fair, that was a lovely break, I had been so busy that to be in this lovely place with such lovely people and beautiful atmosphere was a treat!
I received the largest order so far (since I have been in this country) recently, that kept me out of trouble night and day for 2 weeks : Long Service awards for Sanyo.
I completed 65 crystal perfume bottles, (hand engraved with flowers, each one slightly different, each numbered as a limited edition) also 55 beer tankards and 15 crystal decanters, these I sandblasted. Whew, that was a challenge, but all worked well! A Big thank you to Sanyo for their support and belief in me, and to my star suppliers Simon and Gina at The Glass Scribe, who bent over backwards to keep me supplied in time.
Air Ambulance recently held a Golf Day at Halesworth Golf Club and had asked me to produce some of their main prizes:
Top Crafts Easter Fair at Southwold Pier Functions Room on 25th, 26th, 27th march 2005 was a great success. This was a Charity event and this year we supported the Woolverstone Project. The event included an invited selection of the finest crafts people in the UK, and I am very proud to have been invited for the second time.
If you bought a raffle ticket you could have won this "bottle glass" (takes a whole bottle of vino!!!) which I had hand engraved with a Southwold scene. There were MANY prizes donated by the stall holders
21 March 2005
One of my recent comissions was a crystal bowl which I designed and engraved to be presented to Mr. and Mrs. Iredale, previous owners of the Southwold Pier. Having just sold the Pier, this was a gift from the staff .
On Sunday 20th March
I had the great privilege of being invited to teach glass engraving all day at a village craft experience day in Darsham on the East Coast. There were 15 different crafts being taught to around 100 willing students who were of every age, men, women, boys and girls! Young, old and very old! Great fun was had by all! They chose one craft in the morning and one in the afternoon (after a huge lunch) None of my students had ever engraved glass before and I think they did brilliently!!!
Note that as I was teaching "point" engraving and not "drill" engraving (my usual method) Point engraving involves marking the surface of the glass with lines (linear) and dots (stipple) using a diamond point or tungstone carbide point. It is the way I learnt. I had 5 students in the morning and 6 in the afternoon.
This was a piece I did a couple of years ago using the stipple method with a tungstone carbide point.
My sons, Shane and Gavin.XX
21 February 2005
After 2 hours of driving (half of that in snow!) I finally got to the Cambridge Glass Fair. It was by far the most exciting fair I have ever taken part in. I have never been surrounded by so much breathtaking glass!!! From ancient antiques to modern contemporary. Anyone to do with Glass Collecting (or just the love of the medium) was there!! I felt indeed priviledged to be there exhibiting!
My little table of engraved glass was well received . I made some sales and had many discussions and enquiries from the most interesting people from all over the country. I was one of only 3 professional (present day) engravers there, as we are all members of the Guild of Glass Engravers, we knew each other and were able to share in the excitement of the day. Truely magical. The next event of the same name (same place) will be 18th September 2005. Don't miss it!
CAMBRIDGE GLASS FAIR 20 FEB 2005
11 Feb 2005
It is "all go" now as January disappears into history. I have already given my first WI talk of the year (have given 34 in the last 2 years)
On Saturday I will be playing my first game of golf for the year too......at least I can throw some more weight into the ball now in the way of Christmas Pudding!!
This week I completed another Bowl of Sea, this was my third! A specific order for a customer, the bowl was hand made to my specifications, by a glass blower in London, it is clear crystal with blue overlay. I carved through the layer of colour to varying degrees to get the effects I want.Being a hand made bowl and hand engraved, it is completely unique even though I have done 2 other similar pieces.