July 30th, 2012 – Crankin’ The Western Sahara, In Western Glasgow

First off music favorite of recent times is this lady….. fully recommend her album. The guitar player has a Santana flavor and there are more than a couple of stand-out tracks on the album. You can find it on Spotify by searching Aziza Brahim it’s worth checking out. Crankin’ the western Sahara, in western Glasgow.

Well, it’s almost been a month since my last post, where have I been? I’ve been locked in the studio that’s where!  And I mean seriously locked in… mental shifts.

Unfortunately not working on my own projects but on some subbed restoration work from a fellow firm. Happy to have some steady money coming in, but after a solid month feeling a bit jammed at not having time to work on my own ideas. But you gotta roll with the punches so been just knuckling down this month and getting on with it. It’s finding a balance that’s the tricky part…

I did order up some massive canvases on Friday night approx 50 x 50 inches. Good times right there, few plans and ideas brewin’… tempted to join 3 up in a huge 150-inch long monster painting…. but who has the wall space for that? Ha ha, can’t say I’ve ever let little details like that stop me before 😉

Leaded Glass Window, Paisley.

So the recent work has been on a set of church windows, mirroring some original ones in the church these are just plain rectangles with a simple border.

Paper templates are taken from the church.

So first off measuring up the spaces, took some reference photos from the originals, drew up full-scale working drawings to build onto then cut up around 2000 rectangles.

Glass rectangles.

After that soul-destroying mission, the simple part is leading the windows up. Providing the initial measurements are good, the drawing is all correct and the rectangles are all the same there will be no problems further down the line and the windows will fit perfectly. There is something very satisfying about the full-scale drawings, I think they look really nice I guess it’s the architectural element.

Leaded Glass window with Hopper opening.

 A view of one of the windows, there is a section at the top that opens, this is called a ‘Hopper’. So the Hopper section is sometimes built within a panel or in this case, it was an iron frame fixed into stone at the sides and the window is built to fit into and around this.

Maintaining the run of the lead lines factoring into consideration the varying thicknesses of the Hopper frame was a challenge to draw out. In fact, it was a bit of a headache but ain’t no mountain high enough!!

I did get to go out to the forge where the hoppers were specially made, this place was really old school.  A couple of young guys working there but you still have an old boy who’s no doubt been doing this all his life, shovel hands and working from a time of ethics and schooling I think that’s sadly passed.  An interesting day and insight!

Leading Up A Window.

I do like the satisfaction of the leaded-up window lining up perfectly with the drawing. There is no reason why it shouldn’t really if your drawing is right, and the shapes are all the right size it could be a mile wide and it should still be bang on…. but nonetheless it is nice to see. Unfortunately, a reward is only seen by me.

I modified a drawing board to become a workbench to lead this huge window up.

I had booked onto a craft fair at Glasgow Cottiers Theater with The Glasgow Crafters Co-op and that happened on Sunday, I took a day off to be there, and to be honest I was happy just for a day sitting down.

New leaded glass hanger with engraving and painted and fired detailing.

A very nice crew and definitely potential for the future in a great venue it was a nice day. Hopefully, some seeds have been sown and will reap some rewards….

A friend said to me recently that I was “relentlessly optimistic”.  An interesting choice of words. I’ll say no more about that 🙂

The painter upstairs from me has a contact that photographs his work and he helped me out with getting one of my recent paintings photographed. Recently as in Christmas 2011, I have not had a chance to do any painting this year sadly… Well that all changes this week when the bad boy massive canvases arrive BOOM! This painting was actually started in 2009 I think in Jan / Feb and abandoned until Nov 2011 when I rediscovered it and decided to either bin it or try something. And the ‘try something’ worked a treat. It’s had a fair bit of interest and now I have a decent photo of it I am going to get prints run of it for sure.

Snow Fall In The Woods

Its great to have a wee hand knowing what to do in terms of printing and photography prep as it’s a minefield of wasted money If you go about it wrong, or in my case just not going about it at all. So the other 20 drawings I have stored since 2010 will hopefully be done too soon. Canny wait for that one.

And this Friday is the Hidden lanes’ first attempt at our ‘First Fridays’ open studio evening. I am so glad this idea has actually transpired into actually happening!! Let us hope it can grow into something beautiful! All starts somewhere and this is starting on Friday!

Look what arrived this morning……

Delivery at the studio!

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