Blog

The Glass Barge returning to Birmingham

 

Our summer season is gradually drawing to a close and we are heading back to Birmingham for a Floating Market on 23rd to 25th September. Hopefully the weather will be nice to us that weekend and bring lots of people onto the canal.

 

Today we are in Braunston and have been trading yesterday and today. We had the last 2 weekends off as we needed to make a visit to Eastbourne and then go on to a family party in Bishop Waltham, Hampshire. It was a lovely get together and a nice break away from the boat life for a few days.

 

It has been really nice to have people coming onto the boat who have read the recent article in Tillergraph and we have also heard from other boaters we have met in the past who are pleased to hear about our progress.

 

We are now thinking about booking land based Craft fares in the run up to Christmas! Yes Christmas will soon be here!!

 

These hangings started being made as Christmas tree decorations, but we have been making them all year round for window hangings, Christmas tree ornaments or even pendants!

 

Production will now turn back to the green and red ones that we started with, although other colours will be available. 

 

 

 This leaf pendant was made for a commission.

 

We used a textures irridescent glass to get the leaf vane effect and were really please with the effect it created. 

 

 

 

We had mounted this as a brooch and have been asked to repeat the design and mount as a pendant.

  

While thinking about this we also came up with a better way of making this type a  pendand/brooch by using a shaded forma cut our of fibre paper.

Fused Glass on the move

 

Since leaving the market at Paddington we have been making our way slowly back up the Grand Union Canal. We have stopped to trade on the way at Rickmansworth, Apsley, Berkhamsted, Marsworth, Linslade, Milton Keynes, Stoke Bruerne and Blisworth.

 

We have had all sorts of weather, from scortching hot to torrential rain and high winds, but we are still enjoying the life afloat.

 

There have been articles about us in 'Yours' magazine and 'The Tillergraph' recently and we have been surprised by contact from old friends as a result of these publications.

 

We often get asked to make specific designs for people when they can not find just what they want in our stock and these are a few examples of what we ahve done recently.

 

 

 

 

The Glass Barge at the Paddington Floating Market

 

It was good to be in the company of other traders for a while in Paddington. With about 12 boats all together it gave a good feel to the event and there were also food stalls on the bank at the wekend.

 

We understand that this was the first occassion that boats had been in the basin since the developement. The opening of the fan bridge was quite spectacular.

 

 

The boats stirred up the muck on the bottom and created a bit of a smell to start with!

 

My sister, Ruth, visited when we first arrived and then Lucy joined us again for a few days. She is a city girl and prefers canal boats moored in places like this! Unfortunately our other daughter, Alice, was unable to come as planned, as she is in the process of buying her own flat in Eastbourne and needed to be there to sort things out.

 

Fused Glass Gallery out and about again

 

This years cruise started at the end of April. We had hped to get out earlier than that, but having decided to sell our house in Eastbourne, we needed to get that settled before leaving the basin. Completion on the house was 30th March, which was what we had hoped for, but not expected to happen.

 

  

 

We left Birmingham heading for the Stratford Canal and the Lapwoth link to the Grand Union Canal. Our friends Derek and Debs joined us to help with the single locks, which was very useful and much more sociable. The weather was not kind and we had rain, sleet, snow and sunshine! We all neede our wooley hats and scarves to keep warm! I think they still enjoyed it though.

 

Our first trading spot was at the Two Boats, Lonf Itchington, where it was good to renew contact with the publicans John and Sammy. Our daughter, Lucy, also joined us there for a few days.

 

Trading at Braunston, Stoke Bruerne and then back to Blisworth before heading onto the Leicester line for the Crick Boat Show at the end of May. We decided to go on passed Crick and up to Foxton, as we had time to spare. Here we opend for business n the Friday and Saturday, then had a day off for sightseeing as Mike and Lynda had joined us for the weekend. We visited the Rushton Triangular Lodge and then Lyddington Bede House, both English Heritage properties and very interesting.

 

The Boat show went well, but was very tiring and difficult, as we had to stransport all our stok, gazebo and display stands from the boat to the show village. The marina allowed us to bring the boat in to unload, which was a great help.

 

From Crick we had a limited time to get down to London for the Paddington Floating Market, but we managed to stop at Marsworth and Berkhamsted for a few days trading. Andrew also did a quick trip down to Eastbourne to check on the student house.

 

When we were nearly down as far a Uxbridge, Andrew slipped n the boat and ended up with 9 stitches in his foot. Unfortunately I didn't think to take photo's, or I would have posted those here!!

 

 

It's funny what you see sometimes along the Grand Union canal.

 

Winter in the Basin

  

It has been a very busy winter for us this year. It started with blacking the bottom of Enchanted moon. While on the slipway and under cover we stripped and repainted the roof as well, so it was a hard weeks work. We had help from friends for the first few days, which made a hard dirty job much more fun.

 

We did 3 trips into Birmingham in the run up to Christmas, but the weather was against us and there were not many people down by the canal as a result.

 

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 For the Floating market in December all the boats put up Christmas lights and it was a lovely sight. Our light Christmas tree was much admired.

 

Our Christmas was spent back in Eastbourne with our two daughters and, while there, we made the decision to put the house on the market and move onto the boats full time. this meant that a lot of time has had to be spent clearing the house of all the accumulated rubbish of 30 years!!

 

We have now accepted an offer and wait with fingers crossed for the sale to complete. Hopefully it will be settled before we want to start our cruise for the year.

 

The current job for me is booking festivals and markets for the year and planning a route. Andrew is still busy with fitting out the boat. He has installed the solar panels on both boats and is working on the legs to support the workbenches to provide the extra work space needed to run courses. I have been touching up the blacking on the hull, when the weather has allowed.

 

In between the boat work we have been experimenting with new glass designs, including a Narrowboat plaque and a new way to etch the dichroic glass for our motif pendants.

 

We are now looking forward to the return of the sunshine and warmer weather so that the 2016 season can start in earnest.

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