The winning glass table
I belonged to the Wessex Guild of Blacksmiths when I lived in UK, which is based in Devon and they always participated in the agricultural shows that go around the country every year. At one particular show, from memory I think it was the North Somerset County Show, the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths sponsored a little area they would hold a competition, which I entered.
You were assigned a number and became anonymous, and then they go round judging it. The very first competition I ever entered, I put this piece
in and I got the show champion. And I thought, Oh wow, I think you won something like £40 at the time for being the show champion and then you got a little certificate, a rosette ribbon and a wooden shield shaped plaque. You were allowed to enter that same piece, but in different shows around the country and it just so happened again that I participated in another couple of shows and put the same piece in and won the show champion, over the next 3/4 times. In this you were awarded so many points.
At the end of the year the person who got the most points by winning the show champion then became Champion of the Year for the Worshipful Company and you got invited to a very nice luncheon and presented with a cup and got your name engraved on it. It sits in wherever the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths is based in London. So my name is on that cup and that’s then when they said I was the first female to win that particular prize. The piece that I entered was a tall table stand type. It had eight legs, which sounds really strange, I know and it includes coloured glass because I was working with Carolyn Griffiths, a glass artist and at the time and she did all slumped glass.
I had previously asked Carolyn whether she would be interested in doing a collaboration with me for this glass table. I painted it this really bright patent leather red shoe polish on some of the surfaces, and then she did all this glass with red/coppers/things fused in it.