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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Honey dipper story :-)

OK, so the local lampworkers here in Australia are fairy well aware of my penchant for making honey dippers.  But..... for everyone else I thought it would be interesting to hear how they came about and where I think they might be going LOL

Honey dippers started as a bit of a mad idea.  My Dad's mate (aka Uncle Geoff) and is a woodturner and I am sure everyone has seen the gorgeous wood turned honey dippers available all over the world, they work wonderfully well and look lovely.... so I thought... hmmmmm, what about the same thing but in glass.  Off to the torch I went and after a couple of failed experiments (if there is such a thing, nothing is a failure that teaches you something in my opinion) I had some sweet success  YAY!

Here is one of my early honey dippers.  It is boro, which I think personally lends itself best to food and perhaps a little dishwasher abuse more so than the soft bright italian glass.  I made a quick and dirty honey bee murrini I could inert into the top handle in a round marble shape and used some colour on the working (dipper) end.  The design for the dipper part was a study in experimentation for me.... make an end, cool it.... drizzle honey with it....DOH...... make another.... cool it.... drizzle (you get it I am sure) until I hit on just the right base shape and distance between stringer wraps.  The real trick was actually to make sure the end where the honey drips off is just right and pokes out a bit... that gives you the ability to write on your toast with the neat pour of honey!

Early honey dipper design

After these first clunky ones I decided that I did not want any glass colour near the food (just to be sure everything was all safe etc.) so they became all clear with just the fancy top.  With the epiphany of approaching the honey dipper top a little like a bead (and on the same scale) it all went smoothly from there.  Justin Rossi, fabulous bloke and brilliant glass artist showed me the helix twist and so I started applying that technique which looked much classier I thought.  I also started making cute but slightly cheesy christmas honey dippers.... ;-)

Helix twist and christmas themed honey dipper tops

After struggling a little bit on the shape and balance of these honey dipper tops I started on the floral themed ones.  I used some Momka commercial cane for the flowers and added some of my murrini bees for good measure, they came out nice and I started to see more of where I was heading with these dippers.   You might see the lump of clear glass on the top of the dippers and that was really firstly because I thought it looked classy.... and secondly because it helped me line everything up nicely...  I got over that fairly quickly when I realised that it was distorting the view of my work underneath LOL

Floral bee honey dippers

As you can see in the above pic, some of them I got a bit heavy handed on.....after all, how many flowers could I fit nicely in a honey dipper.  I resorted to asking for some feedback from my critique group..... my Mum Faye and my hubby, who when really pushed will tell me the truth (no pushing required for my Mum though LOL).  The consensus was that just one bee and just one flower was the classier look.  So I moved along, made some new flower murrini to add some extra colour and made some rather sweet butterfly murini to add in as well...... This is the latest incarnation of my honey dippers:

Latest version honey dipper with butterfly murrini.... and the odd bee!
When I was making some of these honey dipper tops I got a bit over excited on one of them.... hence, honey dipper gone wild Marble.... not so funny at the time, but I liked it when I got it out of the kiln.  I just seemed to keep adding layers of flowers and butterflies and grass etc.  It got out of hand I just decided that I would turn it into a mib.... ha ha ha


Last but not least I made a couple of sets with a matching honey dipper and jam spoon.... Here's adam and eve:

Adam Jam spoon and Eve honey dipper set
These honey dippers have been a real work in progress, they are morphing into something new regularly when I am at the torch and for that I have to be grateful for customers giving me ideas and the people I supply for allowing me the freedom to put what I like on top of the buggers :-)  I sell these at our local honey supplier http://www.bluemountainshoney.com.au/ and at the Canberra Glassworks gallery http://www.canberraglassworks.com/ .  I do sell the odd one on my Etsy store, but to be honest I have a bit of a hard time keeping up the supply, I shall have to get my proverbial finger out I suppose ha ha ha.

I will be supplying some special ones for the Canberra Glassworks gallery Floriade stall, so anyone who is visiting Canberra during floriade, please drop in and see the gorgeous glassy goodness at the glassworks or at least call into thier stall at Floriade and see my honey dippers in real life... say hello to the girls for me, they are lovely :-)


3 comments:

  1. Dear Natalie, you do such a wonderful works of art, absolutely beautiful. I wish I could go one day to meet them in person. Regards.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Natalie, you do such a wonderful works of art, absolutely beautiful. I wish I could go one day to meet them in person. Regards.

    ReplyDelete
  3. where can the honey dipper be purchased?

    ReplyDelete