One of my favourite things about my job (aside from the obvious - eating chocolate while I work, a sneaky studio wine if I have to work in the evening, and watching DVDs while working) is when someone wants a bespoke piece made to their heart's desire.
Sometimes the heart's desire is a little weird - "what happens if you put a V can in glass?" Sometimes it's out of my comfort zone, (yes, I have been asked to fuse a loved ones ashes. No, I didn't - I just pointed them in the direction of people who did). And sometimes I get requests that really make me think - cool! But how am I going to do that?!
The latest request was, thankfully, the last of the three - something "Fiji inspired" to immortalise a 21st birthday trip. With that brief, I went to bed thinking. I didn't sleep all night with all the thinking. By the morning the idea I had "slept on" the night before had morphed into a fully fledged Fijian beach scene disguised as a glass platter.
I launched into this thinking nothing could go wrong - feel the fear and do it anyway! Of course, nothing is ever that straight-forward, so with the very first firing I was a tad worried when my sand didn't look like at all like I imagined Fijian sand to look like. If the brief had been "Raglan inspired"... it would have been spot on.
But the things sent to try us also have a funny way of working out - as a result, four firings later I had the world's most spectacular glass sand, complete with beach pebbles. Add a funky pair of glass jandals, a silhouette of a tropical island adorned with palm trees, and you have Fiji on a plate. Literally.