Apollo thought a radish is worth as much gold as it weighs...

So at the moment, we wait....

We are still a man down, waiting for Jeff to arrive (poor muffin missed his plane), we have had a little studio tour and I have been into the somewhat strange kind of time warp cave that is the local pub and I have wandered down the street but thats it. I'm feeling a bit lost but I guess you just have to be patient, 6 weeks is a long time I suppose.

The studio itself and what North Lands has to offer is amazing. I'm almost a little stunned at all the endless possibilities to explore. You want to make some big ass moulds? Sure just in here. How about utilising any one of these pristine kilns that you have no idea how to program? Not a problem, here you go. Flame working? Welding? Want us to order some more materials for you? Where to start??!! Mind boggling, thats what it is.

The furnace is an electric furnace, something I have never seen before. It's whisper quiet! So polite even the elements sit all around the top on the inside just giving off a gentle warm kind of glow. Inviting and comforting, not like the firey, angry dragons of the past I have worked with. (Eyebrows? Don't need em! Here let me burn all your arm hairs off and make you swear like a sailor as you try and take a gather out of me.) Apparently the glory hole is a bit rowdy but we shall see. There is a garage I can use, torches, every tool under the sun and then some. Maybe thats the hard part, I just want to be in there doing, not sitting around feeling like I don't belong.

Theres also the awkward dance you do with the other artists. It's like testing the waters, figuring out who's who and what they do. How do we fit together as a group? I'm hoping Jeff is the missing piece of the puzzle. Both of the girls here are lovely and from what I have seen make amazing, well thought out works. (Then theres this idiot that just wants to make glass radishes and beets...) So I am trying to use my down time to make a plan of what I want to achieve, what I want to explore, how best to use my time. My thoughts so far are:

Making more intricate leaves using cup cane which i then want to carve into and then pick up again hot.
Order a glass guilding kit to experiment in achieving the elusive golden beet.
Think a little more about why I am making these beets and radishes. This I'm finding a little difficult as so far it has become painfully clear to me that I am a product of "the Jam".

But do you want to know what is really weird? All the incidental beet referances that have been popping up in my trip so far!! It's almost a little spooky. The book I bought to take away with me, the first line talks about a beet!

"The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire of discontent not passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious."

Deadly serious. Holy fuck! Now I'm all for co-inky dinks but get this, to top it off, today I went to grab a bowl out of the kitchen for my lunch and guess what design is in the bottom? A god damn beet!! Cuckoo.

And apparently the beet was Rasputins favourite vegetable, did yo know that? And according to an old Ukraine proverb, "A tale that begins with a beet will end with the devil." Should I be scared now?....