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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Oh, the Shame!!

I'm always happy to show people my creations. I know that my work isn't for everyone, but I'm always pleased with what I put in my shop. That's not to say that I'm always pleased with everything I do - case in point, my first attempt at  making lampwork beads.

I've wanted to learn this amazing craft for several years and finally had the opportunity to take a class from an incredible artist - Bronwen Heilman - at Bead Fest. Bronwen is a great teacher, patient and fun to work with.

What I learned about working with glass is that it's much like patting your head and rubbing your tummy! There are a lot of things to be paying attention to at the same time. I think that you have to do a hundred of the same type of bead to develop the muscle memory needed for this craft. In my case, I might need to make 1000 of the same bead!!

In the eight hours I spent in class, I managed to make about two dozen beads. This is all that survived a night in the kiln. Apparently, you have to get them into the kiln while they are smokin' hot! I didn't move fast enough - sadly! The little blue one on the right was my very first bead - its about 9mm.
As you can see, I had a little trouble keeping things balanced and even! I also had a problem keeping the beads level on the mandrel, which is why they look like gourds!!
The green and black with the little dots was my attempt at learning to use 'stringers' - a little wonky but not a complete failure! Can't even begin to tell you what happened to the weird orange one!
Will I continue to try to make beads? YES! This was such a challenge, but so much fun. I love to learn new things, to expand my knowledge base is always a good thing - I might not become an expert, but as I progress I'll be sure to share my attempts with you!

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