Thursday, October 22, 2009

My intro to lampworking...

Yesterday's post had lots of pics of the process of lost wax casting; I was free to take photos of that whole process since there wasn't time to learn how to do all that in a mere 20 hour jewellery basics class.

This past Sunday I took my first lampworking class, learning the basics of how to make lampwork beads. With the heat of a propane and oxygen torch, glass rods are melted around a mandrel to form little works of art that can strung up and proudly worn. Well, uh... the "little works of art" will come with tons of practice, along with proudly wearing them! Right now I'm still working on how to get the perfect flame from the torch. Yup, the basics.

I am so glad I took this class, after having become totally obsessed with looking at and buying these handmade beads. After just one 7-hour class, I can totally see how you can get obsessed with MAKING these beads too.

So I'll get it over with, I present to you... my first homely beads (didn't clean the holes out yet, so they're a little dusty from the plaster from the mandrels).

hee hee heeeee! Ok, stop laughing. Stop.

I have go back and practice making evenly shaped beads first. Since this was just a one day class, the instructor wanted to give us the basics on a few embellishing and decorating techniques that we could try right away so we didn't focus much on getting a good evenly shaped bead form. Hence the wonky shapes. Yes, yes, and ugly, I know.

One of the wonderful things about working with glass is that it is so forgiving, which is great particularly for a beginner, since you can totally transform something you're not happy with or make a mistake into something not so knee-slappingly hilarious. The way the glass melts in the flame is truly hypotic.

I'm taking another lampworking course next week-end at a place called Espace Verre, which, like the place where I took my metal working classes, offers a college diploma in glass work. I'm looking forward to this week-end intensive, 17 hour course that includes beadmaking, small sculptures and glass blowing. Can't wait! After the holidays I want to start renting studio time and practicing the beadmaking.

Ok, gotta get to my present production now. There's still the holiday hump to get over!


stephanie said...

your beads aren't ugly!! they are gorgeous! i love the colors you chose. i can't even imagine how difficult it is to make them. good job!

Nance said...

Love the way hey look lined up on the cord - use them within a collage type creation!
Fun eh?

Hisako said...

What an adorable family of glass beads! Good job! You should be proud!!