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Yesterday was the lampworking class at our house, and I think it was a resounding success.  A few people couldn't make it because of the weather - they were all coming from a goodly distance, so I can't blame them at all.  My thought is that we just do it again sometime.

anarra  and Ana Ilevna got here early enough to get all set up, and they also brought yummy snacks.  I need to go get a couple of boxes of the mini-croissants from Trader Joe's - those were wonderful.  vynehorn  came despite the snow, but declined to make a bead.  Not her thing I guess.  That's fine - it's always nice to see her.  Our friend Jeff and his kids came over, and they all tried it out, and I even convinced my husband to try his hand at it.

The kids were definitely the most adventuresome designers - they wanted to try all the fancy techniques, and came up with some really cool results.  I was less ambitious - I tried a few things while anarra was there to provide guidance, but mostly was paying attention to getting nicely shaped round beads, and I think I did pretty well.  The whole concept of trying to pay attention to both hands doing different things is a tough one - especially when everything has hit a plastic state and wants to flow.

We had a few minor boo-boos - one minor food-related cut, and two very minor burns - one touch on something too hot to touch yet, and one chunk of glass that fell into my lap.  The pants took most of the damage.  The bunch of us made maybe 20 beads, and none cracked.  It was a ton of fun.

Oh, and Anarra left the kit with me so that I can keep playing with it.  And I have a link to a reasonably priced starter kit that could be my very own in the future.  Because I need another hobby.

What on earth am I going to do with home made glass beads if I take this up?  Eh - when did I ever worry about stuff like that?



( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 9th, 2011 06:37 pm (UTC)
Oh, that is so cool! I've always said that the one thing that'd probably seduce me away from leather is glass. You know what a sucker I am for lampwork. I wish I could have been there.

Share pictures of your beads! I want to see what you did.
Jan. 9th, 2011 07:51 pm (UTC)
You DO always say that. That's why I scanned the comments on a previous entry (of kls_eloise's) expecting to see you jump all over her mention of an upcoming lampworking class and was all ??? when you weren't there. :)

I love love glass, but could ever work with it in that way. I generally can't work with things hot enough to burn, as I burn myself ever time I do. Naturally clutzy I guess.
Jan. 10th, 2011 06:44 pm (UTC)
This would not be for you then - glass *sticks* and burns! If I'm going to do any amount of this I think I want a nice thick canvas apron. If I'm going to do a lot, I'm thinking leather...
Jan. 10th, 2011 06:43 pm (UTC)
It really was amazingly cool - I can see that it's something that requires a lot of practice. Lots of things happening at one time with both hands, and all of it way hot.

I'm trying to get reasonable pictures - my camera wasn't cooperating last night.
Jan. 9th, 2011 08:31 pm (UTC)
Arnica gel is your friend. I keep it in my glass tool kit all the time. It even helped my teacher when she put her hand through the flame of a torch that burns much hotter than the ones you were using yesterday.

Jan. 10th, 2011 06:41 pm (UTC)
Good to know, and sounds like something we should have around a house with this many wood burning appliances anyhow.

We're going to be doing it again - I'll let you know when we've got a date.
Jan. 11th, 2011 12:46 am (UTC)
Cool. Let me know when.

You can get arnica at health food stores usually. Great for bruises too.

Yes, there's lots to think about while things are hot, but you get used to it. You also get used to figuring out where the flame is hottest, and walking the fine line between soft and liquid.

A cardinal rule of glasswork is to remember solid does not equal cool. Glass solidifies at 1,000 degrees. Hover your hand over something before you touch it. Your fingers will thank you.
Jan. 11th, 2011 01:12 am (UTC)
"the fine line between soft and liquid"

Yes - that was the bit that was unnerving me. How to make dots baffles me entirely...

"Hover your hand over something before you touch it."

Well, yes. But that means over-riding longstanding habits. My stained glass experience speaks to how difficult THAT can be...
Jan. 11th, 2011 12:53 am (UTC)
When DO you want to do it again? If it's between now and April it'll have to be in your kitchen. After it warms up we can do it on our back porch if you'd rather.

And on a different note, if I get the linen pieces from Carlien at the next BBM meeting to draw the Bayeux Tapestry longships on, can I come over some Tuesday night and borrow your light table? Or do you go out and shoot, too? Or do you Vant To Be Alooooone those evenings?

Ana Ilevna and I are teaching the Bayeux Embroidery Technique/What Happened in 1066 at Novice Schola again. We need to make more samples.
Jan. 11th, 2011 01:15 am (UTC)
Of course you can come over and visit the light table! Any time but Wednesdays - it doesn't have to be a Tuesday.
Jan. 11th, 2011 01:07 am (UTC)
"What on earth am I going to do with home made glass
beads if I take this up?"

There's always paternosters.

Veil pins. You can make the glass bitties right on the pin. Without bead release, it'll stick right to the metal.

Or better yet, go Viking and make bead swags! }:->
Jan. 11th, 2011 01:16 am (UTC)
Or maybe I'll just make beads for Vikings. ;-)
Jan. 11th, 2011 03:42 am (UTC)
Bead hordes... I love it.
I wonder, did *glass* beads ever turn up in those wonderful gaudy book covers of illuminated mss?
If you had beads that melted you could just round them back up and I'll stick them on the "SOMEDAY" book-binding I want to try.
Jan. 11th, 2011 03:46 am (UTC)
Oh my ... late-night googlefu strikes again.
This SCA PDF has photos of some truly striking beaded clothing
Not your time period necessarily but heck Muirne might get into beads if those gloves were in the works. ;)
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )