Sunday, September 18, 2011

Decisions Decisions

Sooooo, after the success of Art In The Park I decided to treat myself to a lamp work class.  I had visited  Brazee Street Studios  in Oakley the day before and as luck had it they had a two day beginner class starting on Monday.  Signing up was easy and I did it online on Sunday.  What was nice was that I got two emails confirming my registration and letting me know what to wear for safety.

I arrived ready to learn and excited.  The instructor is Sandy Gross, director, owner, etc etc etc...There were five of us there and we were eager to learn.  Because of my enamel work I wasn't afraid of the torch, it just took a bit to have the mandrel in my left hand and the glass rod in my right hand.  We did some practice beads to try to get the hang of it...they are kind of pitiful looking.  Then we jumped in and tried some dots on beads.  I felt like I was getting the hang of it.  The concentration in that room was thick.  We also learned to pull our own stringers (really skinny glass sticks you use to decorate beads with) and how to get the bead in the kiln before it got too cold.

Here are some pictures of us:

I came home exhausted and excited.  Day two was even better.  I felt more in control of the glass.  I made fewer beads, but felt more confident in what I accomplished.  The reveal was the next day after all the annealing was done and here are my beads.

I'm pretty proud of what I accomplished in two days.  And I want to do more!!!! I can see how the beads would compliment the enamel work I have been doing and how the enamel work will compliment the beads.  So I have begun the process of buying lampwork tools and equipment.  The options are mind boggling!  I ordered a Chili Pepper Kiln and it should be here this week.  I can use my current small torch to get started, but have already got it narrowed down to two options for a bigger set up.  Terry also has an idea for an area in the basement for my studio and I am going to work on it a bit at a time.  The creative opportunities are endless.

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