A dabble with glass

Sorry it’s taken me ages to post this, Royal Mail has been very slow at getting my beads to me and I wanted to be able to show some pictures with this post, so as I got them after work yesterday in the dark, I could photograph them this morning (whilst it was still a bit dark, hence a bit of flash used) to blog now.

Last thursday I went to the house of Lorna of Pixie Willow to learn how to make lampwork beads in a one-to-one session (if you want a go yourself, just drop her an e-mail). It was a bit of a whim thing to be honest, I wanted to have a play without buying all the stuff and potentially burning my house down, it wasn’t too expensive and it was lots of fun! I worked my way quite quickly through the different processes, so in a 4-5 hour session I made more than we were expecting….

Firstly Lorna showed me how to wind the glass around the mandrel to make a basic bead. Here’s hers on the left and mine of the right (bet you can guess which was my first attempt!)

Then dotty, both raised and melted in (again mine on the right)

Then building on the dots to make flowers (mine are much lamer than I remember!)

Then I learned how to put deliberate little bubbles in by poking the molten glass- this looks pretty effective and is probably my best bead.

The swirly ones were a bit scary. Look how beautiful Lorna’s bead is!

Mine is pretty but it will take some practising to get the full effect….

Then we played with some frit and clear glass…

And finally I had a go with a lentil press which takes a bit of trial and error to make sure you have enough glass on it- but not too much! My design was a bit flawed (yeah white spots on white, great idea! Lorna’s is on the left as usual) but the process worked well. I know a lot of people don’t like using presses and they can be a bit tricky but I think this might have been my favourite part!

So I now really want to do this again, to the point where I’m eyeing up one of the starter kits on Tuffnell Glass. I would love to make the Pandora style beads as Christmas presents, and the lovely Georgie has offered to anneal them for me since a kiln is so far off my list of spending priorities right now. I’m actually thinking I may completely give up resin in the new year because of the fumes (and Resin Obsession closing), to focus on other crafts such as my patchwork. If I also take up glass it will mean I can work with the patio doors open without getting cold! Also when I’m all settled and set up I’m thinking about getting a HEDGEHOG to live in my workroom, and s/he won’t want to be living in a cold, fumy environment.

Very exciting, and my workroom is out of bounds for decorating right now, argh!

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4 Comments

  1. Posted November 11, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Oh Kerry…they are just FAB!!…well done you!!!…;o))
    Just shout when you need to chuck some over..;o)
    Loving that hedgehog!!!
    Gxxx

  2. Posted November 11, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Some absolutely beautiful first beads there Kerry, looks like you are a natural 😀

    Jo x

  3. Posted November 14, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Oh the magic of melting glass for the first time!
    Beautiful beadies! x

  4. Posted December 10, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

    They are gorgeous! Well done! Ooh and we are getting our daughter a pygmy hedgehog for her birthday, they are offically the cutest animals out there! x

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