Today I went on a Lampwork Bead Taster day, it was really good fun and very very hot!! We started at 10am, a cosy class of 4 pupils. The tutor showed us how to make a basic bead and as she said after that the only way to learn is to do it. I learnt a few things.
1. Don't put cold Glass into the flame, it spits shards of glass everywhere.
2. Propane gas burners are very hot, it makes your face think its been in full sun for a week.
3. Glass takes ages to cool down, so be careful what you touch.
4. Glass is temperamental, you spend ages making something nice and then it shatters.
5. Its not as easy as you think, I am brilliant at wonky beads!!
All beads start as rods of coloured glass some opaque some clear. We found that if you heat the glass too low down the flame it discolours it.
These are some of the beads I made, I was able to use some bigger mandrels on some of them and I made a couple for my necklace. As you can see they are all odd sizes and 'wonky' but we were only learning.
I am particularly pleased with these two, both wonky but I love the effect of the frit (crushed glass remains) has on the bead. I would love to do more, if I take the advanced class sometime I can then use the studio for the day and bead until my hearts content. (Next time I will hold the glass and mandrel higher to get brighter colours!!)