Tito and I were back in the lampworking studio on Monday night for what, I can now safely say, was a far more successful evening.
I worked with only 5 colours all night trying to create beads that, above all, were reasonably round. Yes, that was my only goal. Round, with nice holes. It sounds weird, but I can’t think of any other way to put that. It’s just lousy when the glass grips the mandrel in such a way that you don’t get that nice, doughnut shaped centre.
Not one piece broke in the kiln! I think the trick really was the heat factor, this time I made sure I kept my beads good and hot the entire time. I probably even overdid it – which is why none of my design work really came out well, but I’m ok with that. It’s progress ;)
Then I discovered that the beautiful frosted effect one sees on many lampwork beads is just etching solution that you can pick up at a craft store. Can anyone guess what my next round of beads will be for? Yep, etching is in my future, and I’ve already got ideas for pieces that will look like sea glass when they’re done.
One of the beads was so lovely that I just strung it on a silver chain. It’s about 15mm wide, and it made a great pendant. It’s so satisfying to wear something you made from scratch.
Tito went right over the whole bead business and started creating glass sculpture. I need to share his pieces tomorrow – they included a bee, a turtle and a butterfly! I was seriously impressed. Suddenly my goal of ’round’ didn’t seem quite so lofty. He turned out to be a real natural at this.
I love working with glass, it’s such a different feeling from pottery. I’m hoping to get further in glass blowing this summer. Over Christmas Tito and I finally did something with all those ornaments we made in our intro course last year.
Can’t wait for next Monday night – and can’t wait to get my hands on some etching solution – oh, the possibilities!