Total Pageviews

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Bead Fest Fun!

Yippee! Bead Fest Fun!

I’m on my way home from my 3rd Beadfest Philadelphia. My personal chauffer (er umm…. Frank, my husband) is at the helm and I’ve got 2 hours to go until we arrive home.  I thought this would be a good time to reflect on the past two days and share all of my wonderful experiences with my readers.

I signed up this year to take Kathleen Robinson-Young's  beginning lampworking class. (Click her name to see her Etsy shop) First…. I loved Kathleen’s relaxed, “no worries” approach to teaching.  What a nice lady and oh so talented!  

One of the many amazing flower designs by Kathleen Robinson-Young
Second…. I LOVE PLAYING WITH FIRE!  Every time I take one of these classes where torches are used, I marvel that they actually LET US play with fire!  There were probably 40 torches going just in the area of the expo center where the lampwork was being taught. You should have seen the set up! Huge tanks of propane and oxygen set up outside the building with hoses going in every direction to the partitioned work rooms and ultimately into each individual torch.

For those who may not know what lampworking is all about, it is turning thin rods of colored glass into beads or baubles for jewelry.  While Kathleen makes it look easy…. You know, you just melt the glass, turn the mandrel, make it round and decorate it….. and voila it’s a bead……. it is an art that is going to take a lot of practice. Hot glass is always moving….with gravity….. so you have to pay attention to it  constantly.  I’m trying to think of something comparable to molten glass….it’s somewhere between  honey and a jolly rancher candy.  And everywhere in between. 

The downside to this class and all of the others I’ve taken as workshops is that there is just not enough time to practice the techniques that you learn. I know that the teachers are trying to give you enough information to take home with you to hone your skills…..but I just don’t have the workspace to have a lampworking studio along with everything else I do!  I’d like to try my hand at it in someone else's studio for a while longer before I invest in the whole shebang. Hey instructors.... how about having an "open workshop" where students come and work "where they are" in their journey....with your tools....and you standing by to help with whatever they need?  I'd sign up for 16 hours of that! 

Anyway, here are the pics of my first lampworked beads…. suprisingly round for a first attempt.

My favorite "end of the day" bead. It reminds me of SCUBA bubbles in the Caribbean sea.... on a night dive....with a full moon....looking up from the sea floor.

And here is what I aspire to. The artist is Sheila CheckowayThese are some of the treasures I bought at Bead Fest. Sheila hand makes each bead out of glass. These are etched to make the glass look almost like stone. She was kind enough to look at my first beads and was very encouraging. She also taught me how to get the etched look on any of the other soft glass beads I may have at home. (Click her name above to see her Etsy shop)

Look for my next blog to see what other treasures I found! And please.... if you enjoyed this blog, click the button to follow me by email. BECOME A FOLLOWER! :)  Until next time.... create happily.

1 comment:

  1. Leslie. Great write up! You did a fabulous job in class. :-))). Just practice , practice, and more'll be amazed at how quickly your new skill will improve !