It was pretty darn cool watching glass melt into this colorless raging hot orange molten glob. Mesmerizing to say the least. Getting the hot glass onto the mandrel (metal rod that you make the bead on), was fun, but I'll tell ya, I am definitely round bead challenged!
I found this class through our county yahoo group. I was pretty thrilled to say the least and nervous because I hadn't done anything as a newbie in a long time. I've tended to stay away from things other than wire working because I have a history of going full force into each new medium that I try and then I have too much crap and not enough time to play with said crap.
I mean, I could do wirework alone for so many years and never hit a limit.
I've thought about getting into PMC and lampworking for years, but due to money and time constraint I haven't done it. This time I did it anyway. Yay! The class took place in Willits, CA with artist Matt Marchand. He has a sweet little studio that fits 6 people. It's in his garage with lots of open doors and windows for ventilation. Here's a photo of the studio and my classmates (I am hiding behind the camera as I so enjoy doing!)
I found the emotional process I went through before and after this class really interesting.
At the beginning I was utterly excited - and into the class as well. Of course I couldn't do much well being it was my first time, but I was okay with that. By the end of the day though, I think I was just plain tired and maybe a bit frustrated and went home thinking , 'I am so thrilled that I'm not in love with lampworking!' I was happy because I wouldn't have to worry about creating a suitable studio, spending money, taking time away from other things, etc. Then, as the evening wore on I could... not... stop... thinking about it! Obsessed is the only word that comes to mind. Day and night all I could think about was getting back to that flame. I wondered if it was just me romanticizing the process and my love of master glassworkers pieces, or if I really can't wait to do it again. I dare say I've driven my partner just a little bit crazy! lol.
In any case, there wasn't much I could do about it because I don't have facilities available to try it again until our teacher Matt has open studio hours which (yay!) are coming up next Sunday. I think I need to seriously play with the glass a few more times to see where my heart really is. Is it in love or in lust? Time will tell. In the mean time, here are 2 more photos from class. One is just a pile of glass scraps that I couldn't stop trying to figure out a way to use them! They are so pretty to look at. The second is my funny attempt at making stringers, which are essentially hot glass pulled apart so that it thins in the middle -kind of like pulling taffy apart I think? These ones were made with two colors so that we twisted them as we pulled them apart. Pretty neat huh? In the end they are used for decorating beads.
Unfortunately I have no finished beads to show because it was a one day class and we couldn't take our beads home until they were properly annealed, which takes some hours. We were also just working with a lot of practice glass and I don't even know if I'll be able to recognize any of what I made! I'll check it out when I go to the studio next week though - maybe I'll be able to recognize my own bit of off-round craziness!
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To see more of my work...
- Shay Stone
- Simply put, I'm a wire and gem jewelry freak! I like to string, twist, weave, wrap, form, and decorate with gems, wire and other earthy beauties. If you want to know more please click on the "About" tab at the top of the page. To contact me, check my blogger profile (click below) ... Thanks!