Monday, 26 February 2018

lampworking class

I am lucky enough to live near the creative quarter in Nottingham.  It's an area on the edge of the city centre, with a market place and lots of creative businesses, workshops and shops.  I took a lampworking class with Rosie of Bden Glass who also runs the shop which sells lots of different handmade goods.

It was a 2-hour one-to-one class.  I was a complete beginner so Rosie took me through all the equipment, her set-up and safety concerns.  



This is the torch.  It runs on a mixture of gas and oxygen.  I have forgotten which gas!  The silver pipe you can see is an extractor pipe which went out the window.


I made 4 beads.  They are formed on a steel mandrel which has been dipped in bead release.  I couldn't take any in-process pictures as it's very much a 2-hand job.  The beads are made using glass rods which are melted in the torch and wrapped around the mandrel.  The photos above show the beads when I'd made them.  They were plunged into annealing beads to cool down slowly, though you can use a kiln.  Rosie then cleaned them up for me over Christmas and I collected them last week.



This is the first bead I made.  A very simple one-colour bead.  As you can see, I didn't get it round!  There is a lot of skill involved in this technique and it's the kind of thing you need to perfect with lots of practice and experimentation.


This lovely marbled green bead was my second attempt and is actually round on one end!  Still slightly pointed at the other end, but better.



I made this bead from a transparent blue glass, then added opaque blue dots.  I'm very pleased with this one.  The dots aren't particularly even, but the shape is good.



This bead was made from clear glass and then rolled in frit (small pieces of glass) to create the confetti effect.  Unfortunately, it had an air bubble in it.  Rosie did warn me it might break... and it did!  I wasn't too upset though as I'd taken the class for the experience rather than the end product.  I'm going to book another session with her to have another practice, get some more tips and maybe try other techniques.  I'd definitely recommend this if you have a lampworker near you, it's great fun, if a little scary at first!

12 comments:

Bethany said...

While that does look scary, I love the end result (especially the one with the blue dots--it looks so perfect!)

Pudding et Biscotte said...

Congratulations! You managed extremely well in a craft that requires so much practice! you are a real pro! I love all the beads you made with a soft spot for the emerald green one. Hugs!
Sandrine

Cath said...

That looks fun. Something to investigate next time I'm in Nottingham.

Fiona said...

looks fun and pretty assortment of beads...

Hugz

Jane Galley said...

that looks like great fun. You made a good job, especially as it's your first time

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous beads for a first attempt. It sounds fascinating.

Rachel said...

Well done - they look good. You could probably make settings for the bits of the broken bead and take advantage of how lovely it looks!

Rhona said...

What a wonderful craft to try.....your beads look wonderful!

Hillview Embroidery said...

This looks like a lot of fun! I love all your beads, perfect, broken or just lovely! You have a real eye for colour.

Janine @ Rainbow Hare said...

That sounds like fascinating class. Your beads are gorgeous. I wonder if you could paste the broken bead halves iinto settings for a pair of earrings :)

Laura P. said...

Your beads look awesome!! I've been wanting to take a lampworking class for a quite while now, your post so inspiring! :)

Laura xo

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how much you learned in that short time. It looks scary but also fun. :)