Saturday, 6 April 2013

Lampwork beads and Silverstone Circuit :-)

Good morning :-)

As lots of you know Catherynne's Treats is now the grand old age of 1 and the changes that have happened in that year has been vast.
I now have a new direction that I want to share with you all that Catherynne's Treats is going to take and I am really really exited about it!

I am going to take you back about a month first to my starting position.
I was looking at some truly amazing beads from Beadscrumptious Beads a lady that makes her own lampwork beads dribbling at them as they look so pretty and are just amazing.
It got me thinking how do you actually make them so I pulled up a You Tube window and put it in the search bar and then clicked on the first one that came up and whoaaaaaa it is so interesting :-)
You melt the glass over a small torch so you have a molten blob then you wind it round a long piece of metal called a mandrel that has been coated in a special liquid called bead release so that you can wriggle the bead off when it is ready or the bead will be welded onto the mandrel and you don't want that!!

You can do so many different tricks with the glass to make it look amazing. 
You can make a plain round bead then melt on some dots, you can melt them into the glass then melt a layer of clear over the top so then the dots are encased in the bead and are in the middle of the bead.
Well the list is totally endless and is only limited to your own imagination!!

So on this note I have been watching LOADS and I mean LOADS of different You Tube vids and reading articles and have even bought a book that I have read cover to cover twice!!

So on this note I have joined a forum called Frit-Happens and have read even more about making your own beads and some lovely person on their recomended that I go to the annual Flame Off an event for Lampwork artists to have a go on lots of torches there, see demonstrations and also spend about a billion pounds on all the equipment and supplies there and then there are the finished beads too!

So I toddled off to Silverstone Circuit as that was where it was being held.

Being brought up watching Formula 1 for most of my upbringing I was totally in awe of where I was and even though there was not a race going on I was still very exited to be going who wouldn't be really.
When I got there in the end after putting the wrong postcode into the sat nav whoops, we had to follow signs to 'The Wing' which is where it was being held. I was following the signs very carefully until I had to drive past a Porsche experience area where there were soo many amazing Porsche's parked outside and then I saw two cars being driven down some track through loads of water being sprayed all over the road so it was wet conditions. Whoooaaaaaaaaaa how cool was that except I was way to busy taking notice of the cars and then totally missed the turning for the wing!
So I turned round and found where I had to go which was over the track eeeek and wow, and when I did I though hmmm my car is making a lot of noise and got over the bridge and looked to my left and holy moses nope it wasn't my car I just drove over a bridge when a F1 car went underneath me!!!!! I didn't have any spare clothes to get changed into but wow I almost had an accident when it sank in I just drove over a F1 car!!!!!!!

Anyway I got there in the end and popped my eyes back into my head and put my sensible head on and went into the building.
The room was laid out lovely with lots of vendors to both sides of the room and the torch area to the back so I casually looked at some of the stalls while making my way to the back of the room to the torches and asked a lady with a high viz jacket on if I can make some beads?? She kindly asked me if I had made any before to which I replied no and she took charge and showed me what to do.
So now it was my turn, I am sat on this chair with this quite small but extremely hot flame in front of me I got a purple rod ( I am really drawn to purple at the mo  and I am not sure if it will wear off for a while yet ) I twiddled it round and melted it nicely and got it ready to twist onto the mandrel to make the bead. I did and then wound it onto the mandrel, it was quite lopsided so I kept it in the flame till it had melted in much better and was much more round :-)
Then I popped it into a big pot of round balls to cool it down called bubbles and got to making my next bead. I made 5 all in all on my first go. One of the beads I was totally mushing up the glass and just having fun with it really so that one is a mess of colours but it's my mushed up bead :-)

It was so interesting melting the glass and then deciding what I wanted to do with it.
I made the beads then decided that I had best go and have a look about.

Wow there are so many different talented artists that can truly make magic with glass!
It wasn't long before I decided that I had best get back to the torches again and make some more beads. This time though I was going to make some multi coloured ones and try out some of the techniques that I have been watching so much on You Tube.

I made a few more with purple glass, wrapping the molten glass round the mandrels again and then put some decorations on using a glittery glass. Wow Goldstone glass is soo pretty to use.
The second lot of beads were much more fun to make and I was taking the bead making much more seriously and you can tell as the beads are much better.

To buy the all the kit to get me going to be able to make the beads is a lot of money so unfortunately it won't be for a while before I can afford it all and then it will be even longer before I can actually make any beads that are of a good enough quality to sell or use in my jewellery but goodness making those beads was so much fun and I am totally hooked and really cannot wait till I can have another go :-)
So enough yacking and now time for the pictures of what I made :-)

The first picture are my first beads, the second is the bunch I made the second time with some close up's of some of the more snazzier beads from the second time around.

I am really proud of these as I really thought I would just be making a blob with a hole in the middle but I didn't :-)

So I need you all to buy up all my stock over at Catherynne's Treats so that I can start to save up to buy the kit I need to make amazing glass beads !!

Take care and speak soon


1 comment:

  1. A fantastic blog post especially for anyone thinking about starting lampworking like you. You can start quite cheap as long as you don't mind not having a kiln but to be honest it gives you the time to just sit and practice your technique. As long as you cool them slowly in the bubbles and they don't crack, you can batch anneal them later when you do have a kiln. That's how I started. xx