On Saturday I took my first ever flameworking class. I’ve been planning this for a few months and wrote a blog about my first visit with Leslie in May 2015. Additionally, I wrote a “did you know” in my July 2014 Fused Glass Newsletter discussing the difference between flameworking and glass blowing.
Anyway back to yesterday, I took the class with the fabulous artist and instructor Leslie, from crazy woman glass in Lakewood Colorado. BTW there were only two people in class me and Paula, which I loved because, in case I’ve never mentioned it, I’m petrified of fire.
First in case you don’t know flameworking (also called lampworking) is basically melting Glass around a mandrel (with bead separator) very slowly in front of a torch, then the glass is shaped with various tools, and finally the bead and mandrel are put into a kiln to anneal. So that’s the basics, however there is so much more to flameworking than that! Just like glass fusing, so much more than the basic technique.
There are so many things that I love about Leslie and flameworking. In this blog I want to talk about Leslie and the class itself. Leslie, is so great, patient, kind, giving, and extremely talented.
Paula has taken a class before and I never had, but Leslie was wonderful with both of us.
As far as the class; she covered safety of course, the tools, and the glass involved in flameworking, etc. But beyond that she warmed us up with some basic techniques including making stringers and twisties. This was a great exercise because it got us acquainted with the torch, glass, and most importantly the movements used in flameworking.
After the basics Leslie taught us bead-making and how to add the stringers and twisties to the beads. I must say I lost most of my fear of the torch, but working the glass takes quite a bit of coordination. Leslie, is fabulous I’d get my bead all wonkie and she’s make it round in less than a minute. In all we made around 9 beads and not beginner beads either. She let us pick out beads and she’d showed us how to make them including frit, shards, and the tiniest stringers I’ve ever seen, etc.
Anyway I’ll pick up my beads on Friday so I’ll blog more next Saturday about how flameworking can be incorporated into fused glass.
Bottom-line, if you live in Colorado I highly recommend Leslie as a flameworking instructor, she’s so amazing I am inspired by her patience and her talent.
Keeping my Kiln warm,