Wednesday, 21 April 2010

What we made at Flame Off!

Just a little post, thought I would show you what we made at the Flame Off on Friday (although for those of you on Frit Happens, or who are friends on Facebook, apologies for the repeats!).

For anybody who hasn't got a clue what Flame Off! is - it's a once yearly "get together" for mainly lamp-workers and jewellery makers and general fans of glass. Organised by Tuffnells Glass, it has stands selling glass, torches, equipment, jewellery trims and findings, as well as makers selling their lampworked beads and jewellery, . A favourite part of the day for a lot of visitors are the demonstrations by some of the finest bead makers around, and Tuffnells organise a range of torches for people to try out.  Mainly for me, it was simply a chance to meet and catch up with all the lovely people that I chat to on Frit Happens, who are helpful, supportive and well, simply lovely!

This green bead is the first one I made - not my first ever, I have done it before under expert guidance of experienced bead-makers... this one I made all by myself, I even lit the torch!

And it was my first time on a Hothead - which is a cooler, slower torch than I had used before, but that's not necessarily a bad thing to a learner!

Here's Ashley's first bead of the day, and again his first on a Hothead and without any guidance (well, apart from me, and that really is like the blind leading the blind as he is actually better at it than I am! I mean, look at that dimpled end of this bead....mine all have killer spikes!)

After he made this, he was challenged to make a second bead to match it, which he did, and I have promised to make them into earrings which  I will proudly wear!

After a wander round, a bit of spending, eating lunch and heading back to the torching area, this was my second bead of the day, this time made on a big dual fuel torch, not sure what it was, but I think it was a Minor.

Not a fabulous shape, but I simply love the colours.  I like making organics!

 Ashley struggled a bit this time with the big torches, although its all he'd used before - but always had guidance, so perhaps he didn't feel comfortable with the hotter torch, and wanted to go back to the Hothead. 

He made his third bead, the one on front left, intending it to match his first two, but used a transparent turquoise this time, and got a totally different result. So challenge time again, make me a pair, and I made the bigger bead at the back to "match", and I have another jewellery set!

Finally, when I was photographing everything, I thought that the pair that Ashley made and the long bead I made acually matched, so I think I will make these up into a set too, when I have time.  Now I just need to learn jewellery making techniques.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Everybody Blogs!

I started blogging a couple of years ago, when I met Maz from Amari Gems, who told me she blogged as an easy way to let her customers know when she'd made new jewellery - blogs are a much easier to update than websites, even when you know what you're doing and can speak HTML!

I still often don't quite know what to talk about, as this is more of a personal blog than a work related one.  The one I started intending to follow my final few months of uni is woefully neglected at the moment... probably because I am busy doing my uni work!

A friend of mine, Paul Cummins, who graduated from Derby last year (I am on the same course as he was), has an installation coming up at Chatsworth in April/May it looks really interesting, hope I can squeeze a day to go.

What I shouldn't have been surprised at, but was, is that Chatsworth House has it's own blog!  I've added it to my follow list, as I think it could be quite interesting....

I've had a busy few days, even though not much uni work as been going on, I was determined to have some proper time with my son, knowing that the next six weeks is going to be intense, and I might not see much of him, we went to London on Wednesday (and were in the Science Museum when it got evacuated - took about 25 minutes, wouldn't like to be there in a real emergency).  And yesterday, we went to Flame Off! - an excuse for mainly lamp-workers, but generally anybody with a passion for glass, jewellery and big hot torches to melt glass with, to get together and gas about glass.... we both made a few beads, and it was fab day.