Monthly Archives: October 2009

Glass Class and Vacation

Well, I’m in Myrtle Beach, and this is a rainy day photo of the beach. But first let me say a little about the class I took with Heather Trimlett on Thursday and Friday. I left home for Myrtle Beach without the beads that I bought, or the beads that I made, (although I didn’t make anything worth showing) so I don’t have a picture related to the class to show.

It was an excellent class. Heather is a great teacher – very clear and precise instructions that were easy to follow. We learned how to make a marble and poke a hole through it with a tungsten pick. My bead marbles came out all wonky though. It is very hard to keep everything on center and get the hole poked through. But I did manage to get the hole through on two different beads/marbles, so that was OK.

We also learned the secret(s) to even twisties. I will have to practice this some, but I think I will finally be able to make nice twisties. And, we learned how to make a very nice encased multi layer twisty. We also worked on encasing – I learned a couple of new tricks there too.

All in all, I’m really glad we could rearrange this Myrtle Beach vacation so I could take this class. It was a fun class and just what I needed to get my interest reinvigorated. I had been feeling blah about everything recently, but now I’m really looking forward to getting back in the studio and putting what I learned to good use.

Saturday was another opera. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts some of their Saturday matinees live in HD to movie theaters all over the world. We have been going for several years and enjoying the heck out of it. I only slept through a little of the opera, and now I’m wishing I had stayed awake. Aida is an amazing story – I’ll definitely have to buy the DVD or something.

Then I headed up to Beads by Design to shop for beads. I have some Christmas orders allready, so I wanted to get a start on that. Then there was the Southern Flames meeting, and that was a lot of fun too. Heather did the demo, and it is really fun to watch her work. There was also a woman there from Gadsden, AL – about 30 to 40 minutes from me – so that was cool.

Sunday was rough. We got up early, packed and drove to Myrtle Beach. We didn’t eat dinner until 9:00pm Eastern! But today was nice, although rainy. We had a leisurely morning and a knitting session. I got the back of the cardigan that I’m working on finished! Then, after lunch, we drove through the main roads in town. Judging from what I saw, Myrtle Beach is all about miniature golf, calabash seafood, pancake houses, and ice cream. I wasn’t particularly looking forward to this trip, but now that I’m here I hope we have a good time. More to come soon!

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Japanese Fan Torch

I finally got the torch I bought at the Gathering up and running! I had to install a Y connector so both torches can be hooked up to the propane tank at the same time. This involved drilling a hole in the wall between the garage and my studio to run the new hose through. I also had to cut one end of the hose to fit it on the torch fitting and I had to install a hose clamp. Then I had to leak test the lines. I’m not a very handy person and this project, although not outside my capabilities (obviously) was a bit nerve wracking. I was very grateful to my mother for helping me through it.

I made some beads on the new torch with some Satake glass I had purchased. They aren’t great beads, but they are what I made. I had a little problem getting round beads as you can see from the picture. Also, I made a small simple murrine first and used that on all the beads I made. I really like this glass. The colors are just wonderful!

I did a little bit of experimenting with these beads and found out a couple of important things. One, black bleeds a bit on transparent purple. Two, if the torch isn’t set right (and I still don’t know exactly when it is) black will become metallic. Three, if there isn’t enough air being pumped through the translucent white I used will become sooty. And four, silver will not burn off in the flame when applied to the outside of a bead.

All and all, I think it was a productive day even if I was scared of the new torch and glass at first. I don’t know why I was scared – maybe because it was something new. But, I persevered and tried it out and got some ‘interesting’ beads as one observer said.

Now, I have to go back and review my class notes from the Jeff Barber class that I took so I can make some more interesting beads. And then, once I order some more glass, clear especially, I will try making a flower murrine as I learned in the Akihiro Okama class. I also want to try some other murrine that are in a Japanese bead making book I have. And then, I will do another Wednesday Night Supper program for church. So, I have a lot of work to do.

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