Now this, is a well overdue blog post… a couple of months ago – towards the end of May, I had the wonderful experience of going ‘Lampworking’ – that’s glass bead making in case you were wondering!
This was actually a gift from myself to one of my oldest and jewellery loving friends, Hayley. However, the workshop was for two people, so I was luckily allowed to be involved too!
I went along with no preconceptions of what the day would be like – but did wonder …would it be glass ‘blowing’ to create the beads? Would there be a choice of colours? Would we enjoy it?
I tell you now…what an excellent day learning a new skill. The workshop was held by Helen White of Tiara Tiara in her lovely and light, and airy kitchen. We spent approximately 3 hours there, selecting the coloured glass (that did take a while…so much choice!) seeing example creations, and learning that you don’t blow the glass as expected! You get the glass just molten, then you almost ‘draw’ with it, whilst twisting the ‘mandrel’ (the bead stick that allows a hole inside to thread on to whatever you like!) Eventually we created little perfect (well, we tried!) spheres of coloured beauty. Helen was thorough, patient, inspiring and helpful – showing us each step, and talking us through whilst we created our own. We ended up making 5 beads each, and after the workshop they needed to stay with Helen in a very hot oven to then be gradually, slowly cooled overnight. If they cooled too quickly, the glass would crack, ruining the bead. However, it wasn’t long to wait and Helen posted them out to us first class the following week. She had polished them all up and had also made some additional ‘spacer’ beads to allow us to have a complete bracelet!
I would highly recommend this workshop to anyone who has a love for jewellery, or just wants to try something that little bit different! It was such a therapeutic and exciting morning! Hayley and I have a wonderful and very personal bracelet to wear and have as a keepsake forever – now that is special. 🙂