adventures in flameworking

I’ve always been fascinated by glass, especially the kind of small glass sculptures or beads where a form or swirls of colours are enclosed in clear glass. It’s like a world unto itself. I’ve been wanting to take flameworking classes for a long time, but didn’t quite have the money or the time. In the beginning of the year I decided to make time to do something I wanted, and remembered that years ago I bought this small pendant of a jelly fish encased in a drop of clear glass from a local artist. So I looked her up, and found that she offers classes at a studio not too far from me, at quite a reasonable rate! Excited, I signed up right away.

And these are my very first batch of beads!

To be completely honest, half way through the first class I had the thought that it was a bad idea after all and I should just leave, because I was so uncomfortable with open flames, and the glass wasn’t melting the way it should because I wasn’t holding it in the right spot in the flame, I was terrified of the glass or the torch exploding or me doing something stupid and catching on fire (vivid imagination sometimes is a hinderance to learning), and I couldn’t see properly because I was wearing these goggles on top of my glasses… but towards the end of the class I seemed to have gotten the hang of making round beads. I made three proper ones (the 3 green/clear donut-shaped ones on the left — the teacher made the small opaque green one as demo, she just let me keep it :D), and one of them I made into a necklace right away when I got home :D

The next class we tried making different shapes and adding sculptural components. That snowflake is a bit sad-looking but it was fun to try.

If you’re in the city and would like to give flameworking a try, check out the nanopod studio! (that’s me concentrating very hard in the plaid shirt)

On a related note, I saw an image of a beaded death’s head hawk moth one day, and decided that I wanted to make a beaded moth. So I looked up bead embroidery, found this very helpful tutorial, and tried just making a test one on felt, with the beads I have on hand.

I found it a bit difficult to keep to the exact shape I drew on the felt, the wings are more rounded than I intended, but it may get better with practice. Next time I’ll get more moth-like colour beads and try another design.

Hope everyone have a good week!

 

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