This week I started lampwork bead lessons with Joyce Horn of Joyous Creations. It took me quite a while to find someone who gave lessons at a location near me, and I was fortunate enough to meet Joyce on a social/art site called Artists in Wonderland. She lives about 40 minutes away, definitely doable and is quite a find!
So Monday I plugged her address into my trusty GPS and off I went! Brooksville, where Joyce lives is a little out in the country, and the setting is woodsy and peaceful. Her house is lovingly decorated with all kinds of art, and it's fun just looking around. Her husband built her studio away from the house, and she has a cozy set up with lots of work stations, a kitchen (yay for coffee- always on!) and a large table and chair set up for discussion, lunch and other things we girls do when together. (talk, talk, talk...)
I was a little intimidated by the sight of all the tools, torches, glass rods, etc. but determined to learn as much as I could. After demonstrating basic techniques she let me get at the torch. I've always been facinated by the physical properties of all things when heat is applied, one of the reasons I took up metalsmithing in the first place, so it was a wonder to watch glass melt! Layering and watching what happens to the colors was so cool. I was chomping at the bit to see how my beads turned out...but of course they needed to be annealed in the kiln..so I didn't get to see them that day.
On Wednesday I went back....and Joyce had taken my beads out of the kiln for me to see! Joila! Beads!
Well....sort of. Since it was my first actual experience, with the exception of a short time at the torch during the torch time at the Gathering in July, making perfectly shaped beads was not something I could easily do. But for a newbie, I guess they didn't turn out too bad. And it's certainly nothing that practice, practice and more practice can't fix!
Here are some pictures we took. I'm certainly not finished with the lessons....I'm ready my book - Passing the Flame, by Corina Tettinger - and I'll go back to Joyce next week. She's such a warm, bubbly person, I'd look forward to seeing her, even without the lessons!
Joyce, smiling as usual!
I'm really concentrating here!
The final product!
Aw...ok...not great, but I'm proud of them!
I really look forward to next week!
That's it for now,