Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Holey Shirts Batman!

Originally uploaded by steampunkglass
I was going to post a picture here of my workshop, but bottled out as I don’t want to ruin the image people seem to have of me! Contrary to what everyone seems to think I am not tidy or organised in the way I do glass; the making process involves a lot more randomness and accidents – although the later is making things a little dangerous!

Take last night, I was working ‘off-mandrel’ which is where the glass is melted and shaped straight from the raw rods. I really like this way of working at the moment, it feels so much more organic, the glass dictates the way it’s shaped which, although sometimes doesn’t do what I want, can give me shapes and designs I would not have dared otherwise. Also there is no horrid bead release to clean, I still have beads from two months ago that need cleaning!

Now I think you can see the slight hazard with this, large lump of hot glass with nothing to hold onto except not-so-hot-glass. So yes, occasionally a hot bead takes a tumble, missing anything I have to catch it, and I quickly scrabble on the floor to retrieve it before it gathers too much dust or burns too much into the floor. The normal place it seems to fall lately is in my lap. It’s amazing how quickly I can move if provoked! I was at that point last night I knew I should have stopped and gone to bed, when one dropped in my lap, and I decided not to leap up but find a pair of tongs instead. A second later as a little flare, puff of smoke, and nasty smell, I realised I ought to get up quick! Fortunately I wear old cotton shirts and canvas trousers when I am working, although I really could do without the extra holes in both. No extra holes in me, thank goodness, but I do think I will invest in a nice leather apron now!

Of course if I worked at a glass blowers I probably would have to under health & safety; last week I managed a very quick peak into London glass workshops’ open day where Becky of Chameleon Designs was demonstrating lampworking to an eager public! I really only managed a 5minute pop in to say hi, before having to rush off again. She makes some lovely stuff, including silver and even gold cored beads! Well worth a look! I did have a quick peak into their glass blowing room whilst there, men with long sticks loaded with red hot glass – now that’s my idea of fun!

I am currently awaiting new supplies of glass and silver, hoping it might turn up before the long weekend so I can play. One of my latest projects is doing cabochons with flower & spirals inside, but not sure if anyone would be interested in those? (Char marks from clothing will be optional!)

I also want to have a go at marbles; unfortunately the tool I wanted is out of stock, so that might have to wait now. Since I started doing the little worlds I’ve had a few people asking for marble versions, or even Galaxies, such as in ‘Men in Black’ – my other half asks each time I finish a new batch of worlds (or should that be demand?). They had it easy, a whole CGI department! I’ve only got a holey shirt and burnt trousers to work with!

1 comment:

  1. Yay - yes please to the "Men in Black" Galaxies! Glad you're not too singed!