I have such a feast for your eyes today… I suggest you make that cuppa that you’ve been promising yourself all day and be prepared to enter a world of colour, texture, creativity and talent……
Last Monday I set off early on a long journey to the foot of the beautiful Malvern Hills…..
…… to spend some time with the wonderful Julie of….
This has been a long time desire of mine… to have a go at lampwork bead making… I have been very nervous about booking up a course, but when I came across Julie’s amazing work I knew that she was the one that I wanted to have lessons with… her beads are SO inspirational, the colours are zingy, fresh and exciting and I couldn’t wait to get started.
Julie’s ‘studio’ is fondly known as the ‘Torch Porch’….. yes, that’s right, it’s in her porch and here it is……
It’s actually the perfect space for bead making… very cosy and full of light!
Just look at these shelves full of pots of coloured glass… yummy! It makes my heart flutter just to see them all waiting to be melted into something beautiful….
I think they look like coloured knitting needles… what do you think?
Well, I really needn’t have worried… Julie is a brilliant teacher… very patient, really clear and extremely encouraging. We began by talking about all the safety issues, information about the different kinds of glass that can be used and using the dual fuel torches. Then Julie demonstrated how to make a basic glass bead… next it was my turn.. eeek! I was shaking so much that I thought that I’d never get the hang of it. It’s very much like learning to drive. When you begin you wonder how you will ever be able to check mirrors, indicate, pull away, steer etc… all at the same time but eventually it’s all second nature! With bead making you have to turn a mandrel in your left hand whilst watching the glass melting in your right, at the same time as checking your flame and then trying to put the melted glass onto the mandrel in as neat a way as possible!!
Here is the expert at work…..
… applying dots….. mine weren’t nearly as even as these….
…. melting the dots to the bead so that they lie flat….
A beautiful daisy made by Julie. I had a go at this and was fairly successful but definitely need more practice.
The first day just whizzed by…. I couldn’t believe what we achieved and how the time just flew. It was such a brilliant day.. so good to have some input from such an inspirational person, and brilliant to be learning a new skill…. Hmmmmm.. now where could I set this up at home????
Here we are… Ta Dah…. these are the beads that I made during my two days with Julie… not bad for a first attempt? Can you tell how proud I am of them????
If you are now longing to have a go, you must go and visit Julie… you will not be disappointed, in fact, you will be so inspired and amazed at what you achieve…. go on, you know you want to….
…. and if that doesn’t convince you, take a look at these…. they are sure to get your heart beat racing….
Sunbaked beads… just look at those colours… aren’t they scrumptious?
A stunning focal bead
Now… don’t you want to have a go? If you don’t fancy making the beads yourself, you can buy the beads directly from Julie, either on her website or her Etsy shop.
As a little Thank you to Julie I set to on my faithful sewing machine…..