Following my inaugural experience in glass working, I embarked on a mission to find similar experiences in my own locale. Whilst discovering the who-what-where of glass working in Belgium, I came across an inspired glass artist offering weekend workshops for those just starting out in this fascinating medium: Anuschka.

Lampwork barrel beads on mandrels, Day 1 (soda-lime glass)

The weekend included two full days of  “hands-on” bead lampworking and inspirational theory/discussion, covering many of the techniques that beginners are recommended to master over time. Anuschka shares her knowledge and passion with abundance, and, if you’re wide-eyed student like me, this encourages your creativity and a desire to do more!

Lampwork elliptical beads, examples of twisting and raised dots, Day 1 (soda-lime glass)

On Day 1, we covered:

  • Lampworking studio safety, equipment, working space, kilns
  • Glass types, attributes, behaviour, colours
  • Holding the glass, mandrels, torch positioning, setting the flame
  • Preparing glass rods, pulling stringers
  • Methodology in creating a basic bead, shaping beads
  • Creating elliptical and barrel-shaped beads
  • Surface decoration (dots, poked bubbles, twisting dots)
  • Studio wrap-up, preparing mandrels for Day 2
  • Further reading, up-coming events,  setting up a studio

Lampwork cone and elliptical beads, examples of zig-zags and layering colours, Day 2 (soda-lime glass)

On Day 2, we covered:

  • More advanced stringer creations and applied use in decoration (including filigrana stringers and twisted/ribbed canes)
  • Creating cones, bicones, hearts, cubes, tabs
  • Applying zigzags, swirls, layering colour dots/shapes (delicate stringer handling)
  • Flame-polishing
  • Using mashers, marvers and other graphite tools
  • Basic encasing with clear glass
  • Demonstration of using gravity and force to shape glass
  • Demonstration of the hollow bead
  • History of beads around the world

Lampwork barrel bead, example of layering colours, Day 2 (soda-lime glass)

After such an enjoyable and productive weekend, it would have been easy to continue through the night and into Monday…! In the meantime, as I think up the many ways in which I can set up my own studio (!), I collect my glass books and keep the dream alive!

Originally published: Wednesday, April 11th, 2012 at 13:00 in Atelier, Inspiration

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2 Responses to “Catching hot candy floss on sticks!”

  1. Hypersext says:

    Beautiful colours and it really does look a bit like making gooey sweets.

    Looking forward to seeing more of your work in the future!

    • Thanks Hypersext! The colours of the Murano/Moretti glass are endless when you consider the combinations for decoration! This is softer glass than what I experienced in Belize (which was hard glass, a bit like Pyrex). I’m told the rods have their own personalities, based on their manufacturing, colour chemisty, width and application in the flame, so I think we can safely say that no two pieces can ever be exactly the same! I’ll post my Day 2 photos later 🙂

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