What a fantastic day with Anuschka, this time refreshing the basics I learned earlier this year in her studio and seeing a few more demonstrations of the more complex applications of lampworking.

Marvering the dots on my bead!
Photo courtesy of Anuschka, 2012

Anuschka set up a workstation for us each so Françoise and I could work “hands-on” all day. I focused mainly on the following skillsets:

  • Pulling stringers, twisted canes, blending colours
  • Creating elliptical and tube beads
  • Learning to handle different sizes/weights of molten glass
  • Creating disc beads
  • Surface decoration (layering dots, raking, poking and twisting dots, stacking colours)
  • Encasing with clear glass
  • Correcting problems and adapting designs

One good example of adapting a mistake is shown here below. This glass piece started out as a simple two-colour twisty cane but the size of the molten gather became a little too large for that intention. After catching Anuschka’s eye with an “oooops!”, she suggested it could still be saved! With a little punty action and delicate flick of the tweezers it was transformed into a lovely pumpkin 🙂 This little piece is a reminder that “oooops” can become “wow” with some quick thinking!

Twisty turns into pumpkin! (soda-lime glass)

It takes lots of practice to shape glass and the “round bead” is one of those shapes that isn’t as easy to achieve as you might think. This little red bead here is something of a pleasant surprise for me…

Nice to get it round… (soda-lime glass)

We are fortunate to have Anuschka has our tutor for disc beads; this is one of her signature skillsets and she is always happy to demonstrate the pleasures of creating them and using the forces of natures to make each disc unique. I enjoyed making these discs although I didn’t willingly apply any forces of nature to them…. as a beginner, this tends to be something that just happens to you!

My first disc beads! (soda-lime glass)

Here are a few experiments with layering using opaque and transparent glass (on the left) and encasing layered dots (on the right and bottom). The bubbles are not intentional in this case – this happens when the glass gets too hot, perhaps working too near the torch’s tip.

Layering and encasing (soda-lime glass)

Encasing layered dots (soda-lime glass)

We had excellent demonstrations by Anuschka throughout the day during our mini breaks; good opportunity to rest the eyes and arms whilst seeing the magic of other techniques, such as:

  • 3 encasing techniques
  • Applying frit
  • Feathering and writing with fine stringers
  • Applying glass powders
  • Recycling of glass offcuts and broken pieces
  • Creating the hollow bead
  • Using gravity to shape glass
  • Taking advantage of the unique chemical behaviours of coloured rods

We also had opportunities to discuss the usual beginner issues of choosing the right kiln, ventilation concerns, workstation flooring, torch types, creating the workstation, oxygen-concentrators, etc.

The whole day was thoroughly absorbing and very productive – between us, I believe Françoise and I had about 20-plus objects ready in the kiln for annealing. 🙂

Thanks Anuschka for another excellent day in your world of glass and we’ll look forward to the next one!

J at the flame
Photo courtesy of Anuschka, 2012

Françoise and J at the flame
Photo courtesy of Anuschka, 2012

Originally published: Wednesday, July 11th, 2012 at 13:16 in Atelier, Inspiration

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