Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Confessions of a Glassaholic

I shopped till I dropped, then I got up and shopped some more. This glass conference I went to last week was 5 minutes from my house, so no shipping charges!!!! As if I needed an excuse.

The economy continues to change how everyone does business, there were fewer vendors compared to my first conference in Minneapolis three years ago. Shipping goods to the conference is costly, and people from out of town are buying less because taking extra pieces of luggage on a plane is so expensive now.

So with less glass available I had to be first and fast, I literally went through and grabbed one of everything. When I get my stash organized I will take pictures. The glass rods above are the "silver glass" I use in some of my beads, it's pricey but the metallic and iridescent effects are wonderful.

I finally met Amy of Zoozii's bead presses, and she is as sweet in person as I expected. These were the first tools I purchased when I started lampworking four years ago, and I still use them today.

There were torches, scary torches like this one. I restrained myself and decided that my Bobcat torch does the job for me.

These tools with different shapes are used to make murrini. I purchased a flower shaped one from Zoozii I will keep you posted on how it goes.

A girl can't have enough tools. You know I love texture on transparent glass, so I purchased some new texture tools. I will share the results in the coming weeks. But the more tools you have does not make you a better glass bead maker. The skilled instructors that I had this week proved that you do not need many tools, and something as simple as a paring knife will do the job. It still comes down to a little talent and then practice, practice, practice.

The Thompson Enamel people were at the show, and you all know that I have been into torch fired enamel. I finally broke down and purchased the sample pack of all the opaque and transparent colors for metal. So keep an eye on the shop for some new colors in my enamel pieces.

As I have mentioned before Barbara Lewis was the one that turned me and many others on to torch fired enamel, and like glass it is a bit addicting. Most lampworkers already have a torch so it is a logical transition for glass bead makers to try this technique. When I wore my enamel earrings one evening at the conference, I was swarmed by lampworkers wondering about torch fired enamel. If I were you Barbara, I would stock up on those bead pulling stations.

I also saw a demo by Bronwen Heilman, she paints designs in enamel on beads. I love how one technique leads to another and another, there is so much to learn.

The Bead Bazaar is next, my first big show.


Pretty Things said...

Holy cow, that's a lot of glass! And that torch IS all sorts of scary!

Copper Diem said...

I have a little goodie for you on my blog