Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Cracked it!

One of the hardest things to do in lampwork beadmaking is encasing and stringer work. I keep trying but haven't had much success. A while ago I stumbled onto the website of Laura Sparling. I love the simplicity of her beads and her deep encasing as well as her fine stringer work is to die for. You can see a gallery of her bead sets here

I follow her blog and saw that she does tuition. So I booked up for an afternoon. The day before my tuition I had another look at her website and saw that she had some videos on her encasing technique. I am sure I have watched them before but watched them again to refresh my memory. My OH went out for a couple of hours so I thought I would get in some last minute practice.

Low and behold I only managed to crack encasing.

I couldn't believe it. As you can see my stringer work still needs some attention, but I was really pleased with these beads. You can create a lot of depth by layering the glass. It is amazing how the inside becomes magnified through the clear encasing.

I was beginning to think that I had wasted my money but I had a lovely time with Laura.

This is Laura

I got a bit of a surprise when I looked out of the window!

Making beads at Laura Sparlings
 These are the beads that I made at Laura's (the two on the right are hers) They don't look very impressive do they? but from the left. The second bead is encased and it was even all over and 5,6and 7 are all deep encased with levely smooth dimples.
The one on the left is mine and the one on the right is Laura's. Not bad for a first attempt eh?
The camera hasn't captured the colours very well but the petals are multicoloured. Made with iris orange stringer.

So that was Thursday Afternoon.

I was able to stay at my Mum's in Bookham as she was away for the weekend so I didn't have to travel back to the island each day which is lucky as I covered some miles over the next few days.

Friday saw me spending the day with my friend Sue who was the person who most inspired me to start lampworking. Foolishly I forgot to take any photos. We had a fun day playing with glass.
Sue showed me how to work Clio which is a silver glass and how to make some murrini. She also showed me how to make shards which is blown glass that is then shattered to add to beads as decoration.

Sue makes some lovely beads and sells them on Etsy: FlamingEck

Back in December I attended a Christmassy Fun day at Di East's studio in Leicester. I was sat next to Linda Mabbot who I have become friends with. We both watched some demo's by Sally Carver and following some emailing back and forth decided we would like to get together and go to her for a days tuition.

So Saturday saw me on my way to Sally Carvers studio in Hinckley, Leicester. Trading under the name Redhotsal, Sally and her husband run a successful shop in St.Ives and tuition at her home studio where she also makes beads for the shop.

This is Sally
Linda on the left

Linda and me

Linda and I were quite happy spending most of the day watching Sally and picking her brains. We were both made to feel very welcome and had a fab time.

I don't have any photos of the beads that were made to show you as Linda has them at the moment.

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