Friday, 13 February 2015

Heather Trimlett Bead Camp February 2015, Nokomis Florida

I've just come back from a fantastic time at Bead Camp in Nokomis Florida with Heather Trimlett teaching. For those of you who don't know what Bead Camp is, it is a week of glassy fun, learning new skills from a specific teacher and making new friends. Marley and Jetze Beers are the hosts and a fantastic job they both did of looking after us, keeping us fed and watered and ferrying us to various locations.

I flew in from Gatwick to Tampa and Jetze was there to welcome me, the drive was just over an hour to Bead Camp and Jetze kept me informed about the sites as we went.

When we arrived he showed me to my room which I would be sharing. My room mate would be arriving the next day. I arrived a day early to try and get a head start on my jetlag. Marley had some shopping to do for the week so I went with her and gave her a hand. My first experience of Costco! (a wholesale supermarket).

Marley and Jetze's house is full of lovely art, there are these wacky flowers in the garden made from recycled plastic and of course glass beads

and this wonderful starfish

and I love this quirky fish

There were lots more including lots of Marley's own paintings. 

The local wildlife
The course a was full with 8 people arriving on Monday, a couple of local gals. The studio was very well laid out and equipped with everything you could need down to the water beaker!

A grazing dinner was provided on the first night (Monday) so that we could get to know each other. Of course most of the class mates were from the US but apart from me from the UK, there was one lady from Venezuala and one from Argentina. It was a constant source of amusement to Heather that there was more of a language barrier between me and the Americans than there was between the ladies who spoke Spanish!

The course started on Tuesday, Heather laid out some of her fabulous work for us to drool over

 We started off with back to basics with just plain beads but concentrating on getting those good puckers. This is always where I feel like a complete newbie - an unfamiliar torch set-up and learning how someone else makes their beads which may not be the same way that you make them. 

Heather demonstrating
From there we moved onto encased beads, dots and round beads. Here are my efforts...

We also tried our first twisties

The weather was a bit cooler than I was hoping for due to the cold snap in America but we did get to enjoy our lunch in the sun on Wednesday

Look at these giant seed pods that grow on a tree in their garden, apparently they are pretty lethal if they drop on your head!

 Today we made our first latachino canes

and discs

On Wednesday and Saturday evenings there is an event called Drum Circle that is held on Nokomis Beach. A group of drummers get together and play samba type music and you can dance in the centre of the circle. There are usally lots more drummers but the forecast was for rain so not many turned up. There was still a good crowd though.

That's me on the left!

Thursday was bicones, hollow beads and buttons.

Heather demonstating how to make a button
My beads
My buttons
This evening we went to a restaurant with a firepit, I've never been to one of these before and it was very novel. I had coconut shrimp and sweet potato fries (chips to us Brits) and it was yummy!

Friday.... this is the point when all of a sudden you realise that you only have 2 more days until Bead Camp comes to an end before that it seems to stretch out in front of you.

One of the things we tried today was coldworking, how to grind off our discs and then polish them.

Heather demonstrating
My turn!
Whilst the others had their turn at coldworking we got to practice the beads we had learned so far

and this is my attempt at a coldworked disc, not bad for a first attempt. I'm not sure whether this is something I will continue in my work as a flat lap grinder is very expensive if it is not going to get much use.
Tonight we went out for a meal in a restaurant just up the road

When we got back, Heather had a surprise for us, some pop beads, I've never seen these before. They are basically a childs toy but we had great fun making jewellery with them. The idea was to inspire beads looking at something other than other glass bead artists work.

Marley having fun!
Here is the jewellery I made, I didn't keep them but broke them up so someone else could have a play.

Aren't they fun!
Saturday, the last day :-( today we made a ribbon cane. This is mine, it came out so pretty I don't think I will have the heart to use it!

The rest of the day I spent making hollow beads and another button, tidied up our workspace and got ready for our banquet.

Hollow beads
 Marley made a lovely meal of ribs, potatoes (I've never had purple spuds before!) and salad and Jetza had turned the conservatory into a lovely dining area.

Cindy, Deb, Heather and Beth

Lidia and Dee
Yetze, Kelly and Marley
and me!
Unfortunately I didn't get a shot of Maria or Beth the other two ladies in the group.

On the day after Bead Camp my flight wasn't until the afternoon and I was very lucky to be asked my Heather and Beth if I would like to join them on a trip to the Ringling Museum, which for those that don't know was a huge circus that toured the states. There was this amazing model of the circus as it would have been laid out, it was huge!

 My first bead camp experience was fanstatic and I can't wait to be going back for my class with Sharon Peters in April.

Thanks for looking.


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