Let fire inspire

Captivated by the magic of working with glass, Rebecca Weddell creates beautiful and unique lampwork beads and offers a range of beadmaking courses.

Spreading lampwork love

My travelling studio and I spent a really enjoyable day yesterday at the 'Betchworth Bead-In', which is a fabulous event held annually in Surrey during National Beading Week.

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I so enjoy spending my working life in my workshop that I don't very often go out to sell my wares at bead fairs and events, preferring instead to spend time at the torch flame, selling my beads on Etsy and teaching others how to make beads of their own. This is why I've so enjoyed taking part in the Betchworth event and indeed the inaugural East Surrey Bead Fair earlier this summer!
(Subtext: I need to get out more!)

It was great to catch up with old friends in the beading world and indeed make new ones - and yesterday I was able to remind myself that I haven't ever met a beader I don't like! That record still stands - LOL!!!

My printing had been delivered in good time to be able to do some promotion of my two summer open studio events here at the workshop, as well as my new Journey into Beadmaking course which starts in the autumn.

Demonstrating at the torch flame yesterday was a hot job thanks to this glorious summer weather, so I kept the demos brief, but I really appreciated the opportunity to show people the process involved in making glass beads one-by-one at the torch flame. This is a fabulous, fascinating, gorgeous yet time-consuming process that cannot be rushed! I take huge pleasure and pride in flame-shaping the 'little and round', spending time and effort in ensuring the beads are perfectly balanced with the hole directly in the centre every single time, and I love to spend time at the flame creating gorgeous and intricate designs of glass-on-glass. It was great to be able to give onlookers an insight into just what is involved to make every glass bead a work of art in itself.

 Visit the workshop in August and September as part of Artwave and CAOS!

Visit the workshop in August and September as part of Artwave and CAOS!

 Fancy taking a journey with me? Let fire inspire on this fabulous course!

Fancy taking a journey with me? Let fire inspire on this fabulous course!


This year the Bead-In was raising money for Saying Goodbye, a charity which works to provide comprehensive information, advice, support and much more to anyone who has suffered the loss of a baby, at any stage of pregnancy, at birth or in infancy. The event raised over £350 for this very worthy cause.

 

The next stage

I was so pleased to welcome Vicki back to the Let Fire Inspire workshop on Saturday morning for an extended half-day intermediate course (which is a posh way of saying that we went for a four-hour session rather than three). Vicki had the opportunity to build on her existing experience at the flame to work on more complex designs, as well as develop her interest in gravity-twisting to stunning decorative effect!

Here's what we did:

 

 Halfway through a 'poked dot' bead - specifically the poking stage!

Halfway through a 'poked dot' bead - specifically the poking stage!

 You can see Vicki has already capped four of the five poked dots.

You can see Vicki has already capped four of the five poked dots.

 The clear 'cap' serves to capture an air bubble - don't let it get away....

The clear 'cap' serves to capture an air bubble - don't let it get away....

 Pulling the clear rod away from the bead and getting ready to flame-cut it free.

Pulling the clear rod away from the bead and getting ready to flame-cut it free.

 The caps are melted smooth, and the bubbles are there! They look like little eyes.

The caps are melted smooth, and the bubbles are there! They look like little eyes.

 Out-of-focus, but you get the idea! Vicki picked a great colour combo!

Out-of-focus, but you get the idea! Vicki picked a great colour combo!

 Vicki's beads spent Saturday night being kiln-annealed for lasting strength. Here's a snap of them still on their mandrels when I took them out of the kiln this morning.

Vicki's beads spent Saturday night being kiln-annealed for lasting strength. Here's a snap of them still on their mandrels when I took them out of the kiln this morning.

 Vicki's finished collection of beads. Between us we had great fun exploring how different reactive colours work together - what a terrific haul!

Vicki's finished collection of beads. Between us we had great fun exploring how different reactive colours work together - what a terrific haul!

I've got something very exciting to share with you next time too - I'll be telling you all about your opportunity to embark on a 'journey into beadmaking'.

The Workshop, 8 Village Works, London Road, East Hoathly
Lewes, East Sussex, BN8 6QA
01825 840638

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