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.

Filtering by Tag: Half-day session

Busy week!

It’s been a busy week at Let Fire Inspire! After a couple of days working away with my husband, I got back to the workshop on Wednesday and was joined at the torch flame by Corinne - she was celebrating her birthday with a taster session in lampwork glass beadmaking.

Corinne’s husband Simon joined her for the morning - and he brought his camera along to record the event! He’s very kindly given me permission to use his photographs here.

In a beginners’ taster session here at Let Fire Inspire the first task at the torch flame is to pull some ‘stringers’ of glass, in order to get experience of how the glass feels and behaves at different temperatures. We move on to winding and shaping glass in the flame, starting with a plain bead and moving on to two different surface decoration techniques. Students make three beads in a ninety-minute taster session.

My snap of Corinne’s finished collection of three beads. My favourite is the middle one - she decorated a mauve bead with some gorgeous reactive purple frit, and it’s come out beautifully!

My snap of Corinne’s finished collection of three beads. My favourite is the middle one - she decorated a mauve bead with some gorgeous reactive purple frit, and it’s come out beautifully!

Shaping a bead in the torch flame. Photograph courtesy of Simon Hennessey.

Shaping a bead in the torch flame. Photograph courtesy of Simon Hennessey.

Melting frit on the surface of a bead. Photograph courtesy of Simon Hennessey.

Melting frit on the surface of a bead. Photograph courtesy of Simon Hennessey.

Shaping the bead in the torch flame. All it takes is a consistent turn! The magic of shaping glass is the combination of heat, gravity and surface tension! Photograph courtesy of Simon Hennessey.

Shaping the bead in the torch flame. All it takes is a consistent turn! The magic of shaping glass is the combination of heat, gravity and surface tension! Photograph courtesy of Simon Hennessey.


Hot on Corinne and Simon’s tails were mum-and-daughter pair Sarah and Hannah, who joined me for a beginners’ half-day session yesterday morning. This again was in celebration of a birthday, and again a good time was had by all! I’d met Hannah and Sarah last summer while I was demonstrating lampwork glass beadmaking during Lewes Artwave Festival, and I was delighted to welcome them to the workshop yesterday.

Here’s Sarah winding a bead at the torch flame - the dish of red frit on the left-hand side is destined for surface decoration.

Here’s Sarah winding a bead at the torch flame - the dish of red frit on the left-hand side is destined for surface decoration.

I always tell my students that choosing their colours is the most difficult part of the course! They have the choice of around 15 glass rods to work with, and a selection of six colours of frit. Here you can see Hannah wavering over which colour of frit to choose…

I always tell my students that choosing their colours is the most difficult part of the course! They have the choice of around 15 glass rods to work with, and a selection of six colours of frit. Here you can see Hannah wavering over which colour of frit to choose…

Both ladies torching at their respective workbenches. Yes, those are coffee cups on top of the kiln, and yes, it does help to keep hot drinks hot!

Both ladies torching at their respective workbenches. Yes, those are coffee cups on top of the kiln, and yes, it does help to keep hot drinks hot!

Ta-daaaah! Sarah’s beads are at the top, and Hannah’s are the bottom ones. They picked a beautifully diverse range of colours - I love Hannah’s green gravity-twisted bead, second left, and Sarah’s very vibrant orange bead dotted with yellow and white, far right.

Ta-daaaah! Sarah’s beads are at the top, and Hannah’s are the bottom ones. They picked a beautifully diverse range of colours - I love Hannah’s green gravity-twisted bead, second left, and Sarah’s very vibrant orange bead dotted with yellow and white, far right.


Would YOU like to let fire inspire on a course with me here at the workshop?

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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