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.

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Courses

Ryan and Matt at their respective workbenches

Ryan and Matt at their respective workbenches

Last year at Let Fire Inspire ended on a high note with a bespoke all-day course tailor-made to cover specific techniques to suit a brace of goldsmiths with new projects in the development stages! The three of us enjoyed our time at the torch flame, working with inclusions and moving from beadmaking techniques to making cabochons. We all got a lot out of the day!

2019 has started in a similar busy fashion - so far this year four students have come for taster sessions in lampwork glass beadmaking, and tomorrow morning is scheduled for returning torchtimers to work independently on their own projects.

Did you know that you can now book courses online? I’m very happy with the scheduling and payment software that’s behind the system, and it’s working very well. If you are a recipient of one of the gift vouchers that whizzed from the Let Fire Inspire workshop to your Christmas stocking, you can book your slot online too - just enter your unique voucher code and you won’t even be asked for any payment details!

The next Journey into Beadmaking course begins on Wednesday February 27 and runs for five weeks, at two hours a time. In this course you will make a collection of unique lampwork glass beads and a selection of jewellery using your beads. You will get to grips with both glass beadmaking and jewellery-making techniques on a fabulous journey into this captivating craft!

Frances and Lesley had booked online.

Frances and Lesley had booked online.

Their beads were kiln-annealed for lasting strength.

Their beads were kiln-annealed for lasting strength.

Two gorgeous collections of beads made from scratch!

Two gorgeous collections of beads made from scratch!

Maddi at the torch flame - she came with her friend Amy.

Maddi at the torch flame - she came with her friend Amy.

Amy had received a course voucher for her birthday!

Amy had received a course voucher for her birthday!

Beads by all three of us, straight out of the kiln.

Beads by all three of us, straight out of the kiln.

Maddi’s beads (top) and Amy’s beads.

Maddi’s beads (top) and Amy’s beads.

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

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