Thursday, 10 September 2009

Steep Learning Curve

Glasstock was an amazing opportunity to learn from so many people - not just the instructors, but each and every participant had something to share, and everyone was so generous with sharing their knowledge and techniques. I tried to pick classes that were in areas that were totally new to me, and it was challenging and a lot of fun to try so many new techniques. I took an off mandrel pendant class with Otter, a fish sculpture class with Deb, mini blown vessels with Patty and I faceted some pre-prepared beads. I also got to try Boro for the first time, thanks to the help of the boro girls and boys who got me started. So here are my class and open torch pieces - I had such a lot of fun with them, and I cant wait to get back to the torch to work on them further.
My first 2 off mandrel pendants from Otter's class
The last pendant from class, and my first real implosion, which I did at open torch that night.
I made this one at open torch too - I was very happy with the shape.

A close up of my implosion pendant. Watching the boro boys make marbles paid off.

This was my last vessel for the class - after struggling with the previous 2, I made the walls thicker and managed not to blow a hole in the side.

The hummingbird I made in Deb's class. Originally I placed the beak too high - I had to point out I have no real idea what a hummingbird looks like :).
I was happy with this little guy as my first fish, but I don't like the way the Psyche glass has reduced, or the way it affected the purple. His lips look awesome, but the rest of him is getting etched when we get home!
Fishy number two
I made this fish at open torch the next night, while walking someone else through the process. Teaching someone else helped me remember the steps, although I did accidentally put my hummingbird tail on the fish, before I realised.... I just twisted it around the right way - no harm, no foul. :)
My first ever Boro - had no idea what the colours would do, and luckily the red struck in the kiln. We all thought staying on the mandrel for my first foray into boro was a good idea, but I actually found the pendant I made next easier. I was really happy with the construction - unfortunately the colour I thought was black for the back was not, so the dots got a bit lost in a similar colour. Still I was pretty stoked - I took a new skill and applied it to boro my first trip out of the gate. I have a lot of beginners luck - not sure my next effort will work so well. I'm not even sure I can melt Boro on my Piranha with 1 oxycon......
The grinding class was fun, but it showed up a lot of issues with my encasing - next time I'm planning on faceting anything, I will be more careful with every layer of glass! I'm going to look into lapidary clubs when I get back home - this is a great affect, but the grinders are NOT cheap. Ouch!

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