I'd booked 2 hours of 1-1 tuition, the minimum recommended for a complete beginner and my aim was to not set myself on fire, anything else was a bonus!
The Studio was about an hour's drive away in a lovely rural setting and I was made to feel immediately welcome when I eventually arrived, as my Sat Nav decided I really wanted to go to the Vicarage instead! Luckily knowing how quirky my Sat Nav and village postcodes can be I'd set off early so I wasn't actually late. I'm told that the Vicarage are quite used to directing folk up to the Studio! Cup of tea in hand and safety glasses on (after throwing them under the bench, I hoped I wouldn't remain this clumsy for the rest of the session) we got straight to work!
The session was organised so a bead would be demonstrated with my lovely tutor explaining what she was doing stage by stage. Then it was my turn to either replicate this or do something very similar, we started off with just the basics of wrapping the glass around a mandrel. This is akin to rubbing your tummy and patting your head... as you have a mandrel that you're turning in one hand, and a rod of glass you're melting in the other whilst trying to remember which bits need to be in the flame, and when, and also where... it was GREAT!
The 2 hours just whizzed by and I thoroughly enjoyed myself, time to clean the beads off and see what I'd made - for this session we cooled them in cooling bubbles so I could get some instant feedback on how they turned out.
The results? Well you can see for yourself below, mine are on the bottom row...
|The neat beads on the top row are my tutor's, the slightly messy ones on the bottom row are mine!|
The first two beads on the bottom row are actually the last two that I made and I'm so pleased with how they turned out. They both have larger holes so will fit on my troll bracelets, although they are not cored yet and have been flame annealed rather than kiln annealed but I had to try them out to see how they would look!
I did intend on taking some photos as I went along as I've always intended to blog about this experience... however I did book the class primarily for the pleasure of learning something new. When I arrived, I realised I didn't want to lose any of my tuition time taking photos, or indeed miss anything my tutor was showing me because I was too busy taking a photo! Maybe next time...