Welcome to Studio Saturday! Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you’ll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.
This weeks winner is ABeadLady. Congratulations!
Actually, I’m not in my own studio this week, I have travelled all the way to Atlanta, GA and spent some time in the studio of my good friend Kelley Wenzel. Kelley is a lampwork artist, and melts lots of glass into cool beads. You can find her on Etsy at Kelleysbeads. Lately her eggs are getting lots of attention, but what I love most about Kelley is, she’s always willing and eager to try something new, and takes special requests!
Kelley gave me a full lesson on how to create a glass bead. Showed me each of the steps, heating the glass slowly, heating the mud on the mandrel, working both things at once. It was NOT easy. You have to be all ambidextrous! Pulling the glass as it melts, on layering it on to the mandrel is a trick all in and of itself.
“Ok, Lor, your turn!”
So I sit down, and place the ultra cool safety glasses on. I chose a cool green, and was going to do yellow dots. So I make the green base bead, and get ready for the yellow. As I’m heating the yellow glass, the green bead EXPLODES. Glass rods get replaced on the table, torch goes off, glasses get ditched, hands go up! I’M DONE!
Okay, I see you shaking your heads, and mumbling Lorelei Lorelei Lorelei– under your breath. I know. I’m kind of a wuss. But really, I worry about the heat of the torch, and now I gotta worry about losing an eye to a shard of glass? No thanks!
For all of you who want to remind me that I am wearing safety goggles for that reason, yuh, I KNOW. I don’t want a shard of glass embedded in my cheek, either!
From then on, I enjoyed watching Kelley create the beads, giving her suggestions on color combinations. Which I think is the best part of the process. The possibilities are endless and I have countless ideas!
So, I’ll never be a lampworker, but one thing I did learn during hanging out in Kelleys studio, is a new appreciation for glass artists out there. I had no idea what you all go through to make your beautiful beads- and I’m really surprised you all still have all your eyeballs.
Here are some of the beads Kelley created during our session. She gave these to me, and I can’t wait to turn them into something pretty.
My questions this week is:
Have you had the chance to watch artist work at their craft? Did you try it out yourself? What was your experience like? Did you give up easily like me? Or did you get a glass shard in your eye?
Leave 1 comment to be entered to win. A random winner will be picked next Saturday. The winner will receive this fun set of lampwork glass all from KelleysBeads!