A bit of serendipity last fall brought me to the exciting world of lampworking and I’ve delved into it with glee ever since!
In the midst of working on new mosaic jewelry, I went to visit a supply store I’d never been to in search of new chain. While I didn’t find what I was looking for, noticed they shared an interior window with the shop next door. I could see a big workbench and flames, it was intriguing and decided to check it out.
Upon walking into The Glass Shoppe Studio I noticed they glass rods! I use rods in the jewelry but always have to order them. While most of the rods were a bit too big for my work, I got talking with the lovely Grace & Laura and learned that this studio was for Lampworking and they made glass beads by melting the rods in a torch flame.
Told them I make mosaics and they let me dig through a pile of rod scraps that might work for me. I discovered a multi colored thin rod of glass – perfect for my jewelry type mosaics! I was so excited – can you teach me how to do this? – I asked. The answer was yes, with an Intro to Beadmaking course. Even if beads weren’t my thing – it would teach all the basics of working with molten glass.
I took the course and fell in love. I absolutely adore making the beads, even though I have no clue what to do with them! (pics below) It is an engrossing experience working with the flame to melt the glass and control it into a form you want. Also as a wonderful bonus, got to meet many great new people and make new friends!
As promised, I did learn the multi (or solid) colored thin rod and now don’t need to order them! Next up, learning how to create my own patterned murrini to put into mosaic jewelry and make future collections extra special. I’ve also been exploring ways to work the glass and make some interesting inclusions that could go into the wall and sculptural mosaics.
Life can surprise us in so many ways – it is wonderful when it brings you towards something you didn’t even know you wanted and gives you so much new joy! I’m incredibly thankful for this bit of serendipity that brought me not only to lampworking but especially to The Glass Shoppe Studio here in Ottawa, and led me to meet Grace, Laura and other great new friends. Going into the studio and have “torch time” a bit each week is my new place of happy!