My house mate Jon runs a glass class at weekends and he kindly extended an invite to join in one so I did today. His business is called, Temperchi.
You start by getting your safety glasses and a tutorial on how to light and turn on the gas, propane and oxygen correctly. Very professional. Then it is a case of mastering a bit of eye, hand co ordination. You have the mandrel (the metal rod where your glass bead will be formed on) and the other willl hold the glass you want to melt on to the mandrel. Sounds straight forward enough but you have to keep both the glass and the mandrel at the right temperature. Now, once you have glass melted on to the mandrel then you have to keep turning that at a constant rate to ensure your bead is round, let it go too hot and it will start to run, too cool then when you try and add the next color then they won't mix so well. The first small bead in made and I learn a lot from the feedback from Jon, Don and Sarah.
Next Don gives me a tutorial on how to add dimples to a bead. Easy in the experts hand but not so easy for the pupil. I have two other goes and I start to get more comfortable with the processes. It is therapeutic watching the glowing glass bead being formed. It's like creating your own planet.
A big thank you to all of you for letting me be part of your class. It was very enjoyable.