Thursday, June 10, 2010

Being a Student at Bead & Button, Class 1

On Sunday and Monday, I had the pleasure of a two day workshop with Susan Lenat Kazmer and her sister Cheri Lenart. The first day we worked with glass casting, Cheri's specialty. We carved negative molds from plaster, then filled them with billet to melt into a transparent glass form. Next we made positives from clay, polymer in my case, and then poured plaster around those to make the mold. These were filled with frit and powder for more color control and fired only to a sugar finish.

Split between the days we did a lot of metal work, sawing, sawing, sawing! After stuggling for a bit with the newly freed arm, I seemed to hit my stride and was able to do a pierced design -- my standard bird on a branch of course. We also sweat soldered prongs, dapped and formed metal, backed glass with sealed paper, engraved both glass and metal, and hammered until our arms ached.

Here's my first transparent knob of glass, set onto a formed silver backing with silver wire prongs, with the pierced design since the glass design is hard to make out, hung from a bird's nest crosspiece and heavy, hammered bronze neckwire.