One day last year I was experimenting with a silver rich glass called “Clio”, made by Double Helix glass. Terry Hale and Marjorie Langston introduced us to it in their Campbell class, and I was trying to get the brilliant fuschia color that you can produce with the proper heat and flame chemistry. The bead above is one of the three or four I made that day in the studio.
I forgot about the bead for a while, but while prepping listings for Etsy I was messing around with my ipad as a light table, and took the above photo with a spotlight mask pattern. At the OCAF Smallworks reception I met Jean Westmacott, an artist who wanted to talk to me about a project that she and Linda Helmly (of Oglethorpe Fresh) were working on: a calendar of the cultural events in Oglethorpe County, featuring the artwork of county artists. I’m hesitant to call my work “art”, but I was flattered to be considered, and when Jean followed up in November I sent her a couple of my best photos, including the image above. They quickly decided that the bead was perfect for the month of February, and the calendar was printed in time for 2015 sales in December and January.
While all this was going on, Linda and I were discussing the idea of me doing demos of torchworking. I realized during the Crawford Holiday Market that very few people were familiar with torchworking techniques, and had a hard time understanding what I meant when I said I made all the beads I had for sale. A demo would be a great way to build that understanding and answer any questions they might have, and (as I wrote yesterday) I like to teach. We’ve still got some details to work out, but the plan is for me to demonstrate torchwork and beadmaking techniques at Oglethorpe Fresh on Saturday, February 7. I’ll have some of my work for sale, and since it’s the week before Valentine’s day I’m starting to concentrate on beads related to the imagery of that holiday.
It’s gradually dawning on me that creating artwork for the event is the easy part of “prepping” for the public demo: the hard part is going to be figuring out what I’ll make during the demos, what I’ll say (and how I’ll manage to talk and torch at the same time), and anticipating all the tools and props I’ll need to have with me to make the event a success. I’m sure I’ll have more to say on this as the week goes by, because I’ve already woken up at 4am a few nights worrying about it. Wish me luck!