Today I spent the day working on my websites. First I had to do a lot of updating to a site I’m just keeping up, but without any real changes to it. Probably when it comes to renew next year I’ll just let it go, but I need to make sure it is safe and that it doesn’t end up compromised.

After that I worked on my new site. Mostly I spent my time learning all the steps that are going to be involved, because I’ve spent more time developing this site locally than I have in the past. Plus I’ve used a development environment that is new to me, so I had to do some studying on how to move all the pieces around. I think I have that pretty well figured out. Hopefully my husband’s site will move without too much of a hitch and I think I can move mine pretty easily, now that I’ve spent a day learning how to do it.

In the evening I finally got to go to a glass bead making class that I’ve been interested in for quite some time. It was full the last time I tried to sign up, so as soon as I got the news that registration was open I immediately signed up. 

I was very excited about the class. It was a much more intense class than I thought it would be. You are working with a propane/air mixture that makes it extremely hot. This means that everything you do requires complete focus so you don’t burn yourself. During almost the entire process you are having to roll two rods, one metal one glass, one in each hand. You are also doing something different with each hand, in the flame. Needless to say keeping track of both rods was quite a challenge.

Once the glass has started to warm I had to get a big glob of it red hot, without it falling off the rod (that is done with the constant rolling). When the glass is red hot I let it start to make a big drip, while bringing the clay covered metal rod down to the glass and let the big glob drip onto the metal rod while turning it. Making sure I keep it in the flame and turn fast enough that it doesn’t fall off. Phew, that takes tremendous concentration and dexterity.

After that I had to transfer the metal rod to my right hand and roll the bead in the flame until it was round and the ends were sort of tucked in, so that you don’t end up with a pointy place (mine all have from big to little points, oh well). Once out of the flame I blew on it until it was no longer red hot and then pushed it down into a pot of vermiculite to keep it from cooling too fast.

Once that is done you start all over with another bead. I managed to make six beads. None of them are really round and all have tiny point on one end. All of us had various shapes and sizes of lopsided, pointy beads, lol.

All in all it was enjoyable, but not something I think I would like to do on a regular basis. I will truly appreciate the work of other glass bead makers much more now.

I plan to make a pendant out of one of the beads, earrings out of two that are the same color and almost the same size. The other three will have to find their way into a project at some time or another.

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