I went to my muchly-anticipated lampworking class today. It was really fun. It was also really freakin’ hard. I will definitely sign up for the Introduction II but I think I need practise before I do as what you learn in Intro II seems REALLY advanced to what I learned today. You can rent torch time at Sunlight Glass, and renting a torch also includes the supplies and its relatively cheap: $12 an hour. Although holy cow does time fly by. I think I want to do this rather than buy the goodies to set up a home studio – you do need ventilation and a few other safety features so I don’t really want to go whole-hog till I know I really like it. 

So this is my first bead (no laughing please!). This is a “spacer” bead, and you want it to look “donut” shaped rather than round. It should also be even. As you can see, this bead is not really even whatsoever.

From Crafts

I then made 7 other beads, and in order, from left to right, it goes: the first white spacer bead that totally sucked; white spacer bead that was much better except one side didn’t pucker in near the bead hole like it’s supposed to to make that donut shape (that’s my fault, I heated it up too much); then a translucent spacer bead that was a disaster and is really uneven and I should really just throw it away; then an ivory bead with millefiora (“a thousand flowers” which are little glass pieces you pick up and then melt into the base bead); then a two colour barrel bead with copper pixie dust (I was getting MUCH better by this point); then a translucent green flat bead with “frit” (crushed up decorative glass that you add after you flatten it, like a glitter, and then melt it in a bit more); then another millefiora bead in yellow with brown; and FINALLY a barrel bead with green dots on it that I quite like. 

From Crafts

Here’s a closeup of the line up from the “not totally crappy” side:

From Crafts

and here is a close up of the translucent green one with frit:

From Crafts

and here is a close up of the one bead I don’t totally hate, the ivory barrel with the green dots. See the little brownish circles around the green dots? That’s a chemical reaction of the copper in the green glass and the ivory glass. I’m actually going to put this bead on a piece of leather and wear it one day.

From Crafts

So, it was really fun. There were 6 students and it cost me $50 and the class was 3 hours long. We got a solid hour of torch time after watching demonstrations by the instructor, Tamara. It wasn’t as creative as I was expecting other than picking your colours, but I think once you get the technical skills down then you can have a lot of fun with it. If you are interested in taking a class locally, there are a few studios, but I highly recommend Sunlight Art Glass in Surrey.

13 years ago


  1. remember when we worked at that beading/crystal place back in the early 90’s? Yeah, good times.

  2. Glad to hear you liked it! NWSS is offering it and the second class again in May. I’m going to sign up for the first one again. I certainly could use the practise! I’ll also sign up for the second one. Hopefully this time it won’t be cancelled.

    I like your green bead. I don’t think she showed us that one… but I was likely struggling with something else when she was doing the demo 🙂

    If it’s any consolation, my beads from her class last month are variations of yours. All a wee bit wonky, but I love them! I have them all lined up in front of my monitor at work. They make me smile 🙂

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