Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Review of 4 day workshop with JC Herrell Lampworker by Earthshine Beads

Todays Wednesday's Blog Post is from Linda of Earthshine Beads

When I read on Diana East's newsletter that JC Herrell was coming to teach at her studio 19 in Leicester I was over the moon. I have admired JC's beads for her amazing stringer work and those of you who read my blog will know how much I want to perfect this skill. I paid my deposit back in April at Flame Off and finally the time came for the workshop.

I chose to do all of the 4 days of the workshop although you could choose which days you wanted to do if you didn't want to do all of them.

Each of the days followed a similar pattern where we introduced ourselves to each other (bearing in mind that different people did different days) and told JC what we hoped to get out of the day.

Geat hat JC!

Day 1: Back to basics, shaping and heat control.

Now you may be thinking, you've seen my beads, nothing wrong with the shape but I rely heavily on my tools and thought it would be a good idea to go back to basics and learn how JC does it.

These are the beads I made. The big amber barrel was made by JC. You can see how tight her corners are compared to mine - but they did improve! The only tool used to make these was a marver.

It was a very useful exercise especially after having just visited Murano where everything is about speed and slap it on the mandrel.

Day 2: The Joy of Enamels.

I've had the occasional play with enamels with both demo's from Diana East and Astrid Reidal but not really done anything with them so was really excited to be doing this workshop.

We covered everything to do with enamels including safety, enameled stringer, apply the stingers, rolling in enamel, sifting and boiling. We also covered the first steps in stringer work.

Enameled spacers with fine black centre line. (I have to say I didn't make these actual beads on the day but had a go when I got back)
Faded enamels with fine stringer work. Very pleased with how this bead turned out.

Painterly effect with enameled stringers. I made this a bit small so didn't have enough room to create the desired effect but I like it anyway. Very monetesque which is one of my favourite artists.

My own interpretation.

Days 3 & 4: The Joy of Stringer.

I think JC just about covered every time of stringer work going apart from scrolls (she don't do scrolls!)

There are too many tecniques to mention here and I didn't bother keeping all of my practice beads but here are a couple.

Lots more practice required as you can see.

JC is a fantastic teacher - the best lampwork teacher I have had so far. She has a background in corporate team building and peppered her classes with little stories and motivational tips. I also have the most comprehensive set of notes that I have ever been given for a class.

I can safely say that she is one of a kind and a pleasure to know. I am very fortunate that I will be able to meet her again when I go to The Gathering in Rochester New York (only 3 weeks away!).

I like to treat myself to a little bead that the teacher of the workshop has made and this is the one I chose. Isn't it smashing?

I have some photos of the class over on Facebook.

A big thankyou to Diana East and JC Herrell for a fantastic workshop. It was great meeting up with old friends and making some new ones.

Thanks for looking.


Earthshine Beads

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