Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Back from a Beadiful weekend (part I)

Hooray! What a wonderful weekend :)

It is such a treat to be able to visit the one and only annual lampwork event of the country. This was the third year I got to visit the lovely south of Jutland and spend a full two days on nothing but lampwork.

Beautiful clouds over the flat land of southern Jutland
The first day, saturday, is for members of 'Foreningen Danske Glasperler' only.

We started out with Thomas Risom, who told us about glass beads from the times of the vikings and the first glass bead maker in Denmark, located in Ribe. He was very entertaining, and I enjoyed hearing him speak even if ancient beads doesn't interest me much.

Later he showed us the bead volcano he had made himself from clay, sand and horse droppings. It does not go as hot as our torches, but it goes up to about 900 C which is enough to round out the beads. You can see more pictures of his process at his vikingblog.

Thomas and Jesper working the bead volcano

Then Jytte Petersen showed us how she makes the decorative pins, known in Denmark as 'nipsenåle'. I was looking forward to this because I have made a few of them myself.
Jytte makes them in the old fashioned style. They are quite adorable, tiny little creatures, all with a very happy body language.

Jytte Petersen making a bird pin

Grooming bird, seahorse, horse, elephant and a happy, happy pig :)
The seahorse and the elephant went home with me,
along with another seahorse and a simple bird

Later Martina Schlemminger showed us her mixed colour beads. The green/yellow combination is very popular in Germany this year.

Martina Schlemminger spinning a bead

Martinas Bead Candy, Yum!
 and Christiane Strauss of Ombos showed the chrysantemum bead.

Christiane Strauss making a chrysantemum bead
In the afternoon Tom Lundsten showed us the process of making a beadstamp. He is working on making a product for Ravstedhus, where you can mail off a drawing and get it made into a brass stamp. Exciting!

After dinner at the local Inn, we went back to hear from Tina Moeslund. She showed her set-up for engraving beads and also a super easy way to center a 1 wire bracelet into a 5mm magnetic clasp. It involves a centering bit which also makes it very easy to get a very secure and tight closure.

Finally to end a wonderful day, Jens Christian Kondrup blew hollow beads from blobs of molten soft glass, and it didn't even crack from cooling off in open air. I got myself a couple of tubes so I can try this at home :)

Phew. You can certainly learn and experience a lot in just one day!
I only got a little bit lost on the way back to my B&B :)

More pics in my next post, including the contest beads ...

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