Flame January 2019
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Membership @gbuk.org Martin
In this issue … Di East Memorial Scholarship…page 4
Torchlight On… by Natalie Borghese…..pages 5-8
Silver…leaf & foil…page 11 Silver…wire…Page 12 Gold leaf…palladium…page 13 Gold & silver fuming…page 14
Copper…leaf & foil…page 16 Copper…wire & mesh…page 17
Members’ beads…page 21
Upcoming events……Page 27
Starting out but need help? When you have a question but have no-one to ask or are having trouble with a technique and donâ€™t know where you are going wrong - then you need a Buddy. GBUKBuddies was set up to team new lampworkers with more experienced ones so all those questions can be answered. Check it out:
Di East Memorial Scholarship
This scholarship has been set up in memory of Diana East, a British lampworker and honorary member of Glass Beadmakers UK, who died on 29 January 2017. Diana, an extremely talented glass worker, was free with her knowledge and loved sharing her skills. To this end, Glass Beadmakers UK want to continue the good work she epitomised.
The scholarship will consist of: * Free GBUK membership for one calendar year * Free entry to Flame Off (two day pass) * A place on a class at Flame Off * A place on a course at Tuffnell Glass * A ÂŁ100 stipend towards travel and accommodation For more details visit
GBUK - Di East Memorial Scholarship
Torchlight On…Natalie Borghese My journey with glass began in 1989, when I was an architecture student, and I visited Venice and Murano. The beautiful blown and flameworked glass made an indelible impression on me, especially the smaller, more delicate pieces like the flameworked perfume bottles and jewellery. Everyday, I stopped by the little glass studio near the hostel, drawn in by the bright colours of the bottles displayed in the window. I learned that these pieces were made using a torch and coloured glass rods but the rest of the process was a closely guarded secret. I never imagined that working with glass was something that I could learn to do. Years later in 1998, when I was living in DC and working as an architect, I started taking silversmithing classes and making jewellery. On weekends, I’d go to a little bead shop in DuPont Circle to look for findings and beads. On one occasion, there was a young artist demonstrating how to make glass beads using a hothead torch and coloured glass rods. I stayed for the afternoon, watching her wind molten glass around steel mandrels, decorating the beads with dots and stringers. It was mesmerizing. I wanted to give it a try but I had just bought tools and silver to make jewellery, so I talked myself out of pursuing it. Instead, I bought one of her beads as a keepsake, to remember the day - a red tube with white and black raised dots. Then in September 2015, I stumbled on a coupon for a “Bead Taster” class at a local glassblowing shop. I signed up immediately. I had been looking for a new direction, something that offered me more creativity and a chance to make things with my hands again. I had just set up a workspace to make silver clay jewellery, but I wasn’t going to pass up another chance to learn to work with glass.
My first time at the torch, melting a glass rod and trying to keep the molten glass on the mandrel to make a bead, was mind-blowing and I loved it instantly. From there, I took an introductory flameworking class in the evenings to learn basic techniques such as making stringers, encasing, placing dots, raking, and pressing beads in a brass mold. I rented time in the flameworking studio to practice whenever I could and I bought a pair of didymium glasses, some glass, a graphite marver, a tungsten poke and some tweezers. The hardest part was learning to use both hands simultaneously, each one doing different tasks, all the while minding the heat of the flame and the bead.
By December, I knew that this was what I wanted to do full-time but it was getting harder to get out to the shop with winter on the way. I decided to set up a little studio at home so that I could spend as much time as possible at the torch, quietly practicing and learning on my own. I ordered a torch (Bethlehem Bravo), oxygen concentrator, kiln (Paragon SC2), stainless steel mandrels and some glass rods. I built the ventilation system with a fan and ducting from the hardware store and set up my torch and tools on an old oak teachers desk covered with a sheet of stainless steel.
After the introductory class, I read and watched everything that I could find to learn additional flameworking techniques. I purchased artists’ tutorials, read books, watched instructional DVDs and YouTube videos, and I also attended flameworking demonstrations offered by talented artists including Emi Fujita and Alexx Cheng. In 2017, I had the opportunity to go to the Corning Museum of Glass and see their impressive collection of contemporary and ancient glass art, and watch several glassblowing and flameworking demonstrations. Since then, I have taken a workshop with Jana Filipkova to learn to work with silver glass, and Astrid Riedel to learn her enamel painting and mokumegane/battuto techniques. While practicing as an architect, I was inspired by nature and I often played with ideas of lightness, light and transience. This continues to be the language I use to make beads. Inspired by the beauty and colours of Canadian wildflowers and flowering trees, I approach each piece like it’s a watercolour painting, layering washes of transparent and translucent colours, shimmering silver and dichroic glass, fragments of gold leaf, tiny opaque dots, fine lines, and intricate floral murrine to try to create depth, movement and lightness. My process is fairly intuitive, and usually a bead develops from a series of decisions that I make while I’m at the torch. Sometimes I’ll sketch out a rough idea for a bead or a floral cane but it is only while I’m melting the glass and building up the layers of a bead that I can see the possibilities and choose the colours, patterns and murrine. In many ways, I feel like I need to make up for lost time, for not choosing glass each time it has spoken to me. I push myself forward by submitting work to magazines and competitions, using the deadlines as a way to set challenges for myself. I need to work everyday to develop my ideas and to train my hands to be able to make what I see in
my mind’s eye. Sometimes, I’ll take a week just to focus on learning a new technique, following tutorials, making notes, and practicing relentlessly to break down the process. Occasionally, I’ll choose one bead and work on making it better by changing or developing one aspect of the design. For instance, I’ll use additional encasing layers to create more depth, add silver glass to produce richer colours, or change the layout of the elements to create more tension and interest. Flameworking has become my passion, it’s so incredibly satisfying and immediate. There is no design by committee, just my imagination, my hands, the flame and the glass. I love the scale of the work too small enough to hold in your hand but so full of detail, texture, colour and sparkle that it’s a world of its own.
Natalie Borghese is a Canadian glass artist who works from her studio in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
www.natalieborghese.com instagram.com/natalieborghese Note: All photographs were taken by Natalie Borghese.
Showcase your beads in our annual journal. You can send a photo and a brief bio if you joined GBUK before the closing date for entries. The journal will be available at and after Flame Off 2019 Find out more here
GBUKmarket www.gbukmarket.org As a member you are entitled to a shop front where you may list your lampworked goods. You will need to register for a shop and wait for an administrator to check your membership is up to date before your shop is activated.
Do make use of it, share it, advertise it, drive customers to look at the only selling site devoted to lampwork from lots of sellers (members). Promote your shop and sell your beads – it’s there for you as long as you are a member.
Have a read through the terms and conditions to see what you can sell. We want to promote lampwork in its many forms and uses and don’t want it to be used for other types of sales so we will be keeping an eye to make sure that’s all that’s being sold. There may be bugs and issues so please let us know if you come across any.
Silver Silver leaf and foil Foil is thicker than leaf - but you can use both to get similar - or completely different effects. Beware of silver coloured foil - it needs to be the real deal. Silver leaf is really fine, will blow away with the slightest air movement and will stick to fingers and tools. Foil is thicker, can be handled easily and can be cut with scissors - itâ€™s also more costly! Roll your hot bead onto varying amounts and burnish in (rub the silver onto the glass with a tool or marver). After this the foil/leaf can be burnt in slowly, then encase/ add frit or stinger. Reducing the bead at the end will make the silver pop.
Silvered ivory Warm the end of an ivory rod, roll in silver leaf or foil, burnish it on, burn it in and pull a stringer. Dark ivory gives a more mottled appearance than light ivory. Also try: silvered turquoise/rubino/coral. Try both leaf and foil - which do you prefer? Or silvered ivory shardsâ€Ś
Silver wire Fine silver wire, NOT sterling, can be used to great effect on beads. It melts very quickly and forms lines or little balls. 26 gauge or 0.6 mm wire works well. Straighten out a length of wire and keep it close. Take a warm bead and touch the silver to the bead and wrap the silver round it, touching it to the flame to break the connection, Gently heat the bead to fuse the silver to the glass.
TIP: The more heat you apply, the quicker the silver will ball up; use the cooler part of the flame.
Using silver wire on lampwork beads by Paulbead
Silver mesh Fine silver wire, in mesh form, is very pretty. It also melts very quickly and forms little balls or can be encased. Heat the surface of the bead, where you want to apply the mesh, quite hot.-heat that area in the hottest part of the torch until it has a red-orange glow. Pick up the mesh and press firmly into the preheated area of the bead. Press it firmly on to the bead. Reintroduce the bead into the flame and heat.
Fine silver mesh
Silver mesh can be encased.
Medium silver mesh
Applying fine silver mesh to a glass bead by Lezlie Foster
Gold leaf Similar in application to silver leaf, it can be left on the surface or encased but avoid using too much heat as it can disappear completely. It is tricky to handle due to being so thin.
Jennie Braid Lamb
Trudi Doherty Gold Leaf Application using the Baz Box by Robyn Elbaz Make a Gold Foil Bead with Pat Frantz
Palladium Palladium is an alternative to silver leaf or foil as itâ€™s generally non-reactive and holds up better under heat and some green/pinkish /blue tinges can be achieved under the right conditions. It doesnâ€™t need encasing but will eventually break down with extreme heat. It is more expensive than silver.
Gold and silver fuming Fuming applies silver or gold particles on to glass. Itâ€™s best to use fine silver or 24 carat gold in any form.
Ventilation is very important as these fumes are toxic.
How to make a fuming rod
Have a small piece of gold or silver on your marver. Use a thin rod of clear borosilicate or quartz and heat the end to glowing. Pick up the small piece of metal on the end of the rod. Take care not to dislodge the metal off the rod. Fuming the bead Warm the bead until it has a slight glow, keep turning it in the top of the flame. Place the end of rod with silver near the end of the candles of the flame. Keep the bead turning, and move the end of the rod in and out of the flame. You will see yellow colour appear on the bead. The longer you fume, the darker the colour will become, until it turns white. Once it is white it is over-fumed. It can be left, or encased cooly, once the colour you like is achieved.
Silver Fuming and Encasing Tricks and Tips by Patsy Evins Soft Glass Silver fuming & Encasing by Patsy Evins Gold takes a lot more heat to fume. Use a more oxidizing flame. The flame will become tighter and may have a slight hissing sound. Introduce the gold into the side of the flame, just above the blue cone. Try to keep the glass rod out of the flame. Overheating the glass will cause it to "swallow" up the gold. As the gold begins to heat, it will ball up. Use caution as it can easily fall off the rod. Continue heating until it begins to sputter and a green hue begins to travel along the length of the flame. These green fumes are the gold particles that will adhere to the bead. Rotate the bead in the outer region of the flame. The bead will have cooled to the point that the metal fumes will stick. If the bead is too cool, you may need to reheat it to the point just before it reaches a dull glow. The gold will fume onto the bead in stages. It will begin by forming a slight pink colour. As more fumes are applied, the surface will appear more metallic. The heaviest layer will result in a mirror finish.
Gold fuming flameworking tutorial featuring Lisa St. Martin
Annual Competition 2019 Theme: Seasons
Each year Glass Beadmakers UK (GBUK) holds a lampwork competition. The closing date is
30th April 2019.
The categories are: * Newcomers …….. Any form of entry is valid. Newcomers may enter this category OR enter any/all of the main categories. * Bead set ………… multiple beads, on mandrel * Focal bead …… on mandrel, single bead * Sculptural bead …on mandrel * Other …………….. incorporates anything else not included above e.g. cold working, dioramas, off-mandrel * Jewellery…………. also open to non-members with the criteria that the jewellery must contain lampwork beads. Tell your customers all about it!
The competition is judged at Flame Off, the annual extravaganza for all things lampwork. Entries , which must remain secret, are be sent to the competition organiser, and are held as part of the GBUK Collection for one year, after which the pieces are returned to the creator or sold in aid of GBUK, whichever the creator chooses.
Full details can be found on the GBUK website www.gbuk.org
Copper Copper can be added to glass in the form of wire, mesh, findings, leaf or foil.
Copper leaf Make a bead, sprinkle with enamel or bicarbonate of soda, roll in or add pieces of copper leaf and heat. The copper initially turns black but keep going! Burn off the black parts of the copper that did not adhere to the bead then heat the bead up really hot. The copper may sparkle and spit, but keep going. If there are still black spots or areas, keep heating. When you apply the leaf do not apply more than ONE layer of the copper. Do not let it overlap itself. Vary the base and enamel colours to get an array of differing results.
Copper foil Thicker than leaf and can be cut into shapes.
Copper Foil Application Part 1 by Jeri Warhaftig Copper Foil Application Part 2 by Jeri Warhaftig
Copper wire and mesh These behave in much the same way as copper foil but can be used to great effect in Shipwreck beads, or aquarium beads.
GBUKmembership Keep an eye out for reminder emails when your membership is due to expire - or sign up for automatic renewals through Paypal.
GBUKinsurance The insurance covers GBUKmembers who are UK residents. Unfortunately, we cannot cover overseas GBUKmembers. GBUK will administer the insurance cover under a group policy. The insurance will cover all flamework – teaching, demoing and working. It provides public and product liability for up to £50,000 turnover and export of your products to UK, EU and worldwide. Please note that coverage cannot be provided for members whose exports to the USA and/or Canada exceed 40% of their total annual turnover. There are two insurance options: If you partially export to the US/Canada you need the US insurance (note above condition)
If you only export to the UK/EU/rest of the world *excluding US/Canada* you need the UK insurance.
Your payment comprises your insurance premium and an administration fee. The total cost of GBUKinsurance is £50 per annum for both insurance options. We have a pro-rata arrangement with the insurance company to fit in with our members. All premiums are inclusive of Insurance Premium Tax, chargeable at 12%. GBUK will provide an up to date list of all participating members to the insurance company. A summary and full policy are available from firstname.lastname@example.org or downloadable here: Insurance summary The GBUK insurance policy runs from 1st June to 31st May.
Please contact email@example.com (Joy Porteous) if you wish to purchase GBUKinsurance or have any questions.
Electroforming Not really an inclusion, more an addition, but definitely metallic! Electroforming deposits metallic particles onto glass using an electrical charge. An electroforming kit splits copper atoms from copper wire and deposits them on the surface of the bead where it has been coated with graphite or copper paint. Of course all that sounds quite simple but setting up the kit takes time and getting the chemical composition right plus the electrical charge correct can take trial and error.
Fresh out of the solution Finished bead Electroforming solution
Brass is an interesting metal under glass as it reacts to give golden bubbles! It can be applied as fine frit, wire or mesh. Make a bead. Heat the surface to glowing . Add the brass. Encase without the brass touching the flame as it will spark and burn off. Heat the encased bead until glowing and golden bubbles should start to form. Once the bubbles start to form, remove from the heat and allow to cool a little. Reheat for more bubbles.
Itâ€™s very shocky, take care when heating it. Overheating can cause it to lose its sparkle. It also comes in blue and green. Atatch a chunk of goldstone (the size of a large pea) to a punty, then thinly encase the chunk with clear. Heat the whole gather and pull; it can stand up to quite a lot of heat, because of the encasing.
Jennie Braid Lamb Trudi Doherty Goldstone Feather Swirl Tutorial for Lampworkers by Jennie Braid Lamb
A naturally occurring mineral coated in metal that can be added to the surface of a bead, or encased. The larger the flake the less direct heat it will take. Roll your warn bead in the mica and back into the flame to fuse. Encase if desired,
On Saturday 9th March members will have a second opportunity to experience selling through Facebook. The administrators of Lampwork Bazaar have kindly agreed to let GBUK members take over their page for a day to sell to their customers. The first selling event was a great success and we hope lots of you will take part in this one. It starts at 5pm UK time, Saturday 9th March and runs for 23 hours until 4pm on Sunday 10th March. If you are not already a member of Lampwork Bazaar, please join the group. This is a very active selling group with sellers from all over the world.
Familiarise yourself with the group rules. There is no limit for listing, but the items must be handmade by the seller, good quality finishes (i.e. no chill marks or sharp holes) but the items do need to be for jewellery making so beads, cabs, etc. Top tip if you have a set if beads sometimes it helps to offer them in pairs, designers do like to mix â€˜nâ€™ match beads and it makes it easier for more people to buy.
Jennie Braid Lamb
Flame Off 2019
Full day lessons
Thursday 30th May
Friday 31st May
Saturday 1st June
Uttoxeter Racecourse Flame off on Facebook Demos by leading artists Torch benches to try out Half day taster classes Trader village Charity auction Meet up with your lampworking buddies
www.dragonfireglass.co.uk Adding additional elements to your beads with: Mica powder and flakes
Brass wire, foil and mesh Copper wire, foil, leaf and mesh
Glass sculpting tools
GBUKwebsite Did you know: You have your own link on the Member’s Page? Check out your own link - is it up to date? Send a link for your website/Facebook page/Instagram or Pintrest page so visitors to the website can find your beads. Photos of winning beads from past winners of our annual competitions can be found here too. There is a members only area with tutorials and techniques - please feel free to send us any tips, tutorials or techniques to share with our members. Do you teach? Let us know so you can be included on our ‘Classes’ page so prospective students can find you. Are you on Facebook? Come and ‘like’ our open page. We have lots of non-members that show great interest in the content we post - your beads will be seen by them. Join our GBUKmembers page for exclusive benefits like our Not-sosecret Valentine swap!
Upcoming events: If you have an event you would like included, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the details. 26th / 27th January
Crafting Live, Sandown Park Racecourse
Spring Fair International, NEC Birmingham
Craft, Hobby & Stitch International, NEC Birmingham
Essex Bead Fair, Colchester
Harrogate Gem ‘n’ Bead Fair, Pavillions of Harrogate
Kempton Gem ‘n’ Bead Fair, Kempton Park Racecourse
Lampwork Bazaar GBUK selling event, Facebook
16 & 17th March
Essex Spring Food Home & Craft Fair, Cressing Temple Barns
Brighton Gem ‘n’ Bead Fair., Brighton Racecourse
Gem ‘n’ Bead Fair, Cheltenham Racecourse
MrBead Bead Show, Highgate, London
Gem ‘n’ Bead Fair, Bath Racecourse
Big Bead Show, Sandown Park
MrBead Bead Show, Luton
7th - 9th April
British Craft Trade Fair, Yorkshire Event Centre, Harrogate
Beads Up North, Haydock Racecourse
13 April - 27 October
Chihuly at Kew: Reflections on Nature
31st May-1st June Flame Off 2019
Do you know of a fair/bead gathering/get-together? Have we missed something? Let our members know by emailing email@example.com with details.
GBUK Membership Form
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Membership is valid for one calendar year from the month of joining. Overseas members: please use Paypal. PayPal
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Cheque or postal order
payable to GBUK
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How did you hear about GBUK? (Please tick any that are applicable) Word of mouth
I’m interested in:
At a show
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Next issue: April 2019 Theme: glass inclusions in glass (frit/enamels)
Do you have a tutorial or article to share with members? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you sell your lampwork beads or suppiles? Would you like to advertise in Flame? Contact email@example.com www.gbuk.org Cover photo by Colette Ladley