Thursday, May 24, 2007

Demos....talking while winding hot glass on a hot day

I did a demonstration yesterday of flameworked glass beads at AirSep, a manufacturer of oxygen concentrators. I have one of their concentrators and it's been a real workhorse - so I was happy to go over and make a few beads with an audience. I've discovered that it's a real art!

I wasn't really prepared to talk while I made a bead. When I work in my studio, it's a solitary pursuit of the glass - I don't have to describe what I'm doing while I'm doing it. Being a sign language interpreter, I'm comfortable with watching and not commenting. Not so for the audience watching me! The sales representative who was my contact narrated while I made a bead.

Oh, I get it! I have to talk!

So, I started to narrate while I was winding hot glass on a hot day. I found myself stopping when I was trying to explain the technique. Makes for uneven beads. I was glad that they were demo beads and not likely to survive past the vermiculite cooling to get to the kiln at home.

Then comes a tap on my shoulder. The man who is the creative genius of the company was watching the demo with his wife. He asked if he could have the bead I was making as a memento for his wife.

It was the worst bead of the bunch - I had been talking alot through this particular bead and it was particularly uneven.

Sure I said. But I need to anneal it first. Let me take it home, anneal it, clean it and drop it off next week.

No problem.

Thank goodness! A good bead comes out of the solitude of creating in the studio - that's where I'll make the twin to the demo bead - a nice evenly balanced bead.

That's what I did yesterday - what did you do?

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