Thursday, June 18, 2009

Learning from The Keeper

Back from Corning and an amazing class taught by Beau Anderson at Hands On Glass. I'm kicking myself for forgetting my camera at home and then not using the camera on my iPhone much. What can I say? I was too busy learning and watching and trying to make beads with new-to-me techniques.

I'm sorry I didn't get more pictures of Beau at work, though. If you ever get a chance to take a class with him or can figure out how to bring him in to teach in your area do not hesitate! He's one of the "Keepers of the Flame" (no pun intended). What I'm referring to is the second generation of glass artists. There are very few second generation glass artists in the U.S. My first set of teachers, Faith Davis Ferris and her Dad, Dave Davis are one.

Beau is another.

The Keepers start early, Faith was at the torch at age 6 and Beau was 7 when his Mom, Sage first taught him.

(The picture below isn't very good - a cell phone camera being what it is - but the stringer he's applying is the diameter of a human hair. He says that still isn't as small as some of the dots made on ancient beads. I believe him but it doesn't diminish the impressiveness of what he can do.)

Beau keeps the flame exquisitely. His work is full of precision and knowledge - if you think that might not translate into beautiful work you'd be wrong. He can do it all and he's happy to show you how too. Beau's the real deal.

I wished I'd had my camera as I stood behind him today when he was repairing a crack in a sculpture he'd made by lighting a hand held torch and healing the crack while the sculpture was in the kiln. It was cool.

Ok so enough gushing - you're probably wondering what I learned or did?

Flamework glass artists always want to know about the torch. What torch did you work on? We worked on Nortel torches in the class, Minors, Midranges, Red Max and Red Rocket (OMG I love that torch but I don't have the oxygen for it!)


Red Max:

Red Rocket: (Beau is pictured above using the Red Rocket)

Drool drool...ooopps sorry. I was looking at the torches.

I worked on a minor and got to make lots of new-to-me beads. The one I'm most fascinated with is the Islamic Folded Bead. I'll elaborate on it later but I'll be practicing that one for awhile. Let's suffice it to say that Beau keeps his students' worst bead to put up in his studio - he says if a student comes to his studio to take a class they'll be able to see how far they've come in their work. My Islamic Folded bead made it to the wall of infamy!

I learned the difference between raking and feathering and how to do it. I also learned bent beads, latticino, lacy latticino, ribbon cane, murrini, complex murrini, off mandrel implosions, three different ways to encase, berries, dots, warring states beads, creating shapes with dots, and lots more.

Remember I said I had to make my own murrini? Well I did!

I'm too tired and exhausted to take pictures tonight, but I will. You know us crazy glass people - when we take a class we go until we drop! Melt glass until you drop! So I'm just plain tired - time to crawl into bed but before I go...

You all know when you go away from work, you gotta pay the price for being away - I've got a long day of sign language interpreting tomorrow. So, I'll stop here and say learning from The Keeper was fabulous - I've got so many ideas swirling in my head now and new techniques!


Have you learned something new from someone?

1 comment:

The Joy of Nesting said...

Hi Cindy,

We have been having a few hic-ups with our internet here with all the tropical storms. I'm not sure if you received my note thanking you for your wonderful Genash bead, and leaving you a mailing address?? Please let me know if you need me to send the address again :)

Pattie ;)
Mazatlan Mx.