Friday, September 15, 2006


Bane of my existence. Well, maybe a slight exaggeration, but I don't like making them because I'm not good at it. Same as why I don't like running any further than 100 yards. The first blast feels great, feels like flying or at least skimming the ground, bounding forward, legs screaming "yes". But then my legs are simply screaming, or if not, they are sulking, protesting, "but I like touching ground, why would you want to lift us off it? Oh come on, see how heavy we are."

Lampworked vessels can be beautiful. And in theory, not so unsimple. You can even start with a tube, "pull points" to narrow it down on either end around a "starter bubble," heat up that bubble and blow it into a nice perfect sphere. Yes you can, maybe, but not me. Remember, I'm the beginning bead instructor who is good at teaching students how to make their not perfectly spherical beads pass for something approaching not a misshapen blob, mostly because I never get my beads spherical in the first pass, that is for other instructors. So why on earth would I make spherical bubbles, even if every other thing you do in making vessels is much easier if you start with something round. or at least even. along maybe one axis if not two.

I know it just takes practice to get good. I'm not good at that. I like making little sculptures because I can do that. And I make cylindrical or square or rectangular or skewered people beads because I can do that too. And while it would be ideal to purposely make my vessels wonkers because I meant to, I've found ways of masking my wonkiness. Like adding nice little sculptural distractions.

Here's my first oil lamp. Made with my usual foresight (thinking for four months about what I could make for my friend's wedding and not actually trying to do it until the last week).

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