Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Interested in Making Glass Beads?

Taking on a new art form is a exciting prospect. I know when I first saw glass beads at a local fine art show I was ready to sign up as soon a possible. The next week I did just that.

 My first class was a 6 week course and covered very little and while it hooked me, as I look back, it was sorely lacking in information. 

I left the first day and while I was driving home I started feeling nauseous and very light headed. After reading "Making Glass Beads" by Cindy Jenkins I found out I was suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. This was due to a bad ventilation system in the studio where I was taking classes. 

I also was floored by the lack of experience the instructor had and how little he knew about how to make the basic bead forms. Soon my classmates and I started to figure out things on our own and taught each other. 

So if you are interested in making glass beads and want to take a class here are some suggestions:

1) The best resource on studios and what should be taught in a class is the International Society of Glassbeadmakers or ISGB. 
If you go to the site and click on the Education link it will give you 
tons of info.

2) Do your research. If you can, visit the studio. Ask how many years the teacher has been teaching. I know some situations were the teacher was a student just a few month ago. Make sure the instructor has been making glass beads for a while. Ask to speak to a couple of past students to get some feedback. 

3) Read! Here are some good books to read before you start.

Making Glass Beads by Cindy Jenkins
Passing the Flame by Corina Tettinger
The Complete Book of Glass Beadmaking by Kimberly Adams

For those of you out there who are interested please don't hesitate to contact me. I am here to help.



Julie Holmes said...

I love glass beads, they give me the same lift that cloisonne does...the color, the 3 dimensional quality, the gloss. I tried bead making before cloisonné and made exactly 3 beads before I quit....the do-it-yourself learning method I usually employ just wasn't cutting it! I'd love to take a class some day...but I'm afraid it would become another obsession. Is that a bad thing?

stacilouise said...

thats really good to know! GEEZ, and safety should be key in a class environment.

Artisan Beads Plus said...

That is terrible! Thanks for the tips! I have been more conscientious about ventilation since I've been enameling so much lately.
Lovely beads :o)

mairedodd said...

thank you for all of this info - you really are such a professional, people are fortunate to be able to be taught by you...

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