In my last post I mentioned a mysterious workshop I was slated to take last weekend...it was flameworking! Also known as lampwork and torchwork, it basically involves working with rods or tubes of glass over a small, table-top torch. The workshop was so fascinating, but because I'm still waking up several times a night to feed my dear one, I managed to forget my camera both days. Here are shots of the various stages of my attempts at glass eyes taken at home:
Here we have the victims of thermal shock (eyes that cooled down too quickly, causing them to crack).
And some other early disasters...
Getting there, but still mostly heinous.
Closer...(the two on the far right were made by the very nice instructor, Gérard, who had never made eyes before but made two beautiful ones right out of the gate).
Ah! It's amazing what you can learn in a single weekend. While these are far from perfect, it's not really perfection that I'm aiming for. I love the little irregularities, and the fact that molten glass is a medium that you can't entirely predict. The way the different colours swirl and combine isn't something you can control, so each one is unique. By the end of the course, I actually came close to making the kind of eyes I would have to pay a pretty penny for if I were to order them for my dolls.
Getting set up to do flamework in one's own home is quite expensive, and I'm not crazy about the idea of having tanks of explosive gases in my apartment! But I can go to the studio where I took the course and rent their facilities, so I will definitely get there when I can. At the slow rate I'm going with dolls, I hope to have my own glass eyes in the next batch of dolls that come after the ballerinas.
Speaking of the ballerinas, I apologize to anyone who's hoping to adopt one - they're taking me longer than I'd planned. I'm hoping to finish them up in the next two weeks.