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28/06/2012 / katnewman

Road Trip!! 15.07.11

Well I’m just recovering from an exhausting but very enjoyable trip, firstly to meet other lampworkers and generally hang out, try new techniques and watch the pro’s in action. The get together was held at the Lush Lampwork studio where my addiction began, and Julie showed me how to make a cabochon on the end of a mandrel, and also how to add murrini. Photo coming soon!

Ok, so a cabochon is like, half a marble – it has a flat back and domed top. Murrini is like a big stick of rock stretched out and chopped into little pieces. Kaz who is a master at these things made two types and it was amazing to watch – we even got some to take home and try  I just hope I do it justice.

Then Kay showed us hollow beads and how to blow shards – amazing…

We met some wonderful people, too many to mention but I had a fantastic day.

My friend Kaye and I stayed in a rather dodgy looking hotel overnight – sort of Faulty Towers but soo not funny – and then the next day we were off to Stourbridge to do all the Factories and Museums.

First off was the Plowden and Thompson factory where we had a lovely tour round the factory seeing everything in action, glass blowing, cutting crystal, sandblasting etc.

Then the Red House Glass Cone museum. Here we got to see how they would have made the glass in the old days, and had a fantastic glass blowing demonstration by a hilarious and talented lady called Charlotte Hughes-Martin There was no actual blowing though, so although fabulous wasn’t sure about the terminology there. Our guide, Heather, was very knowledgeable and did a grand job of herding us around and keeping us together here, and after a quick lunch at the tea rooms she took us round the Broadfield House Museum where we saw more inspirational pieces – although we were pretty pooped by this point.

The best part of Broadfield House for me, was the cameo room. I’ve always loved cameo glass and so was extra delighted when during our visit to the next place, the Ruskin Centre, a lovely lady by the name of Terry Colledge had some astoundingly beautiful pieces that she had done (takes weeks and weeks) and gave us a wee demonstration. Totally out of my price range but so so beautiful.

There were many other artists and great places to see at the Ruskin centre, and a fabulous and much needed cup of coffee!

So huge thanks to Julie at Lush for organising the trip, Kaye for keeping me company, everyone else for their company – it was great to meet so many lovely lampworkers – and to all the demonstrators and tour guides for a fantastic two days. I don’t feel like I’ve given the whole experience enough justice in this post, but I could ramble on and on forever. A day(s) to remember for sure.

Phew – I’m exhausted just thinking about it now, time for a nap!

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