I have never been to it, i believe its in November and i had been planning to go to it, not sure now tho, but i am gonna tryOn a similar note Su, have you ever been to the fair they have at Brighton race course seeing as it's not all that far from you?
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I want to learn so much, and i want to know it all NOW!!!:p
One day i will arrive
A huggle a day makes the bad stuff go away
I was at the Bead & Beadwork fair in Harrow today. So many shiny things! They really should have given better instructions for getting there, though - the map they gave on the website was woefully inadequate and I spent about 45mins wandering around Harrow asking people for directions before I found the leisure centre... (First mistake - Harrow & Wealdstone station has two exits. I assumed the correct one for Harrow Leisure Centre would be the Harrow exit... Not so much). All the signs were for cars, too, so it took me twice as long to get in once I was actually going in the right direction - the street you want to turn down is marked as being for buses only, so all the signs ignore it.
Anyway, it was very nice once I got there! The hall could have done with better lighting, but the stalls did their best. I bought lampwork beads from Dobeadoo, Sarah Downton and Chrystal Rose Design Crafts. Dobeadoo also had the most amazing polymer clay beads - you can see some on their website (not amazing quality pics, but you can see how complicated they are), and I went on a bit of a splurge on the Chrystal Rose stall and have various ribbons and cords and some rubber tubing too. It looks like all three are going to be at the Big Bead Fair too.
I think for the Big Bead Fair I should take more cash and not use card or cheques... I rather blew my budget
I did get to see a lampwork demonstration by a guy from Tuffnell Glass. I wanna have a go! Being able to actually see one in person also made the torch less scary. He was selling beginner kits, but never at any point mentioned that you need to anneal your beads
I know a kiln adds a lot to the cost of entry and he was trying to show how easy it was to get started, but really! He gave the impression you just let them air cool (or bury them in vermiculite to slow the cooling). Tut tut. No mention of ventilation, either.
Blog: Jewellery by Kalorlo
Sounds like you had a good day out Heather
I didn't think a kiln was a necessity when you start to make lampwork beads and the beads can be cooled using a vermiculite blanket. I have a feeling there are some lampwork artists working abroad that use this method to cool their beads. I think that some glass artists also offer a kiln-annealing service for batches of beads.
Perhaps George will be along later today and can give us the low down on this.
I'm hoping for world peace but I'd also like something shiny as well...
There's always some debate about annealing, but the generally accepted view is that you really do need to do so if you want them to be strong enough to wear. The mass-produced Indian lampwork beads that are sold for pennies are not annealed, and regularly fall to bits, both before and after use!
You don't need a kiln straight away though. You can easily cool smaller beads in a fibre blanket or pot of vermiculite, and then have them batch annealed - lots of us with kilns are happy to do this for postage and chocolate
Martin Tuffnell's good at making it look easy - he does a great demo and sells a lot of starter kits!
I'd recommend getting a couple of books before you start (the Cindy Jenkins and Kimberley Adams are both excellent) and Sally Carver's fab starter DVD to take you through all the safety issues.
And be warned - it's very, very addictive
Thanks, George. I'd definitely want to go along for a lesson somewhere before getting any equipment myself (and we still don't really have anywhere in the flat suitable for it right now) and I have the dvd bookmarked. I want a kiln at some point because I want to have a go at the various metal clays as well, but again, lesson first!
Blog: Jewellery by Kalorlo