Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Saturday Lampworkers Get Together, Nortel Bead Liner

Janine inspects Liz's paperweights
Dwyn and Mary review beadsLast Saturday - a bunch of us lampworkers got together for pizza and beadmaking and general bead talk at beadFX - which is a local bead store and lampwork studio. (It's where I teach, among other things!) It's good to get together and talk beads with other folks whose eyes don't glaze over and think "oh gawd - she's talking about beads again."

Thanks to Erin and Jen for the photos of the people who were there!

We got to play with the new Nortel Bead liner - we were all really impressed with how easy to use it is. What impresses me about this tool is that the "heads" - the flaring and shaping part of the tools - snap in and out in seconds - instead of taking out screws or undoing things, etc.

I also like that it is more forgiving than other bead liners on the market. I have a Retro bead liner, and haven't been able to successfully line a bead with it. Maybe I just didn't get the right combination of tubing size and hole size, but I found other things about it just clunky - like trying to find the dimple on the side to get the screw into, and having to pull out the tool part with pliers cause it jammed. But I broke every bead I tried with.

However, I have lined a couple of dozen beads with the Nortel now, and let me tell you - not all of them have been perfect beads either. I had a batch of beads come out of the kiln, perfectly dimpled on one side, flat as a board on the other. Kiln temp must have been too high - that's my story and I'm sticking with it. Anyway, cored those too, and they worked out fine!

We then finished off the evening with some "cooperative beadmaking" Someone would start a bead - work it for a few minutes, then pass it off to someone else to work on for a while. (To the left are the finished beads!) These beads will be donated to the Beads for Breast Cancer fund at beadFX - 100% of the sale of the beads will go to breast cancer.

Anyway - great time was had by all. We have these get togethers once a month or so, and rotate around local studios and also go to restaurants, etc. If you want to be informed about the next one, you can subscribe to the mailing list or find the Toronto Lampworkers group on Facebook!

The three bead makers
Jill and Amy

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