Thursday, September 24, 2015

Book: The Starving Artist's Lampwork Project Book

I can't recommend this book.

While this book is described as:
The Starving Artist's Lampwork Project Book includes 18 illustrated step-by-step lampworked glass projects for the beginning to intermediate lampworker. Starting with a brief tutorial of basic lampworking methods, the techniques and projects included here were originally created for use in rehabilitation centers for soldiers returning from overseas after World War II. Also known as scientific glassblowing, lampwork is a method of manipulating glass rods and tubes in a gas torch flame to construct a variety of practical and artistic items. No furnace is required, and the necessary tools and materials can be readily obtained at reasonable cost.

You actually get a better sense of the book from the description inside the front cover: 

The Starving Artist's Lampwork Project Book  includes 95 pages, filled with lampwork projects that originally appeared in a series of training manuals that were created during World War II for use in the rehabilitation of veterans returning from military service overseas.

Each project includes a list of all the materials required and detailed, step-by-step illustrated instructions for creating your own lampworked masterpieces.

We've digitized the illustrations from one of those rare, original volumes, enlarged and cleaned them up where necessary, and reset most of the original text. We also updated the contents and added a new section of resources for today's lampworker.

This book is effectively a reproduction of a glass working book from the late 40's, early 50's. And that's exactly what it looks like. And reads like. And while it might have value for scholars who are researching WWII rehabilitation programs - I think those people (both of them) would be better served by tracking down the original copies.


If you have never picked up a glass bead or seen a torch - this book is not going to help. I thought I might find some ideas for projects that have fallen by the way side and could be resurrected, but, no.  If you have, it's still not going to help.

If you must buy it - bear it mind that it is cheaper on the publishers' website than it is on Amazon. But 30 seconds of googling and a trip to youtube are going to get you way better info than you will find here. Give it a miss. Sorry.

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