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In this issue …
Torchlight on …
Members’ beads from last month’s challenge:
Make a bead, set of beads, focal, mixed
media, on or off mandrel piece using the
theme of ‘Flowers’ or the technique of
Post your photos on www.frit-happens.co.uk
and/or www.craftpimp.co.uk and/or our
Facebook page by
All members' photos will be included in the
August issue of the GBUK
My lampworking journey began in the summer of 2012. As a
jewellery designer for almost 10 years I had always been
addicted to buying lampwork beads to use in my designs. My
ultimate dream was to one day learn the art of lampwork so
that I could create my own beads to use in my work.
In 2010 I attended my first Flame Off. After watching Lorna
Prime’s demo I was in awe; I had always admired her as an
artist and to see her at work was amazing. I spent most of
that weekend on the torches and knew then that I just had to
follow the lampwork path...
I was lucky enough to be
invited for a short break at
Debbie Dew’s a couple of years
ago; we enjoyed playing with
fire and glass in her studio and
she taught me the basics. By
the end of the week I was
totally hooked! Debbie had
some kit that was surplus to
requirements and I left Cardiff
with a Mini CC torch and an
oxycon - I was soooo excited!
My dream had come true.
I now work in a converted
summer house (shed) at the
top of my garden - oh, how I
love that place.
After 2 years I still very much see myself as
a 'newbie' there is still so much to learn. I'm
mainly self-taught but I love buying and
following tutorials and trying new things.
I'm still working on my unique style but I love to
use lots of silver, I enjoy the organic look and feel
of silver leaf and foil, the reactions that silver
creates with some glass amazes me. I like to
experiment with different colours and types of
glass to produce beads that are eye catching.
I work with 104 coe glass and mainly make sets of beads with just the odd
focal every now and again. I'd like to try and develop my work with focals at
some point. Keeping those bigger beads warm and preventing cracks is a skill I
need to work on… I'm loving my lampworking journey.
Follow your heart - Dreams really can come true...
by Heather Kelly
These are some murrini I made with Reichenbach 96 coe
1. Make a small cylindrical plug of iris brown on the end of
your punty. Heat the bare steel just enough for a very
slight glow and add one wrap of glass at the end, then
build the plug outwards from there. Use a marver to roll it
on and flatten the end. That gave the darker end on this
picture - the iris brown struck a little. The gather will get
large after adding all the layers, so start small.
The base I used for these was
Reichenbach RW4291 dark olive.
2. Encase this in a layer of curry. Wrap slightly off the end
of your plug and melt and marver it over. This makes it
easier to attach a punty to all the colours of glass at the
end. At the punty end, tuck the glass in so it just touches
the steel. Again, this will anchor it. Melt in and smooth
down after each encasing layer.
Reichenbach RW0762 iris brown
Reichenbach RW0120 curry
Reichenbach RW0107 iris opal
Reichenbach RW0191 iris amber
Reichenbach RW0175 pastel green
3. Encase in iris opal yellow.
4. Encase in iris amber, which is a dark rich transparent
that can strike to all sorts of colours - you can see some
in the next pictures after it has struck more.
One punty for building your
murrini - I use a stainless steel
chopstick, or the end of a thicker
mandrel will also work (no bead
I don't use glass for this end so
there's no need to worry about
One glass rod for your other
punty. Clear is best - here I use
the pastel green because I had it
5. Add six stripes of curry, anchoring at both ends.
This will make sure you don't end up with a stripeless
section after pulling.
6. In between those, add six stripes of pastel green.
This is a very pale green.
big gather). Now take out of the flame, wait a
moment and start to pull, gradually at first. If it
isn't moving, stick it back in the flame. If you
pull too fast, it will get too thin. If you don't
think you can pull it all at once, it's easier to
get your punty rod end pulled to the diameter
you want, then put the steel end back in the
flame and continue pulling in sections. It doesn't
need to be uniform: different diameters of
murrini are useful. If you get a bone-shaped end
on your steel, melt the murrini pull off and put
it down to cool, then make the end into a
9. After your pull has cooled, chop it into
murrini chips! I use Leponitt wheeled nippers,
which are great. I hold my cane pointing
downwards into something like an old tall ice
cream container, or anything vaguely bucketshaped.
Tall sides mean the chips don't bounce
back out. Then just squeeze the nippers and the
chips ping in.
7. Melt the stripes in smooth. Then attach your punty
rod to the end. Make a small maria (flattened gather)
on the end of your rod and smoosh this onto the
heated end of your murrini. It's best if it covers all
the circles of colour, so that when you pull, you
don't end up with a section that is only the inside.
(A small section that is mostly the *outside* is more
useful, because it has the stripes and can be used
as cane or made into a twistie).
Note: you can use another steel punty, but you will
want to put a cone of clear on the end of your
gather first, then plunge the steel into that. Again,
this means you have a more even pull and less
waste at the ends.
10. In use. The darker colour is from an
unencased murrini, while the yellower one has
clear over the top. I like them better unencased.
To apply, have the murrini laid out somewhere
you can get to them easily. Pick up your murrini
with tweezers (or hemostats) and flash it through
the flame to warm it, then heat the spot on the
surface of your bead and apply your murrini to
it. Start heating and very gently patting down the
surface with a small flat tool, over and over. If
you smash it flat too fast it will distort.
8. Then heat your gather to molten, focusing the
flame on the centre and not on your punty rod or it
will soften. Take it out of the flame occasionally,
keep rotating, and let the heat sink into the centre
from the surface. (Especially if you've made a really
Dates for your diary …
: Tuffnell Glass, Rudston, Yorkshire YO25 4UD
: 12/13/14 September 2014
: 1000 - 1800
On Friday we will have the torch benches for members to play and / or demo on -
we are hoping there will be some of you willing to share your techniques with our
members; Teresa has offered to show us a trick or two too.
On Saturday the AGM will be at midday.
Sunday is a free day on the torches for those that want to stay for the whole
Lunch will be provided in the form of jacket potatoes and toppings.
Please can members bring salad, cake and drinks to share.
Along with the lure of the Tuffnell Glass shop, there will also be other traders selling
lampworking supplies (we will announce the full list nearer the time).
There will be a mini competition, entries to be taken to the AGM, voting to take place
at the AGM, the theme is ‘
The prize will be a £10 voucher to spend with the traders attending the event.
The GBUK Journal is a great opportunity to showcase your work in a high
quality publication. Best of all it is free to submit an entry and all
members who are paid up as of 30 September 2014 will receive a free
If you would like to have your work included in the next GBUK Journal,
then please read this carefully. We would like you to send one image only
to firstname.lastname@example.org, but, as before, all other required information will
need to be submitted using the online submission form on the GBUK
website or click this LINK.
Martin Tuffnell has been glassblowing for over 20
years and re-launched Tuffnell Glass in 1998 with
his partner Teresa, an experienced beadmaker.
Together they offer custom made beads, teach bead
making and carry a large range of glass and bead
making equipment. They successfully organised the
first Flame Off in April 2008 – which was recognised
as the first United Kingdom event that was
dedicated to glass bead making. On the rare
occasions that Teresa is not organising Flame Offs
and dispatching glass goodies for lampwork bead
artists all over the UK she has been known to make
rather lovely beads. Martin makes a pretty nifty
glass pig sculpture too!
Flame Off is where artists come from all over the
world to share their techniques and experiences.
Glass bead makers and flame workers gather to play
with fire, catch up with friends and learn from each
other. Its a wonderful event full of generous people
who have also supported their Air Ambulance auction
and Raffle every year!
Photo by Richard Downton
Martin was elected an honorary member of GBUK in 2012.