Monday, April 29, 2013

I'm back from teaching two classes at Snow Farm with great memories and new friends.

Just back from 10 days at Snow Farm teaching lampwork glass to people with interesting stories and engaging ways of telling them. They come to learn new ways or perfect the ones they’ve already developed (whether in previous classes or self-taught) and to express themselves while gathered in a community permeated with and lifted by creative energy. I thrive in this energy myself as it is simply irreplaceable and much needed for our daily survival!

I taught two classes. In my first class we spent three days having Fun with Hollows, and in my second class we focused on Glass Beads & Buttons.

The week-end intensive workshop was about learning how to blow hot glass into hollow glass beads and vessels, and how to create unique shards to decorate a variety of surfaces. The blowing was probably what excited my students the most as it is quite complicated: one has to be able to understand and apply several skills at the same time. The intuitive feel that drives this process connects mind with body, and we see cool magic happening in front of our eyes. And you should have seen those eyes!! As the ball on the end of the pipe was getting bigger, so were the eyes. Accomplishment felt differently each time, but the joy was pure and very motivating each time.

The week-long button class stayed unbuttoned all week. Four of the eight students were complete beginners. They all opened themselves up and stayed curious and excited throughout while taking on quite a rigorous approach to practicing everything they learned. By the end of the class everyone had an abundance of glass beads & buttons - and even a couple of beautiful marbles.

In addition to wanting to share my passion and knowledge of lampwork, I have to admit that my absolute favorite aspects of teaching are:
  •  Meeting and making new friends.
  •    Seeing my students throw themselves into this process and then watching their identities unravel while getting to know glass, the lampworking process and the work they make.
  • Witnessing a profound drive for self-expression being realized in techniques that require hard work and a lot of attention.
  • Sharing in the pure joy of holding one’s glass beads and being able to pass that joy onto others.

I will be teaching one more class this season at Snow Farm, Through the Melting Glass: Introduction to Glass Beads. We will spend an entire week learning about soda-lime glass and many different techniques to create and decorate shapes  - all the while learning finding and learning more about ourselves, which is not only rewarding but empowering as well. I'm certain that we will have both beginner and intermediate students in our class which makes the learning experience so much richer!

So, let’s make more friends and definitely more beads! Looking forward to seeing you in my classes.

Below are a few photos from my week-long class. Enjoy and please share them with family and friends.

Diana made this bowl in a raku class the week-end before
and then filled it with glass beads, buttons and a couple of marbles
 in our week-long lampworking workshop

My students at work creating beautiful glass objects
infused with creative energy and colorful stories...

I don't have a soundtrack to include with this photo
but if you were there, you'd've been talking & listening, laughing & sighing -
sharing in a close social landscape of this wonderful community.

Everyone in my class would agree if I said:
Barbara worked very hard to understand & develop a skill  in this medium,
and, OMG, did it pay off!! She took home beautiful beads!!

Janet is making a hollow bead and Brenda is applying
glass frit to the surface of her bead for instant beautiful design.
The intensity of concentration is self-evident while I'm pretty sure
that ABBA was providing us with background rhythm & melody.