Show season is in full swing, and after reading about Diana’s adventure at Bead Fest, I thought I’d share my what I was up to this weekend at the UK Flame Off.
It’s a wonderful show, headed up by Martin and Teresa from Tuffnell Glass and is everything to do with beads & Lampwork.
This year, it took place at the Uttoxeter racecourse in Staffordshire.
The event starts on a Thursday with private classes, and the visiting artists were Melanie Moertel from Germany,
Helen Gorrick from the UK,
J C Herell from the US,
and Michal Silberberg from Israel.
On Friday, the show is opened up to the public with the visiting artists demonstrating throughout the day. Downstairs is bead makers heaven, full of artists selling their beautiful handmade creations, suppliers selling tools and glass, and a huge free taster area, where anyone can come and have a play on the torches. It’s staffed by experienced lampworkers, so even if you’ve never touched a rod of glass in your life, you can take home something you’ve created on the day. There were plenty of pro’s to watch too if you weren’t brave enough to have a go!
I managed to sneak off my stand a couple of times and get around to visit a few people for a catch up and a stroke of their beads. Here’s a few of my favourites…
makes the most amazing silver glass beads, I got these beautiful birds from her.
And I adore her goddess beads!
works for hours at a time to create incredibly detailed huge statement beads in the most beautiful colours. These are cored with slightly smaller than standard silver ends, so you can imagine the size of them in your hand!
And Pris McGirr
, also works in silver glass to create wonderfully colourful focals.
And last, but by no means least, my best bead fair buddy, and next door vendor, Laney Mead
, a sculptural lamp worker, creator of the beautiful flowers in my Spring Fever challenge necklace, and some of the funnest beads in the place!
After a little bit of shopping and a good look round, I went outside to see the Glass hub
in action. Here you can have a go at glass blowing and create a bauble. I had a go at this last year and it was a lot harder than I thought!
My bauble is the white speckled one on the front left… not bad for a first attempt, although I did have a lot of help! 😉
After a fantastic first day, it was back to the hotel for some much needed sleep and back again in the morning for more of the same.
Most of the day was spent at my table, but in the afternoon, my hubby took over for an hour, so I could go upstairs to watch J C Herell demonstrating enamelling on beads. We got great seats a couple of rows back and watched her creating a poppy bead with graduated enamel background.
The demonstration was beamed on to a big screen so that we could see all the details as they happened. She was great fun to watch and very entertaining, and I’ve come away with the urge to get back to my torch and put some proper time in developing my own work!
All in all, it was a fantastic weekend, and there is a wonderful atmosphere with so many people passionate about creating artisan work in the same room! I learned lots, caught up with friends and met some wonderful new ones, spent too much, and can’t wait to do it all again next year!