I am finally coming down from all of the manic, over excitement of the last few days – almost! I am now busting to get back on my torch after the inspiring event that is Flame off. For many British flameworkers, it is the event of the year. Most flameworkers work pretty much in isolation, so it is a fantastic opportunity to network, learn new stuff, pass information along, see what other people get up to, buy tools and glass (omg, the glass, the glass! ;))…and party!
So after a gruelling three hour drive on the M25, through the Dartford tunnell, where I crawled along at 10 miles an hour for at least 10 miles, then onto the M1, where roadworks meant that almost my whole journey was at 50 mph I made it to the Travelodge and the festivities began with a meal in Towcwster (pronounced Toaster, allegedly!).
Easing into the festive mood with nice food and a few bottles of wine, but not so much that the first day of the main event would be spoiled by hangovers 😉
Flame Off was held at the racecourse. Brilliant venue, with aesthetically pleasing architecture! The queues to get in were just around the corner 😉
I wasn’t quite the first through the door but I know what Charlie felt like when entering the chocolate factory! Below is a very, very small selection of the glass that was on offer – glass addicts heaven!
There was frit and shards, enamels, dichroic sparly glass, rollers, masher, presses, crunches, pokey things, beadable accessories…and lots of hand-crafted beads. To call some of these creations beads is just not right!
Sabine, selling her wares! Which brings me to the marquee. This is where the torches were. All 47 of them. There were Hotheads (I have one of these) , Crickets, Bobcats, Minors, Mega minors (I have one of those), and the borosilicate (tough glass, like your pyrex dishes) torches – Nortel Mid range and a couple of others I wasn’t familiar with!
I did my time as a marshal, which is very rewarding, especially when someone who has never torched before makes a lovely little bead!
The table with the big mothers and bad boys was where I was at for my ‘torch time’, playing with the boro glass – Bob made a spider!
Emma at Tuffnells Glass had organised a disco for the evening! Great fun was had by all and a lot of ‘dance like your Dad’ dancing went on! 🙂 Claire grinned for the whole event and Jules had brought some jewels for us to drool over:)
Also present were some International glass and bead geniuses, such as Pati Walton from the US, who made a fab ‘aquarium’ cabochon, Claudia Trimbur Pagel from France, who demostrated a Sandpiper lentil, Jan Rigden-Clay from Tasmania, who showed us how to make a borosilicate marble.
And Anouk Jasperse gave an impromptu demo on the torches too!
I took up my duties as Deputy Chair of the Glass Beadmakers UK (GBUK) whilst at Flame-Off too 🙂 http://www.gbuk.org/pages/about/ Below is a lovely snap of one of our newest members and her husband 🙂
I met a great many lovely people and I must apologise for the lack of pictures but as you can probably tell, I was a wee bit over excited and got caught up in the atmosphere to the point that I forgot to snap away! So, I must finish there as I have a head full of ideas and my torch is calling…not to mention my new masher and pwetty glass 😉
Big hug to everyone – can you tell I’m in a good mood?! 😉