Today I went with a group of glass bead making friends to the annual Flame on Glass 2011 at Kirra Galleries, Federation Square, Melbourne.
This wonderful exhibition showcases a lot of very talented Australian contemporary Flameworking artists.
Out in the atrium of the building the torches were on and artists were demonstrating their skills in piecing together large sculptural and blown work using borosilicate tube glass....so wonderful to see how that glass can be heated, put down and then re- introduced in to the flame without any cracking or shattering....so different to the type of glass I use for my bead making. (Mind you the torches were about 3 times the power, or more of my little Minor Burner, too!)
Inside there were also some glass artists demonstrating with one of the 'cooler-type' of torches used for bead-making.
This particular torch is called a 'Hot Head'. These torches are attached to a single fuel, gas propane, (barbecue) cylinder as you can see below.
I was very taken with the work of Helen Peake, one of the artists demonstrating inside. This is Helen in the photo above, sitting very low at the torch in what she describes as a comfortable and very ergonomically - friendly position.
She is about to wrap Bullseye sheet glass ( if you look closely you can see Helen holding a piece of glass with tweezers) on to a steel mandrel that she has shaped with steel wool and coated with bead release.
This addition of steel wool prior to the application of hot glass, results in an interestingly shaped bead...this particular style by Helen, she says, was partly inspired by perfume bottle shapes (seen in hand made glass, not your shapes from the retail store..)
After watching Helen complete a bead, I couldn't help but buy one. Do you blame me...they are gorgeous!
You can see the perfume-bottle inspiration in the above photo.
In this close up shot you can see the effect created when silver and clear Schott glass have been combined .
The Flame on demonstrations are only on until the 18th of September, however the exhibition continues until the 9th of October.
For further information please go to Kirra Galleries
cheers for now,