Hello dear friends,
I am continuing my chats with Australian bead makers. Today I am talking to Diana Bloomfield.
For those who do not know, glass bead making or 'lamp-working' as it is often called, began many centuries ago. The techniques that are used today are a little different, the torches are more sophisticated but essentially the techniques are not too dissimilar. Hot glass is wrapped around a metal rod. The constant rotation of the rod, shapes and keeps the bead round. Decorations are added with thinner pieces of glass and manipulation of shapes can be achieved with tools and gravity. That is it in a nutshell... though of course, the techniques are many and the combinations of colour and design only limited by the artist himself.
1. How long have you been lampworking and what led you to begin to make glass beads?
I have been making beads since 2004 when I saw it being done in New Zealand when I was recovering from Breast Cancer.
2. Please describe your workplace. Do you have a dedicated studio space?
I have a Studio which used to be my photography Studio when I did Animal pictures
Di at her workbench. She is using a Minor Burner torch. The stainless steel mandrels in the buckets are coated with bead release and ready for use. She is also wearing special glasses which protect the eyes from flare from the torch flame and allow the lampwork artist to see the working area more clearly.
3. Which glass is your current favourite and why?
I love the Double Helix and Tag Silver glasses.
4. What type of torch/es do you use? Can you tell us a little about it.
I use a dual fuel Minor Torch
5. How would you describe your style
I don’t think I have a particular style, I experiment a lot
6. When the ‘muse’ has left the studio, what do you draw on to re-inspire you?
Inspiration comes from Nature and animals
7. If you could have a class with any well-known lampwork artist in the world, who would you choose and why?
Loren Stump, I have already done a class with him and he is such a giving teacher, and a great person.
I would love to do it all again.
8. Do you have any other artistic interests and what are they?
Not really glass is my passion now.
One of Di's pendants.
A gorgeous 'Lucia" necklace made with Di's hand made glass beads.
Diana sells her beads through her website, Bloomfields by Di-zyn. She also sells at markets... see her website for further information.
Thanks Di for sharing your glass passion with us,
Until next time,