Can’t wait for the Towcester Flame Off!

I’m pretty excited about going to the Flame Off, I’m particularly looking forward to the demonstrations by glass bead makers whose work I admire, I’m hoping to learn.
Every now
and then I pull something out of the kiln and think ‘Hey! I’m actually doing quite well at this bead making lark’ then I see a piece on another website (Judith Johnston and Dora Schubert, JCHerrel, Melanie Moertel, to name but a tiny few – I see a links page coming on) and feel slightly deflated, the benchmarks are set high. I expect everyone has those moments of inadequacy, and that’s where meeting other beaders is essential, they seem to be a friendly bunch, and I hope to get a better perspective on where I’m at by the time the event is over.
I did a bad thing the other night. I melted some silver wire and forgot about fumes…sore throat, and feeling horrible for a couple of days ensued. Fool Woman!!! Will not melt metals without some kind of mask on again, it’s just plain idiotic.
Had a lovely moment while making a bead the other day, as I turned it over I spotted a perfectly placed naturally occurring hole, so I put a muted pink dot in it. I like making heart beads, it’s very satisfying when the shape works out well.
Yesterday my husband’s replacement shed was delivered (the original one was blown down in the January gales) so we spent some time clearing the old debris and I got to be his skivvie. Great. All I wanted to do was play at the torch (that’s not unusual, that’s all I ever want to do)  so when I got fed up playing slave I’d pop into my shed and make a few sample beads. I need a reference board of CiM colours, I LOVE the lazy way CiM glass moves when it’s hot, lots of time to get it where I want it to go. I’m off to put in an order, yum yum yum…

Minnie Mandr’elle and the Shed Of Destiny

Everyone’s got a blog (well, almost everyone), and it seems that hardly anyone keeps a hand written diary anymore. I used to, and now I don’t. Arial is my own personal font, it’s more familiar than my own handwriting. If I try to write as much as a birthday card by hand, my fingers ache by the time I’ve finished, and I am always surprised by what comes out of the end of the pen, ‘Oh look! That’s my writing!’. Blogging is the modern journal keeping, and the great thing about it is the word processing aspect. I have a beautiful leather bound gilt edged journal, it remains as blank as the day I bought it, about six years ago, I couldn’t bring myself to ‘spoil’ it by writing in it. I like being able to change things around without using an eraser, and lots of sprightly arrows redirecting sentences. Hence easy conversion to blogging.
What I don’t understand is the urge to jump in and put myself out there with the rest of the world. I mean, who reads this stuff anyway?
So…I’m setting up this website. Occasionally I know what I’m doing, then things get a bit fuzzy and I’m lost. Right now I want to upload some photos to the shop, but realised that I need to compare actual bead colours with the colours that show on the site, because I don’t want to misrepresent my work. So, I thought I’d take a break and do something that comes relatively easily to me, namely writing.

A mandrel is the steel rod around which one wraps the hot glass that eventually becomes the bead. On removal of the bead, there is a hole where the mandrel was. My nickname is ‘Min’, I love alliteration, I thought Minnie Mandr’elle was fun, and as for The Shed, that’s where I make my glass beads. Yesterday I went into it with the intention of taking a picture of my work space, because I appreciate seeing photos of other lampworker’s studio’s on their websites, but it would have made such a dull photo I wondered who’d want to look at it. Maybe I’ll revise that decision soon.
Should I explain the ‘Destiny’ part?
I’ve wanted to make glass beads for AGES and ages and ages. I’m finally doing it, and I feel as if I’ve found my place in the world of creativity. There’s nothing else I want to do more than make beads out of glass. I am so happy to know what I want, it’s taken a long time to get here, and it feels good. It is my destiny for sure (I think).