- A huge education. Larry demonstrated many tricks and techniques that I had never before seen, and explained some things I had seen before in a new way so that I finally “got it.” I sort of understood the idea behind linear encasing already, but was missing one little aspect — the very acute angle of the casing rod relative to the bead. Now I can do it (though I still need practice, duh). I’m also totally sold now on using boro punties for making cane and latticcino, because my hands can twist the punties much easier than mandrels.
- An impressively-run workshop. Southern Flames knows how to do things right! The organization provides bagels & cream cheese if you don’t have time for breakfast; the class TA takes lunch orders and brings your lunch back so you don’t lose so much time going out to get it; various little things like mandrel holders, stickers to put on your mandrels, water cups, and so on are already set up. Oh, and Carl was a most excellent TA.
- A really, really frustrating experience. Okay, so I was the least-experienced glass person in the class, and it did show at times. I was working on a Minor burner, when I run a Bethlehem Piranha at home, so my torch wasn’t always doing what I expected. I didn’t have quite enough elbow room so had to be careful of the space around me. Possibly the worst thing, though, was the floor right behind my chair — every time someone walked on it, it jiggled, jiggling me, usually right when I was trying to precisely place a dot on my bead. I’m dot-challenged enough anyway, so I don’t need any further hindrance. In the end, of the six beads I attempted, only one came out fairly decent. Four others were more or less showing the technique but far from acceptable, and the last one…well, the Night Sky bead went into the water cup after first the bead release broke and then the bead itself broke.Some things are just better attempted at home on familiar ground!
- A veritable feast of eye candy. Larry’s beads are to die for. I wish I could have afforded to buy more than one. I’ll just have to practice making my own variations.
I did indeed get my money’s and time’s worth out of the weekend, and I would highly recommend Larry’s classes to any lampworker. Any problems with the class were strictly due to the student, not the teacher, LOL.