This week’s Flaming Hot Tips Tuesday topic is keeping a journal of your lampworking trials and ideas. I don’t exactly do that, not like Jennifer describes. What I have is notebooks. Gazillions and kaboodles of notebooks.
For starters, I’ll find and print out tutorials and the like from the web, and put them in an appropriate ring binder, along with various random instruction sheets. I must have a couple of dozen of these ring binders, on everything from soft glass lampwork to boro to journaling to bookbinding to Linux and PHP and WordPress.
Then I have a raft of Moleskine Cahier notebooks, the biggest ones. I started using these for handwritten notes after I started doing lampwork. Two of them so far are notes from classes and demo days (yep, I filled one and had to start another). Others are for “research findings.” Some of the information is gleaned from the various forums, others are my own notes and discoveries. I have one notebook so far for the COE104 glasses, mostly with just various how-tos copied down.
Another, the most valuable so far, is my Boro Notebook, focusing on color behaviors and reactions. If I read something about a particular color, or family of colors, or how to get a certain color, I write it down. If I make a particular base glass + frit bead, or a twistie cane, and want to remember what colors I used (I usually do), I write them down. Then if the combo is particularly stunning (GA Persian Blue/Amazon Bronze/Amazon Canyon twistie, for example), or a PITA to work with (e.g. the GA Purple Luster/Persimmon Strike twistie that wouldn’t bloody strike), or just plain butt-ugly (can’t think of an example here!), I can add those notes after stuff is out of the kiln.
I try very hard to not just write down what works, but what doesn’t work as well — that’s even more important IMO!