Saturday, April 18, 2009

Florida Glass Dragons

Well, I did it. I stepped outside my comfort zone and went to the Florida Glass Dragons Spring Fling event. I just sucked it up, told myself that, 'Hey, I'm an adult. I can put myself out there in an unfamiliar social situation with a bunch of strangers and I'll be fine. Really.' (Then I forced my mom to go with me.)

And guess what? I had fun!

At first, I did my usual shy-girl thing where I hang out in the back of the room, making very little eye contact and trying to be inconspicuous. (This is not that easy since I'm almost six feet tall with a head of the craziest, curly hair you've ever seen on a white girl. I don't really 'blend'.) But before long, people were coming up and chatting and introducing themselves and talking glass. Everyone was very friendly. It was great to spend a day with a group of people and not ever once say the words, "Lampwork beads. Um,,,glass beads. For jewelry." or "Rods of colored glass." or "No, I melt it with a torch, actually." or "Well, you don't drill the holes. You make them on a thing called a mandrel. Well, a mandrel is...."

God, it was fabulous!

We also got to see some amazing demos in a nice, small environment. I mean, seriously, in the course of just a few hours I got to see Pam Dugger, Ray Olson, Brent Graber and Heather Ferman work their magic! How incredibly cool is that? Pam made a dragon that was so gorgeous, I had to restrain myself from snatching it out of the kiln on my way out. :)

Though I've never taken a single lampworking class, I would take one with Heather Ferman in a heartbeat. Even though she was just doing a quick demo, she was awesome. She explained everything she was doing in detail, answered a million questions, gave away all kinds of fantastic tips and even explained how she got her hot plate set-up made.

And, to top it all off, I won a very nice door prize and a raffle prize. My mom even won. She walked away with a gift certificate from Double Helix which she promptly handed over to me. Yay!!!!!!

I only took three pictures, but here they are:

Ray Olson making a dichro winged fairy.

Pam Dugger warming up
Heather Ferman with her incredibly cool little torch

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