Friday, October 16, 2009

Addicted to Glass

I have a very specific urge to go learn glass bead making during my stay in Canberra. I don’t even know what is involved, how much it cost, or even if they offer a class, but I didn't think much of it. One day I found a class over searching in google and emailing people, so off I went! (and yes, I’m pretty impulsive to new ideas that comes to my head. 2 years before this, it was floristry, a year before this, opening a shop on Etsy, and now, this....)

My teacher is Mrs. Carole Griffith, and since we came in contact via email, I never really knew what she looked like before the class. While Greg was driving me to my first lesson, we tried to imagine what Carole would looke like. Originally I thought she’d be in her thirties with long black hair, rather gothic and mysterious.

Carole came a bit late... and oddly enough she didn’t look like anything I imagined. Medium height, red curly hair, chirpy, happy, and a little bit crazy. She told us she just came back from a medical appointment. They told her that she had to quit coffee, which is poison to her system. Have I told you that she’s a little crazy? I mean it in a very good way though.

Carole is a great teacher and very good in keeping an eye with beginners like me. She watches me like a hawk, even when she’s talking to other students, she would make a glance or two at me to make sure I’m alright. That made me feel secure with my beads, and playing with this torch in front of me that is blowing at 2000 degrees. I find looking at molten hot glass, observing patiently and slowly shaping itself into it’s most comfortable shape (round) is very mezmerizing and super relaxing. There’s something very peaceful in letting gravity slowly doing it’s work to perfecting this object in the flame. I met a lot of other students who’d take lessons as a relaxation or recreational thing, even a treat for their birthdays! I took 6 classes and had met two people who said that there’s nothing else they’d rather do in their birthday.

(Carole's treasured glass supply that we can freely use! :D )

For the first lesson, Carole just got me to make normal beads over and over again... and I was ecstatic! When Greg picked me up after class to go for lunch, my brain was on a roll. I got really jumpy and happy and won’t stop talking to him about what I learnt, and telling him what Carole is like. It feels like I just met the guy of my dreams, and I’m stupidly head over heels in love!!! Except it’s not with a person, it’s with glass.

I took 6 lessons in total during my stay and out of that 6 lessons, I only made a couple of beads that I can actually use. Most of them are random beads, and lots of complete stuff ups which breaks my heart everytime I look at them. I learnt how to draw dots, raised dote, flowers, putting air bubble inside the bead, making multiple colour bead, make lentil beads, shaping beads, making stringers and drawing with the stringers.

I was the only student on my last lesson, and I had a great time with Carole. There's this really nice guy next door who's a violin maker. I see him almost every class for coffee breaks and he always order a small flat white. Carole was getting upset for not being able to drink coffee or chocolate, and this guy said to her, "Carole, why don't you just except the fact that you can't drink coffee, and embrace drinking tea instead!" His words must hit her straight in the head because 2 days later, she came into class with a couple of grams of the most expensive tea in the world, glass teacup, tea heater, and around 500 tea lights because it's cheaper in bulk. Being a tea lover, I thought I was in heaven. We were sipping hot tea out of this funky mug that's made by some madman in between making beads.

Aaah... this is life, how can anything be any better than this?

Now that it’s all over, I really miss, and crave to make more beads. I’m just sad that they cost a lot to set up, and I have no idea how I would supply the materials to make these beads, but I’m pretty sure that I’ll work it out sooner than later.

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