26th newsletter: My continuing Czech glass eduction, upcoming shows and classes.

Welcome Friends

September is “Back to School” month. For BIG KIDS it’s a perfect time to embrace Continuing Ed. For me it started off in northern Czech Republic learning about the glass industry, continued with a visit to the Corning Glass Museum, NY, and now I’m in Toronto playing with seed and pressed beads.

Koralek, the last family factory

Jablonec, N.N.: This is the last one of 297 family glass factory left standing in Bohemia. The descendant keeps it exactly as it was in the cottage industry days for historical and technical education. In my brief tour around, I could see how much or little has changed in glass bead production since the Communists nationalized the industry and killed the home factories
Libos Stryncl explains how the home based glass factories worked in Czech and Adela clarified the process and tools in English.
Lampworking table is on the left and the pressed glass area on the right. Learn more here. It’s in Czech, but understandable to a Slavic language speaker. The visuals will help understand the process.
Getting an appreciation for how hard and tedious press glass bead making was. No need for going to the gym!
I tried out lampworking. Playing with fire was not as scary as I imagined. Practice definitely makes perfect!

Family Glass Factory

Zelezny Brod: Monday morning we visited a small family glass factory. The father is one of the best mould designers in the industry, while his sons  are the technical and business managers. They produce high quality pressed glass beads. This visit gave me
a really great appreciation for all the work which goes into every single glass bead!
The initial shape is pressed and then needs to be smoothed along the edges.

Dagger Flower Rings

Jablonec, N.N.: Making flowers is a logical use for dagger beads. Spotted these for sale at the local G&B Bead Shop. The daggers come in great colors!

Fall Bead Bonanza

Oct 5, 2014: It is time for the first bead show of the fall, the Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild Fall Bead Bonanza. This one day show features of 50 vendors at the Southfield Municipal Complex Pavilion in Southfield, MI. Addmission is $5 and parking is free!

Intro to Netting

Toronto: The Chicklet Bracelet is the perfect place to learn about how netting works and yields a wonderful bracelet ready to wear by the end of the workshop.
For the adventurous, the Twig Chip Cascade is a related project. You learn beadweaving as you’re netting, but are sidetracked with coralling, a.k.a. twig
fringing. There are so many variations possible!
Register early at BeadFX. Oct 21, 2014,
2 to 5 pm.

Novosad & Son Glassworks

Harrachov: Got to see the traditional method of how stemware was made Sunday morning at this glass factory. This oldest (1712) private glassworks in Bohemia now works 24/7. A clever addition is a mini brewery, restaurant and hotel to compliment the experience.
Several pairs of glassblowers work around one furnace.
Heating the glass to the proper temperature in order to shape it.
By blowing the glass into a wooden mould, the goblet shape is uniform.
The visit to the historic glass-cutting shop at Novosad & Son revealed how patterns are cut into glass with a wheel. Many sizes hung by each workbench.
Vases and dishes examples of glasscutting at historic N&S shop.
The guide showed various examples of manufactured glass. She commented that I “won the prize for most photos shot during a tour.”

Mountain's other industry

Harrachov: Glass factories are all located in the Jizera mountains whose other industry is skiing and downhill sports. The ski jump in winter is used for bungie jumping thrills in summer.
I stayed overnight at the bed & breakfast of a Champion ski jumper.

Netted Dagger

Sep 2014: Completed this collar for my “Designing Netted Motifs” workshop on Sun, Nov 9th, at the Toronto Bead Society Bead Fair.
Limited edition kits will be available for those who would like an additional challenge of beading with new pressed glass bead shapes along with learning how patterns and motifs are created as you beadweave.

Bead Fair

Toronto: In addition to teaching at this second show of the season, I will have a booth with a selection of my kits and patterns for sale. This 2-day show is at the Toronto Reference Library's  Appel Salon. There will be over 40 vendors and a variety of classes, check here for more details.

Lalique Exhibit

Corning, NY: Catch this exhibit if you can! It’s a perfect reason to make a day or weekend trip to see the Corning Glass Museum and the fall colors in the picturesque Finger Lakes district.
More about the Corning Glass Museum in the next issue.
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