came all the way from Singapore to learn how to make glass beads!

Ah, the wonders of the internet...
Meet my computer date from Singapore! This is Phyllis, who found me while surfing the web, and emailed requesting a class. She came to Virginia Beach for a week in February, 2006, and we had three days of instruction, and one day of extra practice time on the torch.

As well as being very sweet and gentle, she was also incredibly intuitive about glass, and picked up everything I showed her very quickly. I would show her something, and then, without hesitation (but usually with both of us holding our breath!) she would be able to do it!

I kept showing her more and more complex techniques, and to my amazement, she took everything I showed her, and was able to duplicate it with a quiet determination. After she finished each bead, I would tell her how well she'd done, and she'd say, "Mmmm....... It was okay.... " (She's very modest!)

Phyllis was able to make quite a lot of beads while she was here, so I took lots of pictures!

I'll show them in chronological order, and then posed together in group shots. I am just so impressed with how well she did!

Here is Phyllis, in awe of my frit collection! (And that's just the first shelf!) -->



I think it's very interesting to note the progression of skills:

Phyllis's beads - Day 1
The first days beads are simple shapes, round and barrel, with very basic dot decorations. Then we move on to making and applying twisties, and dots raked, swirled and layered (or stacked).
Phyllis's beads - Day 2
The second day's beads include ones that are encased with clear glass, simple sculptural shapes (heart and fish), and a more difficult shape - bicone - and surface and encased florals. She also blew me away be making a very nice hollow bead on her first try! (Note: It took me three years to master those! Okay, so I'm a slow learner.... )

Phyllis's beads - Day 3
Day three, we worked with silver and copper foil, dichro, and producing different effects with chemical reactions in glass. Phyllis also did an amazing encased aquarium bead, with seaweed and jellyfish!


Phyllis's beads - Day 4 - Working on her own...

On the fourth day, Phyllis worked on her own, choosing what beads to make, and did them without (too much) advice, interference or the instructor breathing down her neck. I was working right next to her, but everything she accomplished, she did without me reminding her to keep the beads warm, keep rotating the mandrel, telling her where to work in the flame, etc. Those helpful little reminders that keep good beads from going bad, when you're first starting to learn beadmaking.

And she did just fine on her own...... So, anybody need a slightly used instructor?
Phyllis doesn't need ME anymore!!

From left to right, top to bottom: Another hollow, with reduction frit. A second jellyfish aquarium bead.
A black bead with raked goldstone, which was only half done when the oxygen ran out!
Center front: Cobalt bicone with moongold foil, and above, bottom to top - poked encased floral, layered dots,
and silver foil chemical reaction bead.
Right hand side: Blue round with encased Millefiore murinni cane, and a surface floral, which Phyllis wasn't too happy with, she says it looks more like a cactus flower than a flowering vine!! (I thought it looked great!)
And a few more pictures of her beads, in group photos...





It certainly was a wonderful experience meeting and working with Phyllis. I've asked her to send me pictures as she continues on her Beadmaking Journey. I'll post them here when she does, so you can see how Singapore's Newest (and quite possibly, ONLY) Beadmaker is progressing!

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