A Beginner's Trip to Lansing-Classes (Part 3)

Everything Else

My second day in Lansing was the day Id been waiting for. Classes. I met instructors Val Oswalt and Roy Kapp. When I say experts, Im not kidding. (Those of you whove taken classes with them know what I mean.) Online marketing expert Stacy Daniels joined me for the fusing portion of instruction. After much discussion over terms and techniques, we created small glass tiles for firing. These would eventually be slumped into small jewelry dishes.

Here are a few beginner fusing tips I wrote down:

1. Theres no real benefit to using 90 COE over 96 COE (or vice versa)

2. Never fuse more than one layer of glass over your mold (create your layered effect first if you so choose)

3. Molten glass wants to be inch thick. Plan your piece accordingly.

4. All kilns are different. Dont be surprised if you have to adjust your firing schedule.

5. Take notes to keep from repeating mistakes in the future.

Next on the docket was flameworking. The whole thing appeared so intimidating with the torch billowing out fiery blue and orange gas. Watching Vals hands move with such precision and coordination amazed me. Flameworking is a delicate dance - moving the glass rod and mandrel in and out of the flame, heating and cooling and spinning. I finally got up the courage to try it, and to my surprise I was able to create two pretty decent-looking beads. Dont let me fool you, its not easy, but its so gratifying when you finally get the hang of it.

Of course while Im ogling over my creations, Val is creating a breathtaking fish that (pardon the pun), blows my beginner beads right out of the water. Finally, we reviewed stained glass techniques and mosaics. As we walked through the retail store, Val pointed out some of Delphis most popular products. She also showed me several of the amazing Art Glass Festival entries on display in the store.

By the days end, I was both exhausted and encouraged. If youre looking to be inspired, plan a trip to Lansing. I hear the summers are beautiful there. Delphis history is rich and unique. Our founder Dan Daniels started this company in his Michigan garage on a wing and a prayer 38 years ago, and look where it got him! Delphi now boasts an amazing store, a center for learning, a warehouse of premier products and a staff of passionate artists. I can only imagine what the future holds for this company, and Im thrilled to be a part of the journey.

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Connie S.  •  April 14, 2019
No 3 says glass wants to be "inch thick" Think this is a typo because one inch is awfully thick glass.
Julie Bedford

Julie Bedford

Julie graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Communications. She worked as a marketing director and graphic designer before coming to work for Delphi as social media manager. Her mother is an artist and inspired Julie's love for art and creativity at a young age. Her hobbies include writing, crafting and social networking.