Hours: Weekdays 10-6. Weekends 11-5.

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Hollow Glass Beads

October 7, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Prerequisite: This class requires a lampworker have some experience, with high-beginner to intermediate level skills

Hollow glass beads have a presence about them without having the weight of a solid bead. You will learn the steps and some tricks to creating beautiful hollow beads! The class will start with skills used to make beads make made on a solid mandrel…we will move from there to beads formed on a “puffy” mandrel. You will be provided with _ puffy mandrels as part of the class fee, along with bead release and some frit samples to test.

Supplies to bring:
-your own oxy-propane torch with quick connects.
(a limited number of torches are available for use)
-a selection of 10-15 (or more) rods of glass of your choice…include at least 5-8 of a medium color transparent. Avoid white or any other “soupy”-when-molten glass.
-protective eye-wear or shield
-small graphite shaper or pad
-small brass shaper

Cost: $245

Lunch will be supplied by the Midwest Lampworkers Guild!

Hot Shops members receive $10 off. Email prior to registering for a discount code.

24 hour notice required to receive a 50% refund. No refunds for cancellations received with less than 24 hours notice.

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About the instructor: Marlene Slothouber
Fyrefly Glass began when, after 30 years of pottery work, I wanted to try something “different”. Schlepping around heavy crates of pottery from show to show made the diminutive size of a bead very appealing, as did the prospect of playing with dozens of colors. A general “well, I can do that” attitude led to research into a then-emerging craft skill that, months later, resulted in equipment, tools and glass rods showing up on my doorstep. Being self-taught meant I could go at my own pace…which (after oxygen tank and propane providers ominously cautioned about blowing up or burning down our house) was verrry slow. However, years later, I can claim just a couple fairly minor finger burns and our house is intact…and I’m having a blast every time I fire up the torch, continually learning about how glass moves, and what I can, and cannot do, with this little bit of slurpy, molten material.

I’m fascinated every time a bead comes out of the kiln, seeing the color interactions and details that are hard to distinguish when the bead is molten red. That fascination prompted the name “fyrefly glass” as I felt a similar delight watching fireflies as a kid…God must have had fun creating them and I’m having fun creating my beads!

I could espouse some heady, esoteric inspirations for my bead creations…but, really, I just love playing with color and being able to wear my jewelry (something a little difficult to do with a pottery mug or casserole!). I will continually be learning about the physics of how glass moves, the ways colors affect each other, the almost magical effects achieved when silver reacts with glass…but the best part of the experience is to wear, or see someone else wearing, a necklace, ring or earrings I have made. It’s wearable art that never fails to be unique…and I have found the “different” that is satisfying to both make and adorn!





October 7, 2023
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


Lori Skupa


Crystal Forge
1301 Nicholas St.
Omaha, NE 68102 United States
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