Day Two of the Flame Off was just as brilliant as Day One. Inevitably there was more shopping and oohing and aahing over beads and meeting up with friends, which was brilliant.
The first demo was Beverly Hicklin, who showed us how she makes her gravity swirl beads, and as a bonus she also showed us her disc beads, which she layers and then melts down. This gives a lovely effect of layered colours and randomness.
Next up was Julie Anne Denton. Today she created for us a fantastic sculputural She-Devil. Unlike yesterday, where she used boroscilicate glass for her dragons, today she used soft glass. Producing sculptural pieces in soft glass presents a completely different set of challenges to using boro, and there is a far higher chance of the glass becoming stressed and cracking. However Julie Anne's skills ensured this did not happen, and the resulting piece was visually stunning and technically miraculous. I only wish I had a photo to show you, but my iPhone just isn't up to decent close ups, so you will have to take my word for it!
Next was Sarah Hornik. When she told us she would be demonstrating an encased floral there was a fair amount of surprise, as this was not necessarily what most of us would associate her with. However, as always, Sarah put her own style into the bead, and showed us a gorgeous long encased floral, with lots of her trademark dots and scrolls inside. Her use of colour is inspiring and I learned a lot from her today.
I wasn't able to stay for the final two demonstrations, but by this point I was already full of ideas and new techniques to try when I'm next at the torch.
The entire event was extremely well-organised and Martin Tuffnell and Co should be congratulated. The only thing that could improve it would be making it a twice-yearly event! However I don't think Martin would agree, so I will start counting the months off until Flame Off 2010!