Sunday, July 14, 2013

Quick and easy wind screen for outdoor lampwork demo

Happy Summer!  The days are whizzing by and it seems there's never a dull moment.  I am lucky to have a friend with a winery who has invited me to show my work at a vintner's event next weekend, and I volunteered to go a step farther and demonstrate how I make glass beads from wine bottles.  I'll have some cutting equipment there, as well as my torch and kiln, and will be melting glass all day. 

I haven't done any demos in these kinds of events before, and wanted to have a screen for the wind as well as for safety, to keep people away from the business end of my torch as I work.  I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a custom plexiglass screen, and hate items that have only one use.  In these situations I usually go to either the home improvement store or the crafts store for inspiration,  and the latter really came through for me.  I found three inexpensive 18 x 24" black plastic picture frames, and removed the stiff backerboard that the hanging hardware was on.  The thin plastic sheet on the front of the frames was already anchored to the frame with a little adhesive.  I turned the frames on their sides with the short ends touching, and used an 18" piece of black gaffer's tape (black duct tape would work too) to make a flexible hinge to allow the screen to fold into a "U" shape on the table.  I'll prop each side with something so it doesn't fall or blow over, but I think it will work - along with some signage it will create a safe zone around the hot area of my torch.


After the event is over I will re-purpose these for my enlarged bead photos, either in my studio or for my booth at shows.

If you're in the SF Bay area and want to come, you are warmly invited!  Here's a link for the details - it's going to be a party!  It's Saturday, July 20, at Redwood Ridge Estate at 21435 Summit Rd., in Los Gatos, CA.
This winery has alpaca and llama, and in addition to wine tasting there will be food and music, and art by Lois Stevens, Mary Simmons, and Candi Kauffman.  The setting is in a rustic barn amidst the vines in the Santa Cruz Mountains and the view is quite spectacular.  Hope to see you there!

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