So, whats the easy solution you might ask? Well, I drove over to Bilgola to my friend Gails studio and Halleluja, we melted glass together for a few hours. It is really on just feeding the craving, but like any addict, I am sure a small hit is better than none at all. I taught Gail how to make some complex murrini cane (which she did very well at) and she let me use her humungous torch (a GTT Delta for the afficioniado's out there) to make my first unsupervised paperweight. The decision to try out the stumpsucker and make a paperweight was a quick one and so I made a very fast and dodgy-arsed setup which took me all of 15 min to make..... bit of a shame, but better than an empty paperweight, or one with just frit inside. I made a couple leaves, a gumblossom, some aussie flowers (a bottlebrush that resembled a toilet brush and some non-sneeze inducing wattle) and the main feature of a red backed spider with one leg missing - fortunately in the preheating stage we managed to partially melt another leg so he is not lop-sided.
Here is a pic of the offending article.... please shut your eyes to the haze, the smudging and the REALLY shitty shaping job I did. This was the first time that I had made a paperweight totally myself...... yep, I was a bit scared to be honest, but it was really fun (not getting it off the punty) and hopefully they can only get better!