Hi all! I've been tinkering with lampwork for a few years now. I invested in a good setup (Nortel Redmax torch, my own oxygen cylinder, etc) but am in some serious need of guidance. Usually I can self teach myself well, especially with the support of forums, but I'm in need of help.
How do I go about finding local lessons that don't cost an arm and a leg for just beadwork? I'm more interested in tubework and scientific glassblowing than beads and pendants.
Also, one of my main problems right now is blowing bubbles. I'm still working on being able to control the glass. My problem is this: I'll close off the end of a tube, gather the end some, and blow it out. However, most of the time when I blow it out, the "neck" right before the gather blows out no matter how gently I blow, and/or I end up with a bulb with a large chunk of glass on the end or off to one side.
It seems pretty simple: Close off a tube, gather glass, blow the end out into a sphere. But I just can't do it for the life of me. Any tips would be helpful, I'm starting from the ground up here. Perhaps I'm heating the wrong area, or maybe I should be applying less/more heat, or am gathering wrong or something.