View Full Version : Demonstration suggestions,please

04-15-2004, 12:25 PM
Whenever I need advice you'all come thru... :clap: ....so here I go again . I'm demonstrating lampworking beads at a street festival tomorrow night. I'll be using a Hothead and fiber blanket. My DH will be with me. Would also like to sell some beads. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

04-15-2004, 02:51 PM
HI! As far as demonstrations go, I am still always amazed at watching a glob of a disk turn into one of those nice encased stripe beads. That to me is amazing!

Doesn't mean I've mastered it yet, but it sure is incredible to watch. And I think it is a good way to show how glass works under the flame.

Good luck at the street faire!

04-15-2004, 03:50 PM
Hi Saludababe!
One of the things that is essential at those open air things, is to find something to put near the front edge of your table to keep the public from getting the full blast of your torch heat! I used jars of glass rods in a line across the front. Of course, that drew hands towards them because they are so purty! You'll have to constantly say something like "please don't touch, the glass edges may be sharp."
If you don't have a tent [easy up or such] you may want to invest in one for the next demo. The sides help to block some of the sunlight, enabling you to see the flame a bit better.
Street Festivals are an excellent opportunity to educate the public. I had lots of information memorized and also talked about the steps I was taking to make the bead. Make some small beads for the kids to come back and get later, or get their addresses so you can mail them later. SOmetimes that encourages the parent to buy also! Explain to the parent that they aren't annealed and will probably break eventually.
Oh, yeah! Have fun!!!
Let us know how it went!

Judy in MN
04-15-2004, 04:10 PM
I agree with Jaquidol about getting some kind of shade or you won't be able to see where your flame is...good way to get burnt. Consider making a hinged screen of plexiglass to put in front of you and to the sides. It prevents small people or the overly curious from getting too close, grabbing what might be a hot rod, or getting sprayed by glass shrapnel if you happen to have a shocky rod.

If you take three pieces of plexiglass and hinge them in a basic |__| shape, that'll work well as a screen. You may need to find a way to stabilize it so wind gusts don't send it flying. One thing I did when I demoed at an art fair was to have a small jar of partial rods that had the ends melted smooth (I included a couple fancy twisties) that people could touch if they wanted to. Kids think that's pretty neat. Keep the rest of your rods and tools behind the screen with you.

If you have a spare pair of protective glasses (didys or AUR-92s), you might want to bring them and let people pass them around to look through so they can see what it's like without the soda flare. You can use it as an opportunity to talk a little about the kinds of safety issues people should keep in mind if they choose to pick up glasswork. It also may give them an idea of the kinds of expenses involved that support the prices for your beads.

If you're also selling, you'll probably want DH or some assistant to handle the sales while you demo. Also, you'll want someone to keep kids and the overly curious back a bit so they don't come to the side or behind you. You want to prevent any chance of any injury.

Finally, one thing to consider--and it pains me that we live in a society so litigeous that you have to consider it when you're taking precautions--but you might want to find out about your liability would be if somebody grabs a hot rod, manages to get near your glass or torch and gets injured, etc.

Good luck! I love doing demos because people really love to see how it's done and a big, noisy flame always seems to draw a crowd!

Judy in MN

04-15-2004, 05:46 PM

I demoed at all my outdoor shows last summer except one and I could tell the differance in sales. That one was a lot lower in sales. All the above advise is good especially about safety. The other thing I found was that I did best using only colors that did not react to high flame conditions on the HH. I found that due to wind I had to turn the flame up very high and then had to guess where the flame was due to the sun. Still it was a lot of fun and I learned to make it work. I just did simple stuff and did not try to make things that were saleable. I gave the beads to the kids when they were cool. I did a couple of shows that went into the evening and working then was fun and gererated a lot of interest. Good Luck.


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04-15-2004, 07:12 PM
This is an excellent thread! I'm in the same boat!

WHat about a kiln? I'm going to be doing an open air arts festival, and they wanted me to demo..I'll be using my minor (or if I have it by then my NEW BARRACUDA!!!) and tanks. Do you think it is necessary to have the kiln there too? I'll probably do some boro and some moretti...show the differences in melting etc... show some of the properties...


04-15-2004, 09:37 PM
So where is this going to take place? Maybe BrendaJ or Chuckie and I could finally get to meet you :D


04-15-2004, 11:38 PM
I don't take a kiln when I demo. The folks watching the demo want to see the results sooner, not later.

I usually start by pulling a twisted cane. Everyone seems to really like that. I put the freshly pulled cane aside to cool and use another cooled cane to demonstrate. I generally make several beads. People like seeing the glass manipulated, so I generally make at least one bead that involves raking, plunging, twisting, or some other form of manipulation.

If you are comfortable doing sculptural work, a sculptured piece makes a nice ending to a demo.

04-16-2004, 02:01 PM
The demo will be in Downtown Greenville in front of the Beaded Frog . 5 till 7 tonight. Friday Nite Jazz! Wound love to met you!!!! Cathy