Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Five Days with Loren Stump

It was last November at the B.A.B.E. show at the Oakland Convention Center where Toni Lutman, Pam Killingsworth, my sister and I had our tables within the same pod. The topic of taking a class with Loren Stump came up. Loren had started offering "semi-private" classes for group up to four students instead of the normal eight. For $200 more, we got to have more one-on-one with Loren, it was an opportunity we couldn't pass on.

We recruited our friend, Nanette Scott, to join us for a five-day Loren II (butterfly) workshop at Loren's studio in Elk Grove. Toni and Nanette had taken Loren I (face) and Pam actually had taken Loren II, while I was a complete novice at this. After many emails back and forth amongst ourselves, we finalized on a February class.

I have taken classes from many excellent teachers but I have to say that Loren's workshop exceeded all my expectations. Not that I had many expectations considering that I signed up knowing that it was the "butterfly" class and wasn't until the week prior when I actually looked up the class description on Loren's website! :)

"For people who have already taken Loren I or have extensive flameworking experience. The techniques covered are similar to the Loren I class but at a more difficult level. The Murrini portion of the class will concentrate on creating repetitive patterns which will be used to construct a butterfly. Murrini cold working techniques includes sawing and polishing Murrini chips to be included in the paperweight. Sculptural techniques will examine several different methods for achieving human body and animal sculptural forms that offer more challenges than the Loren I class. The techniques include cold assembly, hot sculpture, detail overlay, temperature control, tool use, drilling holes with hot tungsten pick, and the correct application of murrini. Encasement involves a larger amount of Schott crystal and several layers within the paperweight so the butterfly appears to be hovering over the floral setup."

Loren's class usually runs from 10am to midnight and beyond. When the master of glass wants to teach us 14-15 hours a day for five days, sleep can wait. Loren is an amazing artist who can control the glass in every situation - from large sculptural pieces where he assembles them inside a ginormous hot kiln to itsy bitsy delicate floral creations and everything in between!

Here are some of the components Loren showed us how to make for the paperweight:

Here is Loren's arrangement:

Instead of keeping it as a paperweight, Loren beveled his into a pendant for his assistant, JoElla!

Here are my extra components:

Here is my butterfly - the large ones are bigger than the size of a quarter:

Here are our arrangements:





Here is my finished paperweight - I have to confess tho that Loren did 90% of the work on this! :)

If funds permit, I'd love to take a class from Loren every year! Under the Sea, In the Jungle, Sculpture, etc. etc. I hope to practice peeling the Schott pucks so I will be able to do the paperweight process next time. ;)