By Jacki Nelson
Vicki Gough spends hours in her basement, elbows propped up by beanbags, stairing intently into an oxy-propane torch, melting glass rods and creating works of art.
Gough, a lampworker, creates fingernail-size pieces of art - glass beads.
“I had a love for them, and I didn’t have a natural talent for stringing them together. I had an epiphany - I could learn to make them,” she said. After her revelation three years ago, Gough set to work on her newfound hobby.
Gough turned to the internet and ordered a book on lampwork and began scouring Youtube for tutorials.
“I was possessed, or obsessed. By the time I took a class in Wichita, I kind of had the idea and I started collecting equipment,” she said.
Today, Gough has a GTT Bobcat, bottles of propane and oxygen, a kiln, tools, molds and thousands of rods of glass. Each piece serves a specific purpose, and puts Gough one step further in her quest to create perfect pieces of art.
“It’s the challenge of mastering the techniques. I want to become more technically excellent. The heat control is really crucial, and the placement. There’s so much learning in what glasses go together and make beautiful colors,” she said.
Gough said even as each bead is completed by hand, they must carefully be hand-cleaned before being put to market.
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