I'm taking a lampwork class at the UCSD craft center. Lampwork is the art of making glass beads by melting a glass rod using flame, and winding molten glass onto a mandrill (metal rod). I've been enjoying being creative without the pressure of having to turn out something professional looking.

After learning the basic technique of building a donut shaped bead, the fun began with adding colors. I like layering clear glass over opaque, for the 3D effect. In some cases, layering got out of hand or I simply lost control of glass application, and I wound up with abstract messes, like the big green bead in the middle. Actually nothing turns out the way I plan, but fortunately glass is inherently pretty and so most everything at least turns out interesting-looking.

The process of winding glass is very mesmerizing, and can pass tens of minutes. I'm focusing on the bead, yet in a trance of sorts. It's very calming, and mind clearing. Like yoga perhaps?