Playing with fire can be fun

This is another of those Covid stories, where we do something we’d never usually do, if it wasn’t for lockdown driving us a little crazy!

Yesterday, after many months of procrastinating, I decided to, literally, play with fire. I’d bought myself a little butane torch ages ago with this in mind, but it took until now to actually first use it.

Allow me to stress that this is not something I’ve ever done before. Well, I did do a morning bead-making workshop with glass maker Maggie Napier of Glass-i Studio outside Banbridge, Co Down, years ago, which was fun. But I’d never attempted anything like this. I even had to look up YouTube to find out how to get the butane gas into the torch!

My aim was to melt some glass to make something resembling blades of grass. Why? Oh, I have a few ideas for garden scenes where I think it might be nice to have some glass grass.

So, I gathered together some green options, and without further ado, I just lit up my little torch. I’d purposely chosen this brand as it sits steadily on the table, so I could have my two hands free.

It was a very interesting experiment. I had some very fine pieces of glass (called stringers). They melted so fast in the flame that I could hardly keep up. The big rods of glass that you can see in some of the photos took a lot of heating before I could feel any ‘give’ in it at all.

All in all, in about an hour, I amassed enough little bits that will make a nice garden scene hopefully. I added a little purple into the mix, as I often do.  I feel I’ve begun to learn a new skill – I’m sure with more practice, I’d have more dependable results, but I enjoyed the unpredictability of it. I discovered one thing though – playing with fire can be fun!