Finally! I bought my starter Lampworking kit last friday at "Artistry in Glass" (in London, ON) and got set up today in my friend's garage!
I spent most of the day re-acquainting myself with the Art of glass bead making.
My skills are sooooo rusty, but I'm sure they'll come back to me with a little work.
It's clear to me that I'll have to figure out a bulk MPS gas situation since I used up the whole 1 lb. container today and only got 8 viable beads out of it (that is if they survive the annealing process in the kiln!).
I'm using COE 104 Effetre (for the most part) glass and there were a few surprises. My "silver" wire that I wrapped on the ivory glass to get a reaction turned out not to be a particularly pure silver and it looks rather "fugly".
What I thought was "sky blue" turned out to be a gorgeous silvered reduction blue. It came from the "Gambler Pack" of glass that I had bought at the very reasonable price of $4.50 for the lb. It has a variety of glasses that are un-marked and sometimes a little broken. (I figure that I need to pinch a few pennies while I re-learn the basics.)
Still struggling with getting a nice round bead, but that said, I'm pretty happy with how the day's beads turned out.