I’ve always loved beads, especially glass beads, and making my own seemed like a natural outgrowth of that interest. In 1998, I jumped at the chance to take a beginner’s glass beadmaking class at the Greater Lafayette Museum of Art. I bought the basic supplies, set up at home and proceeded to teach myself as much as I could by reading and experimentation. The following summer I was awarded a scholarship to attend the Society of Glass Beadmakers annual conference, where I saw demonstrations, heard lectures, watched slideshows, and learned there was a whole community of glass beadmakers throughout the United States and abroad. I continue to learn by attending classes, reading, and experimenting, and have attended the SGB conference each year since 1999.
My current work holds the imprint of a lifelong fascination with agates and other interesting rocks that I picked up on “agate hunts” behind my childhood home, where I spent hours hunting for treasures in the dirt and listening to the wind blow through the fields and trees. I never knew exactly what I would find when I set out on my “agate hunts,” but often came back with spectacular specimens of agates and minerals. Those quiet afternoons of peace and reflection are imprinted on me for the rest of my life, and my beads are shaped by those early experiences.
Before becoming a flameworker, I spent years doing acceptably creative things for a housewife and mother, like knitting and cross-stitch. To work with hot glass, I had to come to terms with the wild side of me, and when I did, working with a torch hot enough to melt glass in ten seconds satisfied that previously concealed daredevil.
I primarily work on a Bethlehem PM2D torch using predominantly Effetre glass, but I also use Bullseye and Czech glass and would eventually like to get into boro. When I ordered my prescription AUR 92’s, I ordered the flip-down protection I would need to make the transition into hard glass. I do a lot of surface design with stringer and have recently started doing more and more with metals and glass. My list of ideas and things to try seems endless and the possibilities keep me really excited about what I do. I can’t imagine doing anything I enjoy more than making beads.