Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Start of Something Big

So what is this, you're asking?

Why, it's the Start of Something Big!

Ever since I discovered artisan lampwork, those incredibly detailed works of art, I've been fascinated by them and they've become an integral part of my jewelry designs. They're not made in factories, but one at a time using a torch and rods of glass.

At first, I didn't think I'd ever want to make them myself -- fear of fire, freakishly intense perfectionist, etc etc. But then my dad and I took a glass blowing class and I made these:

And, I was officially hooked.

Renting torch space in a bead shop was rather prohibitive, because the closest location was an hour's drive in any direction. The solution? My own glass studio.

We already had a huge wooden shed in the backyard, and over time we've cleared out a lot of junk (Goodwill now officially loves us), and just last week, I had electricity installed. Thus, the picture of a wall socket.

I'm very excited! It's been a long time coming, and I still have more to do to get completely set up, but the electricity installation was an enormous first step. All of my lampworking equipment has been collected over time and has been languishing in boxes in my office, and let me tell you, I'll be glad to get all that out from underfoot!

I'll post more photos as things progress!

You can see what I make at


  1. My (now ex) father-in-law taught me to make beads. I only did it a couple of times and couldn't make a bead of any size. Apparently, making small beads is harder than making large ones. Well, no matter what idid I couldn't make anything that wasn't tiny. I love glass beads, though I didn't get the jewelry gene. Good luck with your new endeavor. I can't wait to see what you create.

  2. how exciting, with you eye for design, I can't wait to see your beads!!

  3. This is very exciting and i know how you must feel. I'm looking forward to seeing the ideas and creations you start coming up with and you'll sure be having lots of fun and satisfaction.

  4. Oh, now I'm excited, too. I can't wait to see what develops!

  5. That is something big! Can't wait to see the beautiful glassies you put out!

  6. The glass marble (or is it a bead?) is pure magic. One can gaze at it, through it or into it and see many different worlds! I am not an envious person but I wish I could do something like this.
    The very best of inspiration in your new studio.

  7. It's actually a paperweight, and a shot glass that will break your foot if it falls on it! Making thin glass walls on vessels is something you can't learn in one day and I just had the one day!

  8. Woo hoo! Congratulations on setting up your shop... can't wait to see what you make =)

  9. You make me want to start creating some art again! I used to make some (I thought) pretty beaded earrings. I should get my stuff out again!


  10. exciting for you! :)
    I've watched this process on TV before and thought it looked interesting although I doubt I'd try it myself. But, now you give me inspiration...can't wait to see what you do!


  11. Good luck on the studio build out! (LUCKY!!) and don't burn yourself with the hot glass... ;)

  12. I'm so excited for you it will be great to dedicated this area for your work.

  13. How very cool! I've been reading your posts on Watch Me Create for a while, and I'm really excited about your studio! You will definitely love having the space. (Your family might need to pry you out of the shed.) I felt the same way when I started lampworking. Me? Fire? I'm an uber-klutz. But, I think it's kind of like driving, I'm my hyper-conscious and am more dangerous in the kitchen than at the torch.

    And, I took a 6-month hiatus from lampwork and started over with spacers...and those humble little spacers can do SO much! But, I have a feeling you won't last long at the spacer stage. It's SO much fun. Once you melt can't stop!


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