Studio Safety or Playing Nice at the Studio

It’s been my pleasure to open my studio for open torch as well as to teach. As exciting as it is to learn how to make beads and to improve skills, it’s also very important to be safe. So I have just a few safety tips for those who plan to stop by.

First, wear comfortable “work” clothing. Natural fiber is best. I’ve never (knock on wood) had a glob of molten glass drop on my lap5D_IMG_8083; but occasionally as glass is introduced into the flame, the glass rod end will shock and pop little pieces out like a sparkler. These pieces can burn right through many synthetic fabrics but not cotton.

Next, closed toe shoes are a must! Again, it’s not about molten globs of glass that fall onto your foot–it’s the tiny pieces that pop off rods and end up between toes if sandals are your footwear.

Long loose swinging parts should be contained–long hair, loose sleeves, long necklaces. Also the more flesh exposed, the greater the risk. I’ve heard horror stories about low necklines and short shorts.We don’t want to tempt the torch goddess!

Of course, eye protection is provided if you do not bring your own.

All in all, making glass beads is as safe as you make it. Let’s continue to have fun while staying safe!

 

My Beads Go for Good Deeds

photo 2It is so good to get involved with something outside of my own business with my art! A phenomenal inspiration is the Beads of Courage art-in-medicine program (www.beadsofcourage.org). I learned of this program some years ago when it was introduced at an international bead conference I was attending.

Beads of Courage helps children chart their journey in battling life-threatening illnesses like cancer and heart disease through their own collection of beads. The child gets a bead for every poke and procedure he/she endures with a special glass/lampwork bead chosen for an Act of Courage: for example, the first time the child doesn’t cry when getting blood drawn, a surgery, speaking about the program, and so on. Children in this program literally amass ropes of beads to chart their journey. [Read more…]

Finding My Creative Fire

5D_IMG_8083Quite a few folks ask how I got involved in making glass beads and what is it about creating glass beads that keeps me at the torch after all these years.

I started making glass beads in 2000 after watching a glass program on PBS that featured a guest beadmaker. That snowy January afternoon I fell in love—with the process of making glass beads. I had to learn how. I even dreamt about holding the mandrel and glass rod, turning it in the flame and laying down the first layer of glass. [Read more…]