Having been an English teacher for thirty years, I came late to flameworking which I discovered in 2004 when I had the good fortune to take a class with Kristina Logan at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. It was in that glorious setting that I became inspired to go home and set up my own studio. In that year, while on Sabbatical from Noble and Greenough School (Dedham, Massachusetts), I learned that I loved making beads, that I wanted to become more proficient as a metalsmith so that I could design my own clasp (I did a Concentration in metals at the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina during the Spring of 2005), and that I enjoyed designing whole pieces where each bead became a part of the whole. Since that time I have taken classes from Stephanie Sersich and Heather Trimlett, both wonderful teachers and flameworkers with colorful voices and great energy.
It seems to me that color is the privilege of freedom, that my favorite exercise as an artist is inventing new ways to use it. When I think about what I want to wear, what scarf I want to put on, what piece of jewelry I will select, I always remember the feeling I got as a young girl when I saw Dorothy click her jewel-like red shoes together–and I realize that early on I responded to the sparkle and shine.
Mixing texture, pattern and color, I design and make glass beads with a contemporary look, inspired by this ancient tradition which dates back hundreds of years. I love looking down into the bead, the effect of depth, resonance, or glow. Many of my works are created as collages, and I often have a central theme in mind when designing. Whether influenced by Guernsey and Celtic knitting patterns, Africa fabrics, historic references, cut paper collages with a strikingly bold palate, or the richness of literary metaphor and symbolism, I make each bead with Moretti or Vetrafond soda-lime glass from Italy, using an Oxygen/Propane torch. To ensure hardness, I then place them in an annealing kiln at 950 degrees while they “slow cool.” My signature clasps are made of etched and forged Sterling Silver.