Tag Archives: glass art

About My Art, My Artist’s Statement

I am but a slave to the master of beauty and light. I live and breathe an ever changing dance of color and form. Glass is the medium that allows me to mimic this miracle of the universe best. Glass has a magic of its own and an ability to reflect and transmit light. I believe the reason we find this effect so beautiful is because light is our very essence. I hope that you can find a piece that resonates with you and reflects back the light in you. I will have served my master well.


I believe that nature is a constantly changing miracle, one that as modern day humans we have trained our minds to overlook, I find great joy and inspiration for my work by constantly reminding myself to look closely at my natural surroundings. Living in beautiful rural Downeast Maine makes this easy. I am fascinated by the tiny details present in nature and constantly challenge myself to make my work more and more detailed. In the form of such small beads this gives my work the same quality as nature. You must stop, be present and look closely to appreciate the beauty that is there.

How the Beads are Made

My beads are made in the flame of a torch through a process called lampwork. The glass is melted and wrapped around a thick wire so the beads are formed inside out. I use many different techniques to achieve fine details including pulling the glass into hair thin pieces to “draw” or “paint” on the bead. Some of my designs are encased for depth and dimension. Most of the glass I use is murano glass, produced in italy. The majority of my pieces incorporate dichroic glass which has the magical effect of making the beads sparkle, glow and appear to have their own source of light.

When the beads are finished they are placed directly into the kiln where they are kept hot for a period of time and then slowly cooled. This process gives them strength and durability. My designs are always changing and I’m always experimenting with new techniques and types of glass. Though I have a few signature designs most of my designs change and evolve over time, resulting in pieces that are truly unique. Because of the nature of glass and the process I use each individual piece is unique and one of a kind, even if it is the same design made in the same week. Because of this I photograph each individual piece I sell, so you will receive the exact same piece that is photographed.

I started making beads in 2004 and have been blessed to be able to do glass art full time since 2007.


“Worry Stone” Series Beads

A while ago I was making a bead and had a beautiful aqua base covered in dichroic glass ready to become an encased flower garden bead. Before I could add leaves and vines, the bead release broke. So I stuck the mandrel in a jar and tried again with a new one. Later when I was removing the failed  bead from the mandrel I noticed how pretty it was. It was a freeform shape because I had just finished the stage where I pressed the dichroic glass into the base bead and had not shaped it when it broke. The bead was so pretty that I put a silver core in it and kept it for myself. It became one of the beads I always reached for first when I redid my trollbeads bracelet.

And so that bead inspired my “Worry Stone” series. To these I added a second layer of dichroic glass, some encasing and a touch of enamel flecks on the surface to give the beads a stone like look. They are then shaped to be mostly round but slightly freeformed like worry stones.

The latest version of my “Worry Stone” beads is the color change version. These beads are made half one color and half another, so that the color changes as the bead turns on the bracelet. Using these in your bracelet designs will result in a bracelet that is never quite the same each time you glance at it.

Here are three photos of the same bead.


Growing Up in a “Disadvantaged” Area

It’s funny to think that I spend all most of my time making art and pretty things because I was raised to be VERY practical. My parents did not introduce me to art or teach me to appreciate beautiful things but they did make sure to teach me the value of hard work. My mother never wore jewelry, makeup or nice clothes. I grew up in a single wide trailer but there was never any feeling of shame or lack about that fact. It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I learned that rural Maine and our home in particular were something many people would look down upon.

I’m very thankful for the people who did introduce me to art. My elementary school started an art program when I was about halfway through and the teacher we got was wonderful. I was lucky enough to take private sewing lesson from someone who creates the most artistic quilts I’ve ever seen and does other amazingly original fiber art projects. I then went on to high school where I had another excellent art teacher and was lucky enough to have art class everyday all four years of high school.

That said I don’t regret that I wasn’t raised in a city with lots of art museums and culture, or that my parents weren’t highly cultured people or even artists themselves. They encouraged me and helped me to pursue my interests even if they knew nothing about them. Anything more than that would have been unnecessary.

My rural, practical upbringing was an amazing gift and though most would look at Washington County Maine and see a depressing place lacking in opportunities, I realize that it was the very thing that gave me such a valuable and unique opportunity.

How exactly? If my parents had had a perfect beautiful home they never would have let me set up a torch and kiln and melt glass in it as a teenager. Keep in mind I had taken no classes, watched no youtube videos on the subject because we had dial up internet at the time and I had no idea what I was doing. My closest previous experience was probably with 4th of July sparklers. Dad was willing to risk his old workshop/shed that he and mom built out of logs however.

If my parents had had high hopes for their honor roll student going to an ivy league college they never would have let me live with them while I figured out how and if I could make a glass bead/jewelry business grow straight out of highschool.

If as a teenager I had had activities and parties and a fantastic social life I never would have had the time to devote to learning lampwork.

And of course there are many more reasons just like this.

Today I don’t live in a fancy home and I have to drive a long time just get groceries or go to the doctor. I don’t own nice clothes not because I don’t like them but because I work from home. Even when I do go out in public, everyone else is dressed in jeans and flannel for the most part anyway.

But in return for those small sacrifices I have a job not only doing what I love, but the very job that I dreamed of doing from the time I was a teenager. I live debt free in a half renovated 1860’s farm house with unlevel floors so I can be sure to continue to do what I love. And I live in what I believe is one of the most beautiful places in the world so I am never lacking for inspiration.


Finding beauty on an ugly day.

 I get really blue if I don’t get outside nearly everyday.  This time of year in Maine is really dreary, especially on a drizzly day such as today.  It never ceases to amaze me how much beauty you can find outside on the nastiest days if you really look.  I found a few beautiful subjects worth photographing and enhanced the colors to make them more interesting. 

I haven’t been making as many beads as usual as I always find the just before Christmas season slow.  I’ve been focusing on new designs and what really inspires me.  Here is a new focal bead called “Romance Roses”.