I am often asked how long it takes me to make a bead, and it's not a simple answer. Over the past 14 years I have put countless hours into practicing and developing my skills. In beginning I was thrilled to make a somewhat round looking bead with some dots on it. Slowly I learned to make more intricate designs and to build complex components like murrine, cane and shards. For example, in an aquarium bead I build all of the anemone, jellyfish, fish murrine and sea grass cane in advance. The bead is then slowly and carefully built, adding a layer of clear glass over each detail as I apply them. The finished piece then goes directly into a digitally controlled kiln, to make the piece stable and durable. I usually finish in the evening, so the kiln can not be opened until the next day. My morning routine is run out to the studio with my cappuccino in hand so see how it all turned out. Even after all these years, it's still exciting to run out and open the kiln in the morning!
In the early years, I bought every book and tutorial I could get my hands on, practicing and learning as much as I could on my own. Corrina Tettinger's book Passing the Flame was my go to book. I still pull it out sometimes for a read and discover something new every time. Other than my first two 3 hours classes with Tamara Garland in 2009, I hadn't had the opportunity to take any more until I jointed the Pacific Pyros and Terminal City Glass Co-Op in Vancouver, BC (TCGC) about 7 years ago. Since then I have had the opportunity to take classes from both local and master glass artists from all over who generously share their knowledge and techniques. My journey with glass let me to meet amazing artists and new friends, it's exciting to be part of such and inspiring and supportive community.
Never have I appreciated having my own studio and creative outlet as much as in the past 18 months. Being able to stay creative has kept me inspired and sane. The unexpected silver lining has been the excellent classes that have been offered online by so many amazing glass artists. I have been able to take some classes online that have been on my wish list for years!
My love of bold designs and colours probably started the day I came home from kindergarten and my mother had tye-dyed all of our clothes. My childhood was an immersion in creativity. My mother is an amazing artist who did everything -pottery, batik, weaving, oil painting, silk painting, macramé, etc. My father had a full studio for gem carving and jewelry design. Their joint creativity was showcased in every room in our house, from mosaics to murals and custom built furniture.
Originally pursuing a Post-Secondary Education and a career in Graphic Arts, I learned Airbrushing and took a detour which evolved into a business with my partner, Rick. We spent our 20’s designing and producing a line of wearable art, sold in boutiques throughout Western Canada. After a decade of being self-employed artists, we happily switched to careers in management with regular pay cheques, (along with a mortgage, marriage and a child).
I have always been fascinated by glass art; with it's colours and depth. 15 years ago I walked into a 3 hour beginner bead making class and I was hooked! That weekend I ran out and purchased a hot head and basic starter kit. After overcoming my fear of the flame (I made Rick light my torch for the first 3 months), I knew that glass would be my next creative journey. All these years later, I am still in love with creating with glass. The learning curve is ongoing and I am always inspired.
Rick is from Nova Scotia and in 2019 we absolutely fell in love with the town of Lunenburg. As luck would have it the house next to where we were staying was for sale, and it’s the perfect location for a glass studio.
We are now planning our next big adventure in life, renovating a 153 year old house in including a glass studio for me. So the adventure of a bi-coastal life begins... well, as much the pandemic allows for now, but we will get there!