I started making glass beads in March of 2003, after getting Cindy Jenkins book Making Glass Beads as a holiday gift. I was living in Ferndale, Michigan at the time.
Since I was unable to get into a bead making class to learn how to work soft glass into beads at an oxygen-propane torch, I purchased a basic glass bead making set up, including torch head, hoses, regulators, shaping tools and glass, from Frantz Art Glass in Washington State via mail order. With their kind instructions and a video made by Kate Fowle Meleney, I set up my torch and went to work. (Right before I lit up my torch for the first time, I called Frantz and ran through my setup to make sure I wasn't going to blow up my garage.)
My first beads were primative, as all first beads are, but people liked them even then. There is something about glass beads that attracts people. This is probably why they are some of the oldest forms of ornament in history. Their value is such that they have even been used as a form of currency. Whether or not this is because of their aesthetic value doesn't really matter. They are pleasant objects, both tactile and colorful, and being able to shape glass into such objects is a joy.
In 2005 I relocated my studio, upgrading from a garage in Michigan to a lovely stone cottage in Wisconsin.
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