I play with fire, I make lampworked glass beads. Some of the earliest examples of lampworked beads date from Mesopotamia about 3,000 years ago. During that time glass beads were so rare they were as valuable as precious gems.

Instead of using an oil lamp my glass beads are made one-at-a-time with an oxygen/propane torch but the term "lampworking" endures. My beads are made by melting glass rod at about 1400 degrees F and winding the hot molten glass around a coated steel rod. The rod must be consistently rotated to center the hot glass and to keep the bead at a constant temperature to maintain it's desired shape and size. The bead becomes the basic "glass canvas" to start decorating the bead. I then melt small bits of different colored glass onto this "canvas" to arrive at a finished bead. The bead is then annealed in a glass kiln to line up all the glass molecules at a constant temperature of approximately 960 degrees F to prevent the bead from shattering or breaking from thermal shock. Making a bead takes from ten minutes to more than two hours.

I'm fascinated with glass and bead making, I am constantly exploring the limitations and the possibilities of glass which result in many failed experiments and more beautiful surprises. I am delighted that children are captivated by my jewelry by showing the same sense of wonder that I experienced as child playing with my mother's costume jewelry which she referred to as the "family jewels".

I consider myself a late-bloomer. I abandoned my unrewarding career in the business world at 34 after attending an eight week fiber arts concentration at Penland School of Crafts. My glass education began with a one day beadmaking workshop in Glendale, AZ with Don McKinney. I refined my technique under the patient eyes and hands of Gail Crossman Moore and Beth Williams. Subsequently I've taken workshops with Sally Prasch, Dan Adams, Emilio Santini, Jim Smircich, Robert Mickelson, Michael Barley and Loren Stump in my desire to learn different flameworking techiques.