My introduction to glass beads began while researching ancient glass at The British Museum. I was a student at The Tyler School of Art studying glass making and its history. Various glass objects from the collection were studied and documented. I began to collect glass beads. This became a way for me to learn the history of ancient cultures, as well as understanding the technology involved. I also like the size of the beads. They are so intimate and portable. I traveled to South America, Greece, Egypt, and Italy. There I developed a deeper appreciation for beads by visiting numerous museums and workshops. Viewing collections and soaking up the Italian design sensibility. I visited the Moretti Glass Factory. After I returned home, I purchased a lamp working torch, and began to make beads in 1992. My current work, Drifters and Wanderers, made in a variety of jewel tone colors and biomorphic marine life shapes. The ancient Egyptians used glass for luxury items and often as “gems” in jewelry. Using colors that mimicked semi precious stones. The metalwork is fine silver and traditionally based on 2nd century Greek chain patterns, but reinterpreted at a much larger scale.

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I operate a lamp working studio in my barn. I teach my craft of glass bead making to teens and adults at many area non-profits. In addition to making beads and jewelry I spend my time painting, making really small sculpture, bird watching, and snorkeling in Bonaire. Most of my references currently are in Bonaire about ten feet below water. After seeing a specific creature I do a painting or two or three- this forces one to really examine a specimen. Please look at the paintings on the page titled Field Work and Inspiration. Always looking at research books on marine biology. Ultimately, the creatures are reinterpreted in glass and possibly jewelry. These days I am investing my time in seeing the underwater landscape; in particular their small minute details. These minute details are how I spend my time painting daily. Enabling the viewer to think more deeply about the curious creatures pictured. I visually capture an iconic creature to drive the message home regarding our fragile marine environment. Currently, reside in Elkins Park with my husband Jon, and my daughter Jamie. We have 2 boy cats, Elvis and Maurice.

Materials and Techniques

I use Moretti soft glass in transparent jewel tones, with an iridescent surface of enamel heated onto the bead in the flame. I overlay many transparent hues to create a new color, similar to a watercolor technique. Occasionally I embed fine silver wire and foil. Most of the beads are hollow, and the decoration, frits and powder enamels are fused onto the surface. My intention is to recreate a new creature reminiscent of original marine creature, although somewhat abstracted. Colors are selected based on the specimen and it’s current fragility. Metal work is combined with the glass beads to make earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. Fine Silver and Sterling Silver are used to make chain, ear wire, and other forged elements. The work is arranged using only cold connections, as it is impossible to add heat to a completed glass bead. Fine silver is embedded in the glass to make a sturdy hanging device that is easily attached to a chain or ear wire.

Curriculum Vitae
Education

Tyler School of Art / Temple University
Elkins Park, PA
B.F.A. 1982 Glass

Maryland Institute College of Art / Mt. Royal Graduate School of Painting
Baltimore, MD
M.F.A. 1985

Awards & Grants

Leeway Foundantion Window of Opportunity Grant 2005
PA Council for the Arts- Artist in Residence 2002
Belber Award for Jewelry 2000
Woodmere Museum- Sculpture 1993
Philadelphia Dresses the World – Jewelry 1988
PA Council for the Arts- Visual Arts 1986

Selected Exhibitions

Gravers Lane Gallery 2014

“Glass Invitational 2012” Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts Millville, NJ

“Reflections in Glass” 2009
Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA

“It’s All About the Beads” 2008
Pismo Glass Gallery Denver, CO

“Drifters and Wanderers” solo exhbition 2004
Abington Art Center Jenkintown, PA

“Materials:Hard and Soft” 2001
Denton, TX

“Focus on Glass: The Challenge” 2000
Gallery East Loveland, CO

“Beadwork in America 2000”
Haydon Gallery Haydon, NE

“Contemporary Beads from America”
Ebeltoft Glasmuseum Denmark 1999

“Beadwork Beyond Boundaries”
Denton Museum Denton, TX 1996

“Contemporary Jewelry Show”
Rockwell Museum Corning, NY 1996

“As Good As Gold” Contemporary Jewelry
Renwick Museum Washington, DC 1986 to 1989
Publications

“1000 Glass Beads” 2004
“Beads of Glass” 2004
“Art Glass from Urban Glass” 2000
Ornament Magazine 1998
Glass Magazine 1998

Organizations

Tyler School of Art Alumni Association

 

 

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