Artist Statement

I have had a love of color every since I got my first big box of 64 crayons with the sharpener on the back.  There was magic in that box of colors and I couldn’t wait to use every single color.  At the age of 8 I learned how to sew and my box of colors became a huge fabric stash of bright, bold, beautiful colors that I could put together in an endless mix of patterns.  When I was 12 my parents took us to Corning, PA where we watched many people work with glass, right then and there I knew that someday I would like to work with glass, all that color and flame drew me to it like a moth to flame.  In 1996 one of my craft magazines had a hot head kit for making glass beads and I ordered it as a birthday gift to myself knowing that if I didn’t get it for myself no one else would.  It came with a small package of bright colored glass rods and a few tools to get me started.  For the first 10 years I owned my hot head torch I would get it out burn a bunch of beads that I would never get off the mandrels, put it away for a while and then be drawn back to it for another try.  The last try just about 10 years ago stuck and I have been increasing my knowledge of hot glass with the help of the Michigan lampworkers who I have met through a wonderful hot glass website.   I work mostly on a mandrel making glass beads with my Bobcat torch, bottled propane, and an oxygen concentrator.   Loving the flame as much as the glass it is the perfect medium for me to create beads with a riot of colors that always remind me of my first box of 64 crayons.  All my jewelry starts out with my lampworked beads, recycled copper, silver, brass wire or sheet metal of different gauges. It is then formed into links, caps and other components.  I use salt, ammonia, sulfur and more to change the color, etch the metals, and generally change their overall appearances to suit my need for the component I am working on.  My jewelry often starts off as a pile of antique or junk parts and pieces, I then compile them into stunning pieces of jewelry that are as fun to look at as they are to wear.