Fogline Studio: Lampwork glass and jewelry created on the Mendonoma Coast
My first experience working with glass was in a scientific glass blowing class, making test tubes and condensers. Fun, but we only had clear tubing to work with. Years later I tried a glassblowing workshop and made some paperweights. I was fascinated with the range of colors available, and the working properties of molten glass. Fun, but it required more space and equipment than I had. At the same time, I was introduced to lampworking; using a small torch to make beads. The small scale suited my time and space.
For a few years my bead making was limited to one-week or weekend workshops at Feather River Art Camp and Mendocino Art Center. In 2016 I set up my own workspace here in Gualala and began making beads and small sculptures on my own. Lampwork requires a simple set up: a small torch, an oxygen concentrator and a small propane tank to provide the gases, and a small kiln to anneal the finished beads.
The fun begins when the sticks of colored glass are melted in the flame and shaped into beads and other small items. The range of shapes, colors, and designs is infinite. Most of my beads have organic designs, sometimes with layered dots of various colors. The surface of the hot bead can be manipulated with a tool to create swirls and other complex patterns.
My beads are combined into necklaces and bracelets or made into pendants and earrings. Seed beads, metal beads, and crystals are used as well, but I want the lampwork beads to be the star of the piece. I also sell individual beads for others to use in their own creations.
I am a member of the North Coast Artist’s Guild and the Gualala Art Center. My work has been exhibited at the Gualala Art Center’s “Silica to Sparkle” show and at Art in the Redwoods, where it received awards in the glass category. My jewelry can be seen at the Dolphin Gallery.