My name is Linda Carol Morrison and I am a glass beadmaker.
Sounds like the beginning of a 12 step program meeting doesn’t it?
Well truthfully, the glass world is pretty addictive!
My gateway drug to glass beadmaking was the stained glass world. Way back in college I took a suncatcher “Make It and Take It” course at the campus craftcenter. I was hooked, and have been dabbling in stained glass ever since. Then, back in the fall of 2002 I found Cindy Jenkin’s book “Making Glass Beads” on display at my local library. I checked it out, drooled over all the pretty pictures for three weeks then I renewed it and drooled some more. My normally not terrible observant husband noticed the book sitting on the coffee table for over a month did a little sleuthing and bought me a glass bead making kit for Christmas. What a great surprise!
Little did he know he was creating a monster. One wonderful thing about making glass beads is that, unlike stained glass projects, which can take hours to weeks to complete, a glass bead bead is finished in a torch session. The instant gratification was certainly appealing to this working mom with limited hobby time and consequently, I was instantly addicted. I guess my husband is an enabler!
So since January of 2003 I have been practicing, experimenting and honing my skills. Lampworking has proved to be a quite challenging and rewarding endeavor.
For me, bead making is primarily a hobby that allows me to indulge my right brain, creative side. It’s a welcome respite from my left brain, full time job spent working as a technician in a biology research lab.
I’m not exactly sure I have a beadmaking “style”, other than I like to make focal beads, which, more often than not, are slender bicones, tubes or tabs. I think my science and nature loving side is evident through my beadmaking. The mad scientist side of me really enjoys playing with metal foils and reactive glasses. I enjoy using heat and gravity to move and form my glass. The nature lover in me creates earthy, organic beads, floral gardens in glass, beads inspired by things like canyon country, bird plumage and the occasional microorganism…. I like to artistically indulge my “inner nerd” once in a while!
Having a full time job and making beads as a hobby can be a bit of a double edged sword. The upside of being a hobbyist beadmaker is that I’m relieved of the stress of having to be creative on demand, the stress of designing to please customers and the stress of deadlines and production work. I love having the freedom to create what I want and to experiment. The downside is that having a full time job makes my torch time somewhat limited. It can be frustrating to have ideas swimming around in my head and not enough time to work on and perfect them.
In case beadmaking isn’t addicting enough, now that I have a kiln I like to fuse glass too… and since beads are used to make jewelry I like to buy accessory beads, wire and even dabble in some simple silver soldering and hammering to create the occasional piece of jewelry.