How To Take A Hint

jc herrell glass beadsI leave a lot of my creative process up to chance, fate, coincidence or whatever you may choose to call it. By that I mean that I have very few creative goals for myself, rather I let inspiration find me in whatever form it happens to come (or not come). I commonly find inspiration from friends, other mediums of craft, and random ideas that pop into my head. But sometimes inspiration also comes to me in clusters of hints (or suggestions) from several different sources.

While I usually jump enthusiastically into inspiration, for some reason when it comes in the form of hints I resist a little. Perhaps it’s because it feels like I’m being told what to do by something other than my creative source. I’m emotionally stubborn like that. But in theory I have to grant just as much validity to inspiration via hints as I do inspiration via some source I’ve judged to be more divine. I mean who am I to judge inspiration?

jc herrell glass bead setThis time the hints began with several requests from customers for smaller beads that could be used for bracelets. I ignored the requests and responded with apologies that what I’m currently making doesn’t work for them. Then I received several inquiries to see if I made sets of beads. I happily ignored this hint as well and responded with apologies that what I’m really only inspired to make focal beads at the moment but that, on a rare occasion, I do make sets however I don’t have any plans of doing so at the moment. At the end of this cluster of inquiries I knew I was being hinted at by inspiration. But I shook my head and continued ignore them.

But finally, inspiration became very insistent. At the Female Flame Off I won a lovely prize package that included a tool I didn’t think much of at first. Truthfully, my first conclusion about the tool was that it would look nice hanging on the wall as it’s a fairly tough looking tool. I call it the smoosher but it’s probably called something like a curved masher. I know that it was manufactured by Nortel, but that’s about it. And, at first, I did hang it on the wall and went on with my life. Until one day when it all seemed too obvious. I had received so many requests and now I have a tool to mash small beads into a lovely curved tab shape. How could I resist any longer? I started making and smooshing beads and… don’t tell anyone… I liked it and will do it more.

olive masher tool for glass

JC Herrell is a glass artist who blogs from her home studio in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. See more from JC at or


3 Responses to “How To Take A Hint”

  1. Jennifer Says:

    Lovely beads! I especially like the green and yellow ones, sort of retro looking. At least the masher tool didn’t have to fall off the wall and hit you on the head for you to get the hint! 😉

  2. DChase Says:

    Dude, I’ve got plenty of mashing tools. We should get together. hehe

  3. Ellen Says:

    JC – wherever your inspiration comes from, please keep that door open because I enjoy like crazy seeing what comes off of your torch!!!

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