Thursday, April 8, 2010

Diva of the Month Part 2 Susanne Folin

This week, we continue to get to know Susanne Folin as she answers our Ten Things Glass Questionnaire:

What attracted you to glass?

I remember as a child, I watched a glassblower make birds and bowls and was fascinated! I think it was the insight that such a fragile and hard material could be so soft and form-able. That feeling never left me. I also find glass to be a beautiful material. The smooth, shiny surface and the beautiful colours. The way it catches the light inside and sends it out again...

Many glass artists have training in other art mediums. Do you? If yes, please explain.

I do a lot of crafts like knitting, crocheting and embroidery. But I think my lampworking benefits most from the ceramics classes I took before I became a mother. I preferred making sculptural stuff and I think that the 3D thinking helps a lot when planning a sculptural bead.

Describe the first bead you made that you were really proud of? Are you still proud of it now?

The first bead I was proud of was one I made during the weekend class that set off my lampwork addiction. I actually managed to make a few simple, encased flowers! I wouldn’t be proud of it if I had made it today, but I’m still proud that I made it my second day as a lampworker. That was the bead the made me think I could actually do this! (I found a small and not very good picture of it. I’d say my photo skills have improved too!)

Collection of the Artist

What inspires you?

The glass itself, most of all. When I see the glass rods on the wall and in the jars with all its colours and possibilities, I just want to get to it! I’m also very inspired by other artists and love forums like LampworkETC and Fire Divas blog where people show of their work. Of course, nature is a great inspiration too. I live in a country with huge differences between the seasons that affects every part of our daily lives. And that shows in my work too.

Do you have a plan when you sit down to torch? Do you sketch beads or have photos around for reference?

I have thousands of plans! LOL! I always have a stash of beads in my head that I would like to make. And mostly I make something completely different! I don’t sketch as I can’t sketch! It’s all in my head.

Photography seems to be a key element for any glass artist. What type of camera / lightbox set up do you use?

I have a Canon PowerShot G9. It’s a good, but not professional camera. As a photo set up I have a light tent and two builder lamps (that get very hot!). I place my beads on photo paper for that slightly shiny surface.

If the issue of finances (i.e. will it sell?) were of no consequence, what would you spend your time making?

Probably the same stuff as now. I don’t sell a lot, other than on jewellery parties. Wish I knew why…

What kind of jewelry do you wear? Everyday vs. out on the town?

I almost always wear a necklace with one of my own beads hung from a chain or a leather cord. 1 ½ year ago I pierced my earlobes (yes, it was late!) and love wearing earrings. I make them myself, but they don’t always have to contain lampwork.

What is the one skill you wish came easier to you?

Getting reactions out of reactive glasses! It’s always a hazard for me, which makes me hesitate to use those lovely but expensive glasses.

Part from lampworking skills, I wish I could fly.

What do you love about marketing your business? What’s the hardest part of marketing it?
The good part is to get to know new people - like my fellow divas! And to get peoples reactions to my work. My family more or less HAVE to love my work, but other people don’t. The best part with jewellery parties is to find out what people like. And the internet is an excellent way to get to know people who like lampwork from the whole world! The hardest part is to actually sell something. I think I’m on the wrong side of the Atlantics. In Sweden lampwork is not very known and thus people don’t know what it is or value the beads and the work put in to them.

Susanne's Website (Swedish) Susanne's Twitter

Babs Beads Fan PageBabsBeads on Flickr


  1. Great interview! It's fun getting to know our Swedish Diva better!

  2. wonderful post about a super's great to have you onboard...