Monday, September 27, 2010

Ask the Divas!

Welcome to 'Ask the Divas' for the month of September.
This Month's questions come to us from one of our facebook fans
'How do you get started? What does your studio look like?'
And here, in the words of several of the divas, are our answers.

From Theresa Ehlers
I learned to lampwork three ways. First, I took a simple intro class that taught me to light a torch and make a spacer bead. Second, I found - that site is an endless wealth of information which can teach you just about anything you need to know, including the invaluable safety information I did not learn in my class. Third, I experimented. Glass work is a journey, and you learn from every turn.

One of Theresa's creations, and her studio- Wow!

From Sonja McClung
I started making lampwork beads because I wanted my jewelry to be more unique and stand out from the crowd. I took a basic lampworking class from a bead shop near where I live. I was hooked as soon as the torch fired up for the first time lol.
My studio is in my basement and I do try to keep it relatively neat since I don't work well if its too messy.

A set of beads from Sonja, and the flame in her studio

From Lea Avroch
Though some are completely self taught, I strongly recommend a beginners class if possible since there’s fire & combustibles involved. Though perfunctory, it at least gives you the basics, as well as safety instructions.
I'm in serious envy of those with beautiful free-standing studios! I have a tiny 3’ long space I work out of in my garage. Next to my work space I have glass & frit storage, separated by COE, since I work in boro & soft glass. I have another table that I take out when ready to torch. I move most of the contents that you now see on my workspace onto it. My frit storage is a rotating 4’ high shelving unit I bought when a local store went out of business. It’s my favorite!

A lovely silvery bead from Lea, and her little studio space

Before I made lampwork beads, I had bought cheap beads from India and China and thought they were neat, but while at a local arts and crafts fair, I saw and bought my first true artisan lampwork bead. I was quite impressed. I had never seen anything so pretty. I still have that bead and it continues to be a favorite. The artist told me that there were classes at my local bead store. I took the class and was immediately hooked. Lampworking is my passion; it feeds my soul and my need to create.
Well, my studio is a mess. Lots of glass everywhere. My dad made my ventilation hood and it is great, but not pretty.

Lara's favorite bead, and the studio it was created in.

And from me, Laurie Ament
I learned with my daughter from a great book by Cindy Jenkins called Making Glass Beads, but I would certainly recommend a class to get yourself jump started. Your local bead shop or glass store should be able to help you find one. The website recommended by Theresa is wonderful, but I can't resist a good book- two others are The Complete Book of Glass Beadmaking by Kimberly Adams, and Passing the Flame by Corinna Tettinger. The website and books will also help you with studio setup. And then there's a lot of practice to be done... Have a great time on your journey through the world of glass!
My studio is an ever-changing area in my home. It's kind of pretty right now!

One of Laurie's fish, and her 'Studio With a View'


  1. I love seeing everyone's studio! & am in awe of the beautiful view you have Laurie from yours. Great article!

  2. Great article and wow, I think I need to buy more glass to keep up with everyone lol! I do love to see everyone's workspace!