The art of the bead

Looking back post

My creative journey began many years ago. White walls and Crayolas, misted windows and fingers were my favorite materials to work with. I dabbled in pastel when my beloved grandmother gave me a small wooden box filled with skinny sticks of coloured chalk and a sketch pad.

I discovered the art of lampwork beads in early 2005 and fell head over heels in love.

Ask anyone who melts glass...it is a strong addiction that rapidly becomes an integral part of your life.

I began to sell loose beads to jewelry designers online and named my little business 'SweetWater' Designs as a tribute to my beloved Dad who we lost to cancer in 1995.

The year I turned 14 my father did something many people just think about doing. He left a secure 9-5 job and a house he'd built with his own sweat on the very lovely Vancouver Island to follow his lifelong dream of becoming a rancher.
Promising us adventure and lots of 'crunchy' snow, he packed up his family of 8 and moved us from our home to 2400 acres of pristine land on a remote northern corner of British Columbia, ~a land known for its Prairie, the Boreal Forest the Rocky Mountains and the mighty Peace River, one of the longest river systems in Canada.

I never did take to the crunchy snow.

There was an underground stream of crystal clear water that bubbled year round out of the earth and because of that Dad named his ranch, the 'SweetWater'. (He was an avid Louis L'Amour reader.)

My father was a constant encouragement to his children and I like to imagine that he continues to watch over and take pride in our accomplishments and adventures!

Dad..about 12 riding a [very tame] bull on their farm in Manitoba, Canada

Dad in his later years with his favorite riding horse, Carson. [named for Kit Carson]

I miss him still.

I am in the ever evolving process of learning this wonderful art called Lampwork and I love every single minute of it.

the birth of a bead ..from raw glass in the form of a long rod, melted in the flame and then wrapped..rather like capturing liquid honey..onto a clay coated steel mandrel..gravity and design play...
.it is pure magic and unsung music
all in the form of a drip of glass frozen forever into a tiny work of art to be worn and treasured~

I've begun to add metals to the mix and my little studio is over flowing with solder, glass, hammers and torches..it's amazing and wonderful and I hope to be melting glass and creating jewelry well 
into my old lady years. :-)

My work is ever evolving and shifting.  I now design under my own name but there will always be a remnant of Sweetwater if you look.
 Those are my roots.

Beachcombing in Ireland

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Glass work ~ Artisan jewellery