"Her niche: unusual glass, clay and hand stitched beads she painstakingly makes from scratch" ... Essence Magazine
Watch YouTube How It's Made Interview:
about the artist
I've been designing jewelry for over 30 years. My education consists of glass, ceramics, beading and other classes I've taken at various art centers in Atlanta since 1988. I have the greatest joy in combining elements, textures, shapes, colors that aren't normally seen together.
Clay is shaped by hand into various shapes. Textures and designs are added. After air drying for several days, the beads are placed in the kiln to harden in a bisque firing.
After this, the pieces are painted with glazes and fired one or more times creating a permanent finish. Some beads are hand painted and decorated, then sealed.
RAKU is a special firing process which involves removing the beads from the kiln while they are molten hot and rushing them to a fireproof container filled with shredded newspaper or other flamable materials. The flame produced reacts with the oxygen in the air producing unique reactions with the glaze when the container is sealed. The resulting pieces have beautiful colors which cannot be duplicated.
Very small pieces of glass are cut by hand from colored sheets. These pieces are arranged into several layers and lightly glued together. The completed designs are placed into a kiln and fired to high temperatures (1300-1550 degrees) where the layers melt (fuse) together permanently.
TORCHWORK GLASS BEADS
Rods of colored glass are melted around a steel mandrel using a torch. The glass softens around 1700 degrees and can then be manipulated. Decorative components such as gold and silver leaf or foil, dichroic glass, fine silver wire, enamel powders are added after the bead is shaped. The finished bead is placed in a kiln to "soak" at the annealing temperature for several hours to prevent breakage in the future.
I enjoy combining the elements of shiny smooth glass with matte textured clay into jewelry and art. It is challenging and rewarding to see "what will become".