Thursday, August 20, 2009

From Jewelry to Beads

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I wrote a blog entry for another blog & thought that I may not have posted to my own just how I got involved with lampwork. So here's a little bit about myself.....I started out making jewelry over 10 years ago after I was unable to work following spine surgery. I had to find SOMETHING to do to keep myself busy. I had always been creative so naturally when I'd go into a department store to look at the jewelry case, I'd examine the pieces and decide, "I can do that". Unfortunately in those days we didn't use digital cameras (I sound old, don't I?) so no images to share of my early work, but here's a piece I made a little later on. It's made with vintage Swarovski crystals.

It started innocently, just making jewelry for myself until one day one of my DH's employees, knowing that I dabbled in jewelry making, showed me a necklace that someone had given her. It was too bulky for her small frame. I took it apart for her & made her a new necklace with matching bracelet and earrings. She was so thrilled and urged me to go into business.

I did that for several years, but got the bug to try lampwork (glass beadmaking) after taking a class at a local art league. Though my results were sad, to say the least, I know immediately that I loved melting glass and seeing it turn into beads. I saved up & bought all the equipment needed (trust me, this is NOT an inexpensive hobby) and read everything I could get my hands on. I've since taken 2 boro classes as well. I just love the colors that you can get from boro, though oftentimes it's still a mystery.

I find making glass beads mesmerizing. I often fall into a zen-like state while working. Of course there are some challenging beads and days when nothing goes right, but when you open the kiln the morning after a good session and find lovely surprises awaiting, it's just the best feeling. It's like Christmas each & every time. LOL!

So, I know that the journey for many is usually the other way around, from beads to jewelry, but for me it was the jewelry that got me interested in making beads in the 1st place. Now, I love nothing better than to get an e-mail from a customer with a photo of a finished product using MY beads so if you have one, by all means, PLEASE share it with me! And for those of you that are jewelry makers, I also take custom orders if there's something in particular that you'd like.


Dee said...

I feel like i Know you just a little bit ever you reached your bead making it must have been a wonderful journey because your beads are beautiful..I'm just trying to figure out what I want that you say you do custom work, you've really got my head swirling!

Lea Avroch said...

Dee, that's so sweet of you to say! I'm not going anywhere. Well, I am going to be away next week. I'm going to a much anticipated lampwork festival in Oregon. Let your head swirl away & contact me with any ideas you may have. Fun stuff!