Our featured artist is Anne Ricketts. She makes gorgeous beads and is a wonderful teacher. If you haven’t had the pleasure of taking a class with her, you should treat yourself. You won’t regret it. Here’s what makes her tick—along with a great picture of Anne and her
muse, her grandson, Kenison.
1. How did you get started in lampworking?
Well I was making jewelry and I went to Ebay to find unique beads for my jewelry. I saw this word “Lampwork” on some of the auctions so I clicked on one to see what they were talking about.
What was the thing that made you interested?
The one thing that got me interested was what I clicked on when I was looking on Ebay, it was a Michael Barley Chrysalis bead and I was amazed! I had to learn how to do that!! LOL!
2. How long have you been lampworking?
Since I took my first class in 2001.
Is it a business for you or a hobby?
It’s definitely a business; it’s why I went into this crazy world of glass to make a living instead of being in the crazy world of working at an elementary school!
3. What inspires you?
Anything with color! Nature, fabrics, etc.
How do you get the inspiration/motivation back when you are in a slump?
I try out new color combos on basic beads to see what they will do. I sometimes close my eyes and grab colors and whatever I grab I use in the bead. Sometimes it works, other times I get mud! LOL!
4. Who are your 3 favorite lampworkers?
Well this is tough because I have a lot of favs! Lets see, Michael Barley, Anastasia and Jennifer Geldard Why? Michael for his free flowing designs, Anastasia for her graphic designs and Jennifer for her innovativeness and fresh designs!
5. What is the best thing about lampworking?
Always learning something you didn’t know about!
The worst? Cleaning beads and dipping mandrels!
6. What is the funniest or scariest thing that ever happened to you when you were torching?
Well when I was on a Hothead torch it caught on fire so I grabbed the fire extinguisher and put it out, not fun! I’ve also had a bead that I just put in the kiln go flying out of the kiln, up over my head and landed on the floor, on the other side of my chair! I don’t know how it happened; I think the end of it caught my sleeve somehow! Scared the you know what outta me trying to pick it up with my pliers!
7. What kind of set up do you use?
I work with a Carlisle Mini CC and two 5psi concentrators. I also have a Creation Station and a ventilation system from Bill Harrison (I was a tester for both) My kiln is a Chili Pepper. Torch? Carlisle Mini CC
8. What is your favorite glass?
Moretti and Vetrofond
9. What are your favorite color combinations?
I love orange, turquoise and pea green together! Another fav is copper green, rubino and opal yellow.
10. What’s your favorite technique?
Anything organic, dripping glass, adding dots and letting them drip, letting gravity do it’s thang, etc.
What technique makes you want to bang your (or someone else’s) head against the wall?
Actually it’s not a technique that drives me nuts as does the silver glasses, they hate me!
11. Is there a shape that you really HATE to make?
I don’t hate any shape but the perfect bicones seem to elude me!
12. Do you have a “comfort” bead?
I think my southwest inspired beads have become my comfort beads! I could make them all day!
13. How do you see yourself developing as a lampworker in the future?
That’s a tough one because half the time I don’t even know what I’m going to do until I sit down at the torch! I know there are techniques out there still yet to learn!
What are your goals?
I would really like to incorporate my beads into my quilts for wall art! I would like to teach abroad also! Who knows, maybe there is a book in my future also!
14. What do you consider as successful?
Success to me is when your work gets recognized and making enough from my art to help out with the bills! LOL!
What is the key to getting there?
I think putting your work and yourself “out there” for instance joining forums that are related to what you do, having a website helps but mainly just keeping yourself visible! Submitting your work to be published helps also! Especially if it gets published! LOL!
15. What would be your 3 best tips for new artists?
Practice is a biggie! If you want to get good at it then you’ve got to find time to practice, even if it’s making spacers! Patience is another biggie! I know that it can be frustrating at times and you want to throw the mandrel across the room but I would strongly advise not to do that! Play! You will learn a lot just by playing with different colors, different shapes, adding frits, you name it! Just sit down and just relax and just let the glass tell you want it wants to do!
16. Do you like to take classes from other lampworkers?
Yes because there is always something I can learn from others!17. Do you teach? Yes Will you travel to teach? You betcha! When do you want me there? LOL!
18. What other creative outlets do you have?
Knitting has become a popular hobby for me and I like to do Kumihimo braiding and I’m trying to get back into quilting!