I’m Jennifer Ross and I live in Oswego, IL. I’ve been a creative person for as long as I can remember (thanks Mom!). My mom and I used to paint little plaster of paris sculptures, we made 3D paper dolls and we worked tirelessly on my doll house. One of my favorite memories from my childhood is when my dad brought home a very old wooden drafting table no longer in use at his office. He also brought a stack of huge blank newsprint. I sat at that table for days drawing everything I could think of. Art classes were always my favorite throughout school and into college.
Once I was in college I settled on interior design for my major. It seemed a little more practical than art as a major and I loved the idea of planning space for people to live in. I worked as a residential interior designer for many years and still do some design work when I find the right client (or when the right client finds me).
Between design work and when I started lampworking I’ve worked on paintings, sculpture, paper mache, fiber arts, furniture design and mixed media collage. I would try something, finish a few projects and be on to the next thing. I still felt as if I was searching for the right fit.
I started lampworking almost two years ago. My mom and I have attended the same art show for nearly 20 years and each time we go we’re always drawn to the glass beads. My birthday was on the horizon and I thought, “I should learn how to do that!” so my husband set me up for my first lampworking class. I still have the wonky burned up beads I made that day but when I put that first glass rod in the flame it was as if someone turned on the lights. I had never felt so drawn to a particular medium before.
That’s how I started and I’m still at it, going strong, even more curious and enthusiastic. Of course, with beads comes jewelry so I’m beginning to dabble in PMC, chain maille, seed beading and other possibilities. I’m still searching for my signature look in both glass and jewelry. I know I’ll find it. All it takes it time and… practice, practice, practice!
I came up with the name Flaming Heart Studio simply because the flaming or winged heart has always been a constant in my work, no matter what the medium, and of course because I use a flame!