Having lived among corn and bean fields with only a few small towns to break up the vastness, creativity has seemed a necessity of life for as long as I can remember. My mother is very creative and encouraged me through the years to try many different things. “Just figure it out and do it” would probably be the best way to describe the approach she taught me. Because of this attitude, I have never been afraid to experiment with many different art mediums.
Years ago, my life was very different as a CPA. I found hand quilting to be very relaxing in the evenings. When my second daughter was a year old, I gave up my career to be a stay at home mother. Quilting became a very large part of my life and my quilts eventually progressed from traditional to contemporary. I began hand painting my fabrics and using beads on my quilts. Ah, beads, this is when they first entered my life. Soon I became fascinated with bead weaving and my collection of seed beads started to rival my fabric stash. One thing always leads to several others in my life, and the love of seed beads led to my fascination of lampwork beads. Cindy Jenkins’ first book, “Making Glass Beads” had just been published and that Christmas my husband gave me a Hothead and supplies to get started. I still remember how scared I was the first time I lit the torch. He sat beside me and read Cindy’s directions as I made my first bead. How silly that seems now!
Although I loved making beads, over the years I was not consistent in my bead making. The “professionals” who installed my ventilation completely messed it up to the point it was not effective. That combined with a few other problems, discouraged me from torching as much as I would have liked. Several years ago I decided to either torch more seriously, or sell all my lampworking equipment. So, I redid the ventilation myself with the advice of people on LE and fired up the torch. Now I’m melting glass on a continual basis and loving both boro and soft glass.
Besides lampworking and quilting, I also do stained glass, gourds, beadwork, silversmithing, and needle felting. Too many mediums, but each provides me with a different sense of accomplishment and interest. Sometimes I really need to tell myself to focus, but everything gets done eventually.
My husband Walt, who farms, and I have been married 24 years and we have three children. We stay very busy going to the kid’s many activities, but as they each grow and get a driver’s license I find my days have less interruptions. Oh course that means more time to torch!