Category Archives: Deb


Boy, I just realized how long it has been since anyone has posted here.  I appologize to any of you who’ve been here looking. 

I had to pack up the HotHead for the year so no beadmaking on the deck for me.  It’s so darn cold these days that I can’t imagine sticking a glass rod into a flame out there.  Ouch!  I’ve already got a burn in the middle of my forehead.  I’d get a lot more if I was torching out there now.

I’m doing a lot of PMC these days.  I think I finally figured out how to get rings to actually fit.  That’s a first.  I’m having fun with it.

I also got my glass collection in the dining room moved to the basement finally.  OMG.  I knew I had a lot of glass but I didn’t realize quite HOW much I have.  It was kind of fun seeing glass I had forgotten about.  We might actually be able to have Thanksgiving Dinner in the dining room this year.

Anyway, I haven’t forgotten about MCC and hope to get some more going on here really soon!  Don’t give up on us, OK?


Responsibility as Artists

I’ve been thinking long and hard lately about what I can do to help save out planet.  I want to save it for me, for the polar bears, for everyone who will come after me.  I’ve recycled for years but know that I have a lot more that I can do. 

My latest goal is to not use plastic bags and to seriously reduce the number of paper towels we use.  On the paper towel front, I got those car cleaning cloths at Costco and will give them to the cleaning lady (I have a bad back, OK?  LOL) so she can reduce her use of them.  I’m even getting Don into not using so many.

On the plastic bag front, I’ve got him using Frantz Art Glass carry bags at the Farmer’s Market.  I think he thinks the chicks will think he’s a glass blower or something.  Whatever…I think it makes him sexy to think about our environment.  My part is to always have a carry bag with me in my purse.  I also have bunches in my car.  If I forget my bag, then I have to carry whatever I buy.  I also try to get people thinking about using plastic bags. 

I LOVE the tshirt bags made by zJayne on etsy.  They’re well made.  They’re cute.  And they start conversations about recycling.  I’ve never had a store clerk not comment and they usually show the checkers on either side as well.  I’ve had them show the customers in line behind me too.  I’ve actually asked Jayne to send me some business cards so I can hand them out to promote her product.

We’re artists (or just chicks who like to make things) and we have a responsibility to this planet.  As we want to make it beautiful with our art, we also need to think about making it beautiful other ways.  I realize that you can’t hand out a zJayne carry bag with every purchase but can you do something that can be reused?  It would take no time at all to get some small kiddie tshirts at Target and make them into little carry bags for your things.  You can even print a little card to encourage people to reuse them.  Heck.  You might even start that as your next art business.  🙂

Just think about it.  Think about your shows and what happens to everything you hand out to people.  And think about what you can do to make it a little more planet friendly.  And even better, share it with us!

Featured Artist–Sheri McDermott

When I think of Sheri, I think of gorgeous fused pieces.  I sure hope she sends me a picture or two of her work. (She did!) She does these amazing puzzle pieces.  I love getting her little bits and pieces for my PMC work.  Her beads are pretty darn good too!  It’s hard to believe she’s just been doing this for a year. Sheri is ‘iwantonetoo’ on LE.


1.  How did you get started in lampworking?  What was the thing that made you interested?

I began as a fuser, glass is an awesome medium. The fact that you can sculpt, and get more 3- dimensional pieces with a torch along with the kiln was pulling me in.

2.  How long have you been lampworking?

1 year

Is it a business for you or a hobby?


3.  What inspires you?

I see artwork, in all mediums, and then wonder if I could make it out of glass. Usually not, but I try to make things that might accent a piece I have seen, and can’t get out of my head.

How do you get the inspiration/motivation back when you are in a slump?

 Sadly, I wait. And wait….I still torch and fuse, and then a happy accident usually sends me off on another route.

4.  Who are your 3 favorite lampworkers? 

 That’s not a fair question. There are way more than 3!!  Brent Graber, AKA Mr. Smiley, is on my list. Most of them I know by their LE names. Mari Johnson from Blue Fire Beads in New Lennox IL, because I watch her during Open torch, and she is so comfortable at the torch. (although not physically comfortable)I’m hoping for a low ratio class with her one day soon!  I can only say one more? NO FAIR. Why? Brent, because of the colors he can coax out of the Boro. Mari, well, all you have to do is torch with her, and you’ll see what I mean. As for bead making Lampworkers, I think Sara Hornik is high on my list. Sislonski…there I go with the LE names. I could go on and on….FIG, Hagstrom, Sheila Morley…..


5.      What is the best thing about lampworking?

 Watching the glass flow into something other than it began.

The worst?

 When the mojo exits the building, and I still have plenty of time at the torch.

6.  What is the funniest or scariest thing that ever happened to you when you were torching?

Flying hot glass would answer both. I haven’t yet (knock on wood) had any major excitement yet. Just minor burns and I mixed boro and 104 once, but that odd sound was inside the kiln, so I didn’t witness that.

7.  What kind of set up do you use?

Torch? Mini CC with tanked oxy for boro, and an oxycon for soft glass

8.  What is your favorite glass?

 I like the soft glass for the vibrant colors, but the boro provides the ability to sculpt. They both have their strong points. I can’t choose one, that’s harder than 3 artists.

9.  What are your favorite color combinations?

 Vibrant bright colors, things you’d see in beach stores. Or, the simple black and white. You can NEVER go wrong with that.

10.  What is your favorite technique? 

Discs. It doesn’t take much to impress me.

What technique makes you want to bang your (or someone else’s) head against the wall?

Inside out beads. It sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it? Makes ya feel like one too if you try the technique. One day soon though, it will click for me.

11.  Is there a shape that you really HATE to make?

 Boring round. I like more organic freeform shapes. I don’t like to make anything that I can duplicate exactly. Then it’s not art, and it becomes rather boring to me.

12.   Do you have a comfort bead?

Discs and brightly colored spacers.

13.    How do you see yourself developing as a lampworker in the future?

I don’t have any long term visions. There are a lot of things I’d like to learn to create, but at this point I am still learning so much.

What are your goals?

 To have other people like my work. It does a lot for the mojo when someone else says “Ooohhh, how’d ya make that?”

14.  What do you consider as successful? 

 Success is defined differently for everyone; it’s a tough word to define. For me it would be doing something I love, which includes being a good mom and wife, and living my life in a way that will make God proud. What is the key to getting there? The ability to accept what we cannot control.

15.    What would be your 3 best tips for new artists?

 Don’t put limitations on yourself. Practice techniques, ALOT. Be patient, and let your heart help you create.

16.    Do you like to take classes from other lampworkers?


17.   Do you teach?

I haven’t done any official teaching. I will teach classes, but I prefer to call them “workshops”. “Class” and “teacher” imply knowledge. 

Will you travel to teach? Sure

18.   What other creative outlets do you have?

 Mostly glass work, jewelry, and *whisper*….I like to shop


Fantasy job

Flaming hot blog wanted to know what your fantasy job would be.  How about it?  Would it have anything to do with a torch?  Hot glass?  Lots of gold and silver and precious jewels?  Would you have the dream studio of a lifetime with ALL the fabulous tools and a gazillion torches and workstations for 10?  Hmmmmm…what would I be/want?

My fantasy job is…



…to be a major league pitcher.(OK. Shut up.  Stop laughing.)  Or a drummer in a very successful rock and roll band (read Rolling Stones…).  ROFLOL!  Yep.  I would LOVE to be a major league pitcher but I’d have to be a really, really good pitcher, not anything just run of the mill.  I adore baseball.  The drummer bit is up there too but way behind the pitcher bit.  Nope.  Not a torch involved in it all.  Of course, as a fabulously successful major league pitcher I wouldn’t have time to torch.  Maybe when I retired, after my shoulder surgery I’d undoubtedly have to have, then I’d get interested in torching.

How about you?

Get well, Sheri

Our Sheri had surgery today.  She’s actually been online briefly telling us that things went well and she’s OK.  I am very glad to hear that and now I want her to use that pain medicine.  Sheri, feel better quickly!

Does getting older make you less creative?

There’s a huge bruhaha on a lampworking forum–well at least a little bit of a bruhaha–about a comment that was made about age and creativity.  The author seemed to feel that the older you get the less creative you become.  I was just a teensy bit miffed at the statement because I am definitely middle aged.

The real question here though is does age matter at all in terms of creativity?  I just don’t think it does.  I think that your art can only develop and grow as you do.  If you’re an open, creative person to begin with, it seems that you should continue that as you grow older.  One of the most creative people I know is an 82 year old friend of mine.  If I had a miniscule fraction of his talent I would be quite happy.

Tammy (I think it’s Tammy), is right about one thing though.  As our bodies age we may be less able to do certain things.  Can I sit for hours in front of a torch or making chainmaille?  Not really.  Well, I can but I’ll pay for it the next day.  LOL  If I do too much chainmaille with heavy rings my hands hurt the next day or two.  So getting old does have it’s disadvantages.  Does hurting make me less creative?  It actually may increase my creativity because I have to do things a bit differently so I think about them in another way.

The bottom line though is that if you have something to offer the world you have it whether you’re 20 or 80.  Develop it and don’t give a damn what the rest of the world thinks about it.  And don’t make ridiculous value judgements about other people while you’re doing it.

Featured Artist: Patty Pulliam

I’ve known Patty for a long time it seems. She makes some simple, beautiful boro beads. She’s a great mentor as well and readily shares what she knows with you. Just ask and you’ve got it. I hope you enjoy what she has to say about lampworking.

*Featured Artist Patty Pulliam

1. How did you get started in lampworking? What was the thing that made you interested?

I saw it on TV and was intrigued. When Tammy from TLD called me to see if I wanted to learn, I jumped at the chance.


2. How long have you been lampworking? Is it a business for you or a hobby?

I think it was Jan of 2001 that I had my first class. It’s mostly a hobby, but I do try to sell my work.


3. What inspires you? How do you get the inspiration/motivation back when you are in a slump?

Nature is a great inspiration. Nothing is more beautiful than that! It’s tough when the glass muse goes in vacation. Sometimes I look at the gallery at LE to jump start some ideas.


4. Who are your 3 favorite lampworkers? Why?

Tough one! There are so many great artists out there who I like for different reasons. Kimberly Affleck for her gorgeous seahorses and great personality; Anastasia always awes me with her unique style; Pipyr because she’s so inventive and really thinks outside the box… and she’s adorable!


There are lots more as well. Too many to list!


5. What is the best thing about lampworking? The worst?

Best: Melting glass and playing with fire!

Worst: Not getting to do it full time.


6. What is the funniest or scariest thing that ever happened to you when you were torching?

Well, flinging a hot marble into your lap is always fun!


7. What kind of set up do you use? Torch?

At home I use a GTT Lynx and 2 oxycons. When I’m teaching at TLD I use a HotHead and bulk propylene.


8. What is your favorite glass?



9. What are your favorite color combinations?

I think silvered ivory is my all time favorite. “Dougie Pink” is always fun to make.


10. What’s your favorite technique? What technique makes you want to bang your (or someone else’s) head against the wall?

It’s simplistic, but I really love using clear frit over the boro reactive colors. It’s so easy and makes some of the coolest results.

Making good loops on pendants makes me want to scream sometimes.

11. Is there a shape that you really HATE to make?

Bicones! Can’t make ‘em symmetrical to save my life.


12. Do you have a ‘comfort’ bead

The boro frit bead. I really enjoy just making simple round beads. It’s meditative.


13. How do you see yourself developing as a lampworker in the future? What are your goals?

I want to become a more consistent lampworker, with my results as well as doing it on a regular basis. I don’t think I have any articulated goals, but I always want to improve. I guess getting better with sculptural stuff is a goal.


14. What do you consider as successful? What is the key to getting there?

I would consider myself successful as an artist if I could completely support my habit by selling my work. I wish I knew the key!


15. What would be your 3 best tips for new artists?

Practice, practice, practice! • Don’t work too hot. • And slow down.


16. Do you like to take classes from other lampworkers?

Yes!! I love taking all kinds of classes. I would be a professional student if I could afford it.


17. Do you teach? Will you travel to teach?

I teach classes at TLD Design Center & Gallery in Westmont, IL.

Yes, I’m planning some classes at GiaRosa Creativity Studio & Retreat in Taos, NM.


18. What other creative outlets do you have?

I like to play with all media. I enjoy paper, fiber, polymer clay,metals, wood… you name it! I also enjoy photography and some digital art. I have Art ADD. 🙂