Category Archives: Patty

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. 🙂




Just for fun

I was walking the other day and saw this:

I was thinking it reminded me of heiroglyphics. Birdie-glyphs!

Happy Valentine’s Day by Patty

Love and challenges. I learned a little something about this recently. Sometimes love can really be challenging, and in many different ways.

I was doing a trunk show recently, and a woman saw one of my vessel pendants. Casually, she asked if I could make one in a heart shape. Intrigued, I said that I would try, not really sure how I would go about this challenge.

She went on to explain that not long ago her son, who was in his early twenties, suddenly died, and she wanted a vessel to put some of his ashes in so she could carry him with her always. Of course this made me even more determined that I would create a vessel for her that is worthy of it’s duty.

This was definitely a challenge to figure out how to make the shape out of a blown vessel. It took me several attempts and a couple of weeks, but I finally got it to work out. Here are some of the “prototypes”:

The first one I tried in boro and it didn’t quite work. The second one in soft glass wasn’t any better and I didn’t even bother to put handles on it. (There were a couple of other attempts that aren’t even worth photographing!) I was getting really frustrated until the third one, and the shape came out nicely, but unfortunately it had collapsed down too much and is not hollow. Finally on a roll, I created these two:

Now this is what I’m talking about! She chose the one on the right, which is a little smaller than the left. Seeing the bittersweet look in her eyes was justification for all the effort I put into this.

While I was working on this challenge, I thought about how loving can really be a challenge. Whether it be a spouse, significant other, child or pet, loving comes with definite ups and downs. What my client just went through definitely makes one think if it’s even worth it to risk loving. Fortunately for most of us, our hearts won’t let us choose – it tells us that without loss, we may never appreciate the love we share with the targets of our affection.

Many of us will tell our loved ones today that they are loved. But let’s not let that end with just today. Take every opportunity to tell the special ones around you that you love them and that they mean a lot to you.

So to you I say: “I love you and you are very special to me!”