Once upon a time in an earlier lifetime I was hooked on glass. Red, blue, wavy, crackley, confetti-spattered, difficult, and mesmerizing. I descended into hours of holding bits of glass up to the light, finding images in the swirls of color, and creating stained glass panels, suncatchers, boxes, and more. My fingertips had enough fine cuts that I probably could have confounded a fingerprint search. Fingernails surrendered to the grinder that smoothed glass edges and anything else it touched. I got very good at soldering a fine line, and polished the finished pieces until they gleamed. And always, it was the luminous colors of glass that kept me at it, that made it impossible for me to pass up a piece of antique glass in just that perfect shade of blue. “Kaleidoscope” is one of the few remaining pieces from those days.
Now that I’ve moved on to jewelry (space, time, and arthritic hands put an end to the stained glass work), it is still the colors of glass beads that entrance. If you could see my work table right now, you’d find:
- a plastic bag filled with bright red round beads that have swirls of shiny silver and gold on them;
- a rich green glass heart pendant destined to be a necklace with a hand-knotted cord;
- two small plastic boxes with sea glass type beads in different sizes and shades of ocean blue;
- stacks of plastic containers with crystal beads in every shade from clear to deep purple; and
- a bag of orange and white swirled marble-size beads that make you happy to simply look at them.
And those are just the things that happen to be sitting in front!
When the days are short and dark, it’s a great pleasure to sit down and play with brilliantly colored glass beads, to combine them into earrings or bracelets, and to have something that makes me this happy to create. And, with luck, will make someone else happy, too.