A little about me...
I live in the beautiful foothills of western North Carolina, where I have a beadmaking studio on the grounds of our old farm house.
I also work part-time as a tour director for educational travel, and plan and facilitate disaster relief and mission trips for church and civic groups.
Being the mother of our four children is the absolute joy of my life!
While it would be really cool to have some deep and philosophical statement to make about why I create, I think the most adequate description would be this:
Since my childhood, I have had a consistent fascination with two things: vivid colored glass and tiny things. Lampwork beadmaking satisfies both of those fascinations! I love ordering and receiving new glass rods to melt! Opening a box of glass makes me feel like a child opening a surprise gift!
I don't know if I would describe myself as an "artist," but I have been working with glass art since 1980. I began in working with stained glass and then tried my hand at glass-blowing... both of which I really like doing. But, then came the day when I was introduced to beadmaking. I loved it! I took a lesson to learn the basics, and then was primarily self-taught from there. I used books, magazine articles, videos... anything I could get my hands on to learn techniques. I love making traditional rounded "glass bead shape" beads, but am most interested in creating beads that are more sculptural and in nature. By mixing different textures and mixtures of glass and elements, I really like creating visually interesting, whimsical or eclectic beads. I also like incorporating things into beads that just "shouldn't be there..." gears, keys, sand, shavings of metals, bobbins, rust, small pebbles, nails... all kinds of things!
I have all kinds of ideas swimming around in my head when I sit down at the torch, and love to try them! But, I keep coming back to the making beads which resemble the things very familiar to me over and over... sculptural cat beads, owls, birds, angels, "funky" shapes... I also love "twisty" beads and hearts.
I am frequently asked "why" I create beads in those shapes over and over. Really and truly, I have no other answer except that it's because I love making them... and love seeing what they look like when they come out of the kiln! Again... it's like opening that childhood "surprise gift feeling" each time I open the kiln to look and see how the beads I just made have turned out! I enjoy it so much!
I hope you will enjoy my work, as well.
Calm Water Studio
Hand-fired Lampwork Beads & Unique Artisan Objects by Glennie Sims