By N Valentine Studio
Featured artist - Vanessa Hearn from Bead Up A Storm, Gloucester, England
Vanessa, a fellow beadmaker has a wonderful Etsy shop! Great photos which can often be a challenge with glass. My favorite piece of hers would be these "Lilac Wine" beads, I have always been a fan of round beads and these little round beads have tons of color!
How long have you been working in your medium?
Almost two years - but with a seven month break while I had no studio after we moved house. I felt like I had to start from scratch again as I'd only been making beads for seven months when I had to pack up my torch. But I used the time soaking up information online and stocking up on glass!!
What drew you to this medium?
I have always loved beads. I was a seed-beader and saw Martin Tuffnell of Tuffnell Glas (a major British glass supplier) demonstrating at a bead show. I was transfixed and enthralled at the idea of making my own. So I got a starter kit, there and then!
What is your favorite thing about your art?
Melting glass is really magical, to turn a solid rod of glass into a flowing state that can then be shaped into a bead is always exciting. I love to play with the reactions between different colours and the beautiful effects of silver-rich glass.
It's highly addictive - ask any bead-maker!
I also love the meditative state that I find myself in, making beads helps me relax and fills my creative needs (which often get overlooked as I have a three year old son who takes most of my time!).
What's your favorite piece?
I'm not sure I have one. I am proud of my gazing beads and this winged heart.
What's the hardest piece you've ever made?
I find shaping my gazing beads a challenge, purely because of the size of them. Clear glass is stiffer than opaque and when they get to a certain size, shaping the glass gets tricky!
What's the one favorite tool you cannot live without?
Probably my graphite paddle, or my old vegetable knife!
What's your favorite thing about your workspace or studio?
I love everything about my studio. It's my sanctuary.
What is your other craft?
Bead-weaving. I also dabble with silver.
Who or what inspires you?
I find inspiration in the usual things that inspire many of us - from nature and textiles to holiday photographs and very often, films!
I enjoy working on commissions as they challenge me to make beads to someone else's inspiration.
I am in awe of the work of many glass artists, the styles and talent of Michael Barley, Andrea Guarino-Slemmons, and Kristina Logan particularly appeal to me.
What's your favorite inspirational saying?
Whatever you dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now! ~ Goethe
What's one thing you've never done you always wanted to do?
Take a class with one of my favourite glass artists.
The SATeam blog features artisan handmade creations by the etsy starving artists jewelry team. SATeam members create handcrafted jewelry and beads. More information about our team and its current etsy shop owner members can be found at SATEAM.etsy.com.