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I have always loved jewelry. Going door to door as a child I would ask the women neighbors if they had any old jewelry they could part with. I developed a considerable collection (usurped by my sister when I went to college!)
With a love of color and texture, refined as a textile artist and a published knitter, I moved into working hot glass about two decades ago. My specialty is lampworking beads and leaves into jewelry for people who love to wear the fantastic medium of glass - as well as for collectors who might never wear it! Additionally, I often incorporate ethnographic art from around the world into my finished pieces.
Leaves and leaf necklaces have become my artistic signature gracing collections worldwide. One recently went to Princess Caroline.
When I sit down at the torch to make beads, I often have ideas in my head that are never brought to fruition because, as most glass workers will tell you, the glass has a mind of its own and different designs develop as one works the molten glass. I love the flame and the slight hiss and the warmth of it, as well as the interplay of the different glass colors. The chemical reactions between colors often bring unexpected results. As well, a recent move to Santa Fe, New Mexico has given me new influences, both in color and design.
I have studied with some of the field's greatest artists: Lisa St. Martin, Loren Stump, Emilio Santini, Sage and Tom Holland, Lewis Wilson, Julie Clinton, Will Stokes, James Minson, Liz Mears, Kate Fowle, and Luccio Bubacco. I teach in both my Nambé, New Mexico and Santa Fe gallery studios, specializing in beginning glass beadmakers to whom I try to impart my love of glass. I also rent studio time for lampworkers who do not have their own facilites.
My beads and jewelry designs are featured in:
My beads and leaves are sold at Beadazzled in Washington, D.C. Finished jewelry is available at the Corning Glass Center, Corning, New York; Kittrell-Riffkind Glass Gallery, Dallas, Texas; Arts Afire Glass Gallery, Alexandria, Virginia; Artisans Gallery, McLean, Virginia; and Artisans United, Annandale, Virginia.
I invented the Twist 'n' Curl TM tool which originated in my desire to create an easier way to make wire beads for use alongside my own lampworked beads. I have a video demonstrating it use, available from the Twist 'n' Curl web site.
I also import lampworked beads from the Czech Republic and sterling silver beads from Turkey.
© 1999-2012 Donna's Designs