Welcome Glass Bead Fans. Today is the day we celebrate the glass bead spacer. Today, our artisans will be posting pics that feature lampwork spacers today!
Today's featured artist is Michelle Bryant a.k.a. 'The Spacer Queen.' Her studio is The Spacer Bead Shop. Before we get on with the interview, let's take a look at some of Michelle's spacer beads:
What do you make? What or you known for?
I make primarily spacer beads. I've been making them for over 10 years. I'm known for spacers of consistent sizes and nicely dimpled holes.
Do you ever space out at the torch? What do you think about / listen to / watch?
I space out a lot at the torch! The reason I like to make spacer beads is because each little bead is a complete work in itself, and they don't take long to make! So there's plenty of time to think and sing to my favorite songs. I listen to Dave Ramsey podcasts or my music collection that was mostly compiled in the 1980s-90s and hasn't been touched since. My favorite artists are Warren Zevon and The Indigo Girls.
I've been pretty lucky regarding burns. The worst burn I've ever got was when I laid my forearm in front of my hot torch (which had just been turned off) as I reached past it for a rod. It made a perfect impression of the end of a Betta torch, holes and everything. No special treatment; it eventually healed and faded. I figure that I used up a lot of my artistic 'bad karma' when I was in college and cut my finger off in art metals class.
What was the hardest skill for you to learn how did you over come? Any tips to share?
Speed and precision. To make a living making spacer beads, you have to be good at both. I use a Mandrel Spinner from Bearfoot Arts to help with speed. The rest is practice practice practice. I've made (and sold) over a million beads over the years.
What is YOUR favorite jewelry to wear? Favorite thing you've made.
I actually don't wear a lot of jewelry, despite having sold my creations at the local Farmer's Market and art shows for years and making thousands of earrings for a local jewelry wholesaler. I think I've OD'ed on it. I did make the attached spiral bead earrings recently for an earring exchange. I was pleased with the way they turned out
You can find Michelle's work here: Etsy || Facebook|| Twitter || Pinterest