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Author Topic: AOTM November 2011 - Jane Hamill  (Read 7465 times)
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I hold with those who favor fire.
Posts: 869

I'm working on a dream...

« on: October 31, 2011, 02:16:05 AM »

Jane Hamill

How did you get started in glass bead making?

Iíve had a bead addiction since I was about 15, when I began making simple jewellery.  As I got older, I knew it wasnít enough for me to buy cheap beads, stick them on wire and call it jewellery and so I developed an interest in better quality handmade beads.   The first time I saw a lampwork torch in action must have been sometime in 2005/6, at a bead fair; as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to have a go!  Early in 2007, I was browsing the web and idly looked for lampwork lessons.  I couldn't find anywhere local, but stumbled across Manda Muddimer (Mangobeads) in Barnstaple, where I was due to take a holiday in a couple of months' time, so fate had spoken!  Manda is a fab teacher and I think that although I was already very interested in melting glass, her enthusiasm and encouragement helped a lot Smiley

One of the first beads I made during my starter session with Manda

Where and when did you light the torch for the first time?

I bought my starter kit not long after returning from Devon.  We have a workshop above our garage which has become My Workshop but it needed a good cleanup and the roof had to be repaired before I could use the room without being rained upon.  If I recall correctly,  the first time I was brave enough to light my Hothead was in September 2007.

Have you had any lessons? Where do you get your knowledge from?

Apart from my beginnersí session with Manda, I havenít had any lessons.  Iíve learned a lot from various web fora (mainly Frit Happens of course!) and have bought the odd tutorial here and there.  Thereís also been the Flame Off, where Iíve learned a lot from the demonstrations and from chatting with fellow lampworkers.

Are there any bead makers or jewellery designers you admire? What for?

Oh there are so many!  Sorry, Iím sure you get that answer all the time Smiley  Iím incredibly envious of the precision in the work of Dora Schubert and Lorna Prime and any beads made by Claire Morris.  Manda Muddimerís work is fantastic and I love the BHBs that Rachel Frudd makes. I also adore Emma Mackintoshís dragon pendants and Min Fidlerís cats and owls.  I know Iíve forgotten to list loads of artists here!  For off-mandrel work, Iím particularly in awe of a glass feather made a few months ago by Sabine Little.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

All sorts of things, including more recently, my nephewís toothbrush!  In the past Iíve found inspiration from peoplesí clothing, photographs Iíve happened upon quite by accident, travel brochures, ornamentsÖ too many to mention!.  I have a few colour wheel and colour scheme Android apps on my phone to which I refer if I find myself in a creative rut.

Have you got a 'signature' style? How would you describe it?

Iíve been told that I have but I canít see it myself.  The only beads that I feel are different and unique to me are my Rainbow Tie-Dye beads.  Itís a technique Iíve really worked at to get just the right result and I am very pleased with the final result!  I donít believe Iíve seen any beads like them elsewhere, so I definitely think of them as ďmineĒ.

What skill or technique would you like to learn - where would you like to take your art next?

Iíd like to try more off-mandrel lampwork.  Iíve created a few end-of-mandrel pendants but havenít yet taken the leap away from the metal!

Which bead or piece are you most proud of - can you tell us the story behind it?

I think it has to be my Rainbow Tie-Dye beads.  As Iíve already mentioned, I went through a lot of trial and error, consigned many attempts to the water pot, mixed and remixed glasses until I got just the right combination.  Iíve used the technique in a few different shapes now and I think the one of which Iím most proud is the Rainbow Tie-Dye hoop as it takes a lot of time and patience to get the effect right whilst keeping the shape even.

Which of your personality traits comes through in your work, do you think?

I hope that my sense of fun comes through in some of them and of course my love of colour in the aforementioned Tie-Dye beads.  Iíve been told that some of my work is quite delicate which isnít a word usually associated with me Wink

What are you currently working on?

Trying to master silver glass!  I do get some nice reactions but Iím extremely envious when I see some of the wondrous colours and reactions other lampworkers can tease out of some of the Double Helix glass.

Where can we see more of your work?

I have my own website at which is looking somewhat sparse since I moved all sales to my Etsy shop - and I recently began live webcasts from my workshop - .  I announce new bits and pieces on my Facebook page Ė and on Twitter - .  To be honest, I have a presence on the web anywhere thatíll have me! Cheesy  All of my updated contact information can be found at .

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