Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Handmade Lampwork Beads to inspire the Jewlery Artisan

I was fortunate enough to find the amazing shop of Lori Bergmann this morning and had to share her beautiful items with my readers. This interview was done by another wonderful artist Brenda of Brenda's Jewelry Box who has some truly unique jewelry pieces.

If you and I met… say at a bead show, "wink-wink," what would you tell me about yourself?
Hi! My name is Lori Bergmann and I’m so glad to meet you! (shaking hands and winking back). I’m a bit of a “Renaissance” artist because I love to dabble with a variety of artistic mediums and techniques—you name it and I’ve probably tried it or am planning on it someday! I’ve been an artist all my life and after college, spent a good chunk of time as a graphic designer and then worked as a full-time freelance scrapbook and paper crafts designer and writer for magazines and company consultant for about 10 years. But I’m currently obsessed with making my own glass beads (lampworking) and incorporating them into my jewelry designs. I moved to Washington about 4 years ago and am enjoying living here with my wonderfully supportive hubby, two slightly hormone-unbalanced teenage daughters (most people say that’s normal, right?), and two hairy dogs that like to shed and drool on anything that breathes. (Okay, enough about me—let’s go check out some more booths together!!)

How did you get started making your beautiful lampwork beads?
About 5 years ago, I was attending an annual trade show for the Craft and Hobby Association (CHA) and saw a company offering “make-and-take” fused glass pendants and also had someone demonstrating how to make glass beads on a small torch. I was immediately smitten, as I’ve always loved watching glass blowers at work and there’s just something about how light shines through glass that is totally mesmerizing to me. I took one of their basic bead making workshops later that year, bought my kiln, and started collecting other supplies and tools. But I was still busy doing other freelance design work and then we moved, so I didn’t set everything up and get serious about it until about 2 years ago. I learned mainly on my own, by playing and experimenting, reading every book on lampworking I could get my hands on, watching You Tube videos, and joining a great online community called Lampworkers Etc. (www.lampworketc.com).

Your muse is calling you, beckoning you to create...where do you get your ideas and your inspiration from?
I get most of my inspiration by things found in nature, because I feel that God is the greatest artist of them all and looking around, seeing all the amazing colors, patterns, and textures in the world never fails to sweep me into a creative mood. But the graphic designer in me also loves clean lines and geometrics, so I often combine the two ideas into my work. I’m always on the look out for inspiration in anything I see—whether it’s a texture from a home decor magazine, a color combo from a Target store ad, a vintage doodad from an antique shop, or native patterns seen during my travels. I like to keep my eyes and ears open, and constantly jot down ideas and sketches in a small notebook to reference later when I’m in the mood to work on them.

What drives your passion to create?
I think I’m one of those people who was born needing to do creative things—in one form or another—or I just don’t feel fulfilled inside. I love working with my hands, interpreting my thoughts and feelings into something tangible and unique that no one else in the world has.

Name an artist or designer (past or present) that you would love to meet and why?
I would love to meet Leonardo Da Vinci. Not only because I’m a big Renaissance fan and adore all things Italian, but I think his personality fits mine in that we both love artistic and mechanical/graphic design, as well as enjoy a variety of other intellectual pursuits. I would love to pick his brain, watch him at work, and learn more about the person who left behind such a legacy of amazing art and ideas that were light years ahead of his time.

What can we look forward to from you and your work in 2011...any big plans or events?
I always seem to have at least a hundred different design ideas swirling around in my head at any given time, so I couldn’t even begin to guess which ones will fight their way out over this coming year? LOL But I definitely plan on working more often with metal clay and combining it with my glass beads. I’ve also been planning to do animal portraits and/or sculpture work for quite a while now, so I think you’ll be seeing some of those soon! I have an article scheduled to come out with Bead Unique magazine and am hoping to do more published work throughout the year.

Lori makes the cutest acorn beads, and I just had to share my newest favorite, `Ivory Swirl Acorn Bead.` For all you Autumn lovers out there, this is a must have for your Fall designs!

This is just a small taste of Lori's gorgeous art glass beads. To see more of her beautiful designs, visit her etsy shop @ Ashlyn Design. But don't go yet! Lori has donated an exclusive 20% off discount coupon towards any 1 item in her etsy shop for one very lucky reader who will be chosen in a random drawing by me this Thursday, Nov. 11th. Also, you can visit Lori's blog to view my interview as well and enter for your chance to win an exclusive 30% off discount coupon towards 1 item in my etsy shop too. :)

To enter the drawing for Lori's coupon, leave a comment here on my blog. For 2 more opportunities to win; (1) help spread the word about my and Lori’s etsy shops and our special coupon drawings on your own blog and/or (2) “liking” my and Lori's Facebook pages (Lori's page) and (my page). Please add a separate comment for each of these things and include a link back to your site, along with your email address so I can contact you if you’re the winner. Good luck!

Thanks to Lori for giving us a sneak preview into her crafty world!