FiredanceBeads' Bio | Shop Home

Get to Know

I began lampwork in December 2005 with my life partner, Helen. We took a basic bead making workshop on a typical Victoria, BC winter evening. It was cold wet and very dark outside. The little workroom at Glass-Smith & Co. seemed welcoming and cozy in its own way. Our little group was warmly greeted by Nicole Valentine, our instructor for the weekend. Feeling apprehensive and a little childlike with enthusiasm I learned torch basics and safety tips and then watched as Nicole showed us just how easy it is to make a simple bead. After picking out glass rods and a work station I proceeded to light the torch and set out to make a "simple bead". Let me tell you, "simple" seems to have a different meaning when others do things. For me it was "let's make a glass puddle" as I eagerly applied abundant torch heat to the glass rod. I hadn't tried to wrap any of the melting glass onto a mandrel and already I had a slag heap going. Well, that was then. Although I still make the occasional puddle on the workbench I can now wrap a simple glass bead on a mandrel... on a good day. Everyday I go to the studio I realize just how little I know about glass. I love finding new ways to work it into shapes and forms with colours that are appealing and desirable. I love the process of learning and playing... In the process of photographing my beads and Helen's jewelry, I started seeing the possibility of creating new images from my photos. I'm very pleased with these "Images in Glass" and I will continue to explore and crate more of this art. Due to the time constraints a full time job imposes on a person, Helen decided to continue making jewelry. I love the way she uses my beads in her designs. Feel free to look at http://earotica.etsy.com to see her creations. Cheers,PAul