Featured artist - Nicole from N Valentine Studio, Victoria, BC
I have always been fascinated by glass, even before I knew more about lampwork. Lampwork artists are a constant source of awe and admiration for me. One of them is Nicole. Her shop is full of colorful flower bead sets, goddesses, encased beads, lentil beads, but my favorites are her bird beads. One of her tiny owls made his way to Germany where he is now the star in my mother-in-law's owl collection. He looks a lot like this little fellow. Adorable, isn't he?
How long have you been working in your medium?
I started working with glass in 2003. My first attempts were very frustrating and a tiny bit terrifying! Lighting a torch took me a long time to get comfortable with. I played on a small hot head in the alleyway of my barn for about a year. Then I got into a class with Andrea Guarino and Michael Barley and I was hooked!
What drew you to this medium?
When I graduated high school I was determined to be a fashion designer, but unfortunately I was terrible at it! Art took me in a few different directions, landing in clay. I liked clay, but wanted to get some transparent layers in my work, glass had always caught my eye, so I wanted to give it a try.
What is your favorite thing about your art?
I love layering transparent colors. I could make encased beads all day!
What's your favorite piece?
That's a hard one, it changes daily. Lately I've been making a lot of spinner rings. I'd have to say they are my current favorites.
What's the hardest piece you've ever made?
In glass it would be large sculptural pieces, or off mandrel. I find myself getting really nervous when I have no mandrel.
What's the one favorite tool you cannot live without?
My torch, I'd be lost without it. I work on a Minor with two oxygen concentrators and really like it.
What's your favorite thing about your workspace or studio?
This may sound odd, but the thing I like most is the wall colors! I have two studio spaces, one for glass and one for metal and they both make me smile every time I walk into them.
What is your other craft?
Metal smithing is my second love. I've had the opportunity to do a lot more of it this summer and really enjoy it.
Who or what inspires you?
The thing that'll always get me through a rough spot is inspirational or uplifting quotes. I'd like to get a cork board going in my studio just for sayings I love.
Artist wise it'd be people like Andrea Guarino, Katwise, Jennifer Geldard, Jennifer Zizman.
But often what makes me smile is my friends, family and supporters. My husband is ever supportive, building both my studios!
What's your favorite inspirational saying?
It changes daily, but this one is one of my favorites.
"We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light." Mary Dunbar
What's one thing you've never done you always wanted to do?
Go to Italy, since it is where most glass history starts I'd love to go there some day.
By Cat's Wire
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The SATeam blog features artisan handmade creations by the etsy starving artists jewelry team. SATeam members create handcrafted jewelry and beads. More information about our team and its current etsy shop owner members can be found at SATEAM.etsy.com.