Nancy Peterson- Glass Bead Artist
I consider myself a flamework/lampwork artist and jewelry designer, making beads individually, by hand, with a gas torch, oxygen and a kiln to anneal or harden the beads. Each bead is created from molten glass. My creative inspiration is mainly the natural environment but certain colorways that catch my eye are also inspiring. The flora and fauna provide many ideas. I also enjoy the mixture of colors in pleasing palettes, for example, blues, mauves, and lavender. Many creations utilize bright colors. And at times the whimsical takes over my bead designs!
My entire life has been full of creative influences and artistic work. My mother was a painter so perhaps I inherited her “artistic eye”. My grandfather was also a talented artist. In the past I have painted, knit, crocheted, sewed, created quilts, etc. but when I was introduced to lampworking in early 2000, the creation of glass beads with molten glass, I truly discovered my passion and joy! The knitting, quiltmaking, etc. went by the wayside. I was hooked and have been since that time. And to use my own glass beads to create items of jewelry that are worn by others with pride, provides the utmost artistic satisfaction. To create beads that other people use in their own creations also is very rewarding for me as an artist.
My customers are individuals who love the colors and designs that I create.
The name of my business “Beaver Island Jewelry” is very intriguing to folks. Because of my love of Beaver Island, in northern Michigan (“Up North” as we like to say here in Michigan), I have adopted the name for my business. Beaver Island is a very unique place and helps me focus on those wonderful colors such as blues from Lake Michigan (I’m sure you’ll notice all my blue beads!), lavenders and pinks from the sunset over Donegal Bay, greens and blues from the marshes and light brown, golds or ivory from the sand beaches. See my special Beaver Island Memories charm bracelet, necklace and memory beads.
My experience includes several different jewelry-making classes and many hours of classes in glass lampwork from nationally-known artists. Credit goes to all the following folks who I have taken classes from but also to people I have met here in Michigan and on web bulletin boards who share their many diverse talents.
My mentor and first tutor in about 2000 was Mari Johnson who sells her beautiful lampwork beads in New Lenox, Illinois.
I also had a two day class with Ginny Sycuro who is another nationally-known bead artist, residing in Colorado.
In May 2003 I took a day long class in California with Patti Walton who is well known for her aquarium beads and lovely flower garden beads.
In February 2004 I took a two-day class in sculptural glass from Sharon Peters–I learned all about the wonderful and wacky!
A three-day class in October 2004 with Stevi Belle taught me how to make “ancient” vessels and how to utilize frits and finishes in my work.
In 2006 I took a jewelry finishing class from Kate McKinnon.
I learned wirework techniques by Janice Birkabile (Wired Art) and wired pendants and daped bracelets with Kriss Silva–each in day long classes in February 2007.
In September 2007 I took a two day class on Low Tech Metalworking Techniques from Anne Mitchell and Kate McKinnon. This class covered fine silversmithing and precious metal clays (PMC) and working in a less harmful (to the artist and the environment) way.
In February 2008 I took a two day class with Andrea Guarino-Slemmons.
In April 2008 I took a six day long class from a master artisan-glassmaker, Lucio Bubacco, on the island of Murano, Italy, the heart of glass beadmaking. This was glassmaking off the mandrel. I have been back to Venice twice now since 2008 to check out Venetian glass beadmaking.
In June 2008 I took a Viking Knit class from Anne Mitchell.
June 2009 I took a glass button making from Jari Sheese.
October 2014 Class with Michou from Germany.
Those who work with their hands are laborers;
Those who work with their hands and heads are craftsmen;
And those who work with their hands, heads and hearts are artists.