Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I was invited last November by Martin Tuffnell of Tuffnell Glass (UK) to do a lampwork demonstration at the 1st annual UK Flame-Off 2008, held in Towcester on April 19. Needless to say I was most delighted to be extended such an invitation and I was pleasantly surprised with the turnout of visitors at the event!

The event kicked off at 10am and lasted till about 6pm. Other British lampworkers who demonstrated at the torch included Laura Sparling, Sally Carver, Emma Green, Mike Poole, Ray Skene, Judith Johnson. Each of us had demonstrated our lampworking specialty and the audience had a fantastic close-up of our demo as the demonstrations were video-taped and projected simultaneously on a large screen.

Below are some photos of my beads - courtesy of Joan Gordon, editor of Beads & Beyond - captured during Flame-Off.

left to right: Ray Skene, Dora & Roy Ayre at Flame-Off 2008

Both Ray and Roy were my TAs at my workshops last year held at Thompson & Plowden's studio. They were fondly nicknamed as 'Studio Boys'! Yes, they did all the nitty-gritty work during the workshop and made sure we had enough glass, space in the kilns, lunch and snacks. What a treat to have them both around!

Furthermore, I am most pleased to announce that several of my finished jewelry will be exhibited at the upcoming exhibition at PISMO Gallery, Denver (Colorado) which runs from May 2 - 31. Here's the press release from PISMO:

“It’s All About Beads III”

Opening Reception: May 2, 2008 6-9pm
Exhibition: May 2 – May 31, 2008

(Denver, CO)—PISMO Fine Art Glass in Cherry Creek North ushers in the summer season with rich colors and a festive spirit in its 3rd annual fine art bead show. “It’s All About Beads III” opens Friday, May 2 with a special opening reception in the gallery from 6-9 PM. The show continues through the month.

The work on display includes lovely individual glass beads, beautiful jewelry, meticulously crafted sculpture, and even a charming quilt with bugle beads. Exciting talents from Japan, Germany, and France join artists from throughout the United States, expanding the scope of styles. The total number of bead makers showing this year increases to over 50 and more than half of this year’s artists will be first time participants.

Fresh this year will be the delightful sculptures of Tom and Kathy Wegman who are well known for their creative use of beads in covering everyday items like bicycles, teapots and ice skates. Even we don’t know what they’ll come up with for this exhibition! JC Herrell’s motorbikes will also be featured and Betsy Youngquist and Kim Franklin will return with their wonderful sculptural work.

“Jewelry for Giants” by Christine Marie Noguere and the stunning bead work of Karen Paust will also be delightful additions this year. And nationally recognized quilter, Jane Burch Cochran, uses beads in her whimsical piece titled “Deviled and Angel”.

Our Japanese artists wowed everyone last year and we’ve invited three of our favorites to return this year – Yuka Kawakita, Akihiro Ohkama and Emiko Tanoue. Claudia Pagel of France and Anastasia Basan and Dora Schubert of Germany round out the international contingent.

Some of the returning favorites include Kristen Frantzen Orr, Terri Caspary Schmidt, Kristina Logan and Kate Rothra Fleming. Seven artists from Colorado will also be represented.

The ground level of PISMO is dedicated to the bead show during May, but take a quick trip upstairs to see some of the gallery’s spectacular, year-round collection of fine glass art. For more information about “It’s All About Beads III,” the artists who will appear in the exhibition, or PISMO’s vast collection, contact the gallery at 303-333-2879 or A complete list of participants can be found on the events page of the gallery’s website:

About PISMO Fine Art Glass:
PISMO Fine Art Glass opened in 1990 as a mixed media gallery and switched exclusively to glass in 1995. Owner Sandy Sardella operates three additional galleries in Colorado: PISMO Gallery at Beaver Creek, PISMO Gallery at Vail and PISMO Gallery at Aspen. The PISMO galleries are recognized internationally for the breadth and depth of their collections, offering a variety of pieces to suit everyone from the casual admirer to the serious collector. The Denver gallery is located at 2770 East Second Avenue in Cherry Creek North. Their web site can be found at


I am presently in 'production' mode for the upcoming Bead & Button 2008 event which runs from June 5-8 in Milwaukee. For more info on the event, please check their website at www.beadand - I look forward to seeing you at my booth!

Making beads for an event is both enjoyable and stressful. It's not just about making beads to sell, it's the planning, designing and 'production' that I look forward to each time! I love to sketch out my designs, make a list of 'things to-do' for the day before turning on the torch. Why stressful? Well, I always think I do not have enough beads for any event. It is psychological and pure panic, I suppose.

I shall post photos of my beads when I return from Düsseldorf on Sunday. I am attending the Tap Festival which runs from May 1-3 and international tap dancers will be there. I have signed up for a workshop with Barbara Duffy who will be focusing on Leon Collins' tap techniques. I am so excited to be taking a tap-dancing workshop with her! This is my little treat and break before I launch full-time into my 'production' mode. Besides B&B, I have 2 other events which run in July and August. This is the busiest time of the year for me.

Last but not least, we're having fantastic spring weather - I was out for a walk this morning in my neighborhood and captured these pictures - my present source of inspiration for my lampworking -

Any idea, what this bird is called? I can't believe that he actually posed for the camera!