Thursday, July 3, 2008

My Love Affair with Lampwork

I thought I first became aware of lampwork beads while working as a producer on The Carol Duvall Show. But, when I look back over the years, I've always had a fascination with a good piece of glass. I'll delve into that later. Let's deal with more recent history.

I started working on Carol's show in January 1999. The field producer (bits shot outside on location) was working on a piece about a lampwork artist. I was fascinated.

In the meantime, I was an avid rubber stamper and starting stalking becoming friends with Bindy Lambell and her young eight-year-old daughter, Lacey. Bindy was a demo artist with Sunday International Rubber Stamps and when she would leave the booth at a trade show, Lacey would take over and demo! She was awesome!!!

I started pitching Lacey as a guest to Carol. The network didn't want kids on the show...afraid of doing too many "kid projects." Little did they realize, Lacey was NOT a kid project kinda gal. Her stuff was classy. It would take me a year of begging before Lacey got an official invite. I finally convinced them by simply showing a project and not telling them a kid made it!

Little did I know this friendship would change the direction of my life....

But yet another guest on Carol's Show would have an impact on my glass fanaticism. Orna Willis, a designer specializing in needlepoint, was one of my guests. Orna would show up dripping in lampwork beads. I was mesmerized! I would stare at her chest or grab her wrist and pick apart each bead with my eyes! She would even have a long strand of glass beads dangling from her scissors to make them easier to find.

It was Orna who told me about ebay...OY! (This was well before the Chinese influx of crap beads on the market!) I simply loved when Orna came to town. I couldn't wait to see what she would be wearing.

Now, back to Bindy. With each show that Lacey did, Bindy and I became closer friends. She was an avid beader and had had many of her designs grace the covers of magazines. She too had a fascination with lampwork beads.

When I knew it was time to leave Carol in 2001 (I was in desperate need of foot surgery and headed to a wheelchair!), Bindy begged me to take a class with her at San Gabriel Bead Company. After totaling up the tally for the class, I declined, not knowing how long it would be before I was gainfully employed again.

Two months later, Bindy quit her job and made a living selling her beads full time!


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