Thursday, August 13, 2009

Interview with Lynne Bowland of Fireball Beeds

Adding another interview to this site has long been on my to-do list and I thought it would be fun for you to get to know some of my fellow Fire Divas. You can look for more interviews from them in the future.

First up is one of the first friends I made in the Divas: D. Lynne Bowland, known on Etsy as Islandgirl. Lynne is one the nicest people I've ever "met" online and she makes fantastic beads and jewelry too.
Gumball Machine Pendant

What attracted you to glass?

Back in the early 80's, my nieghbour signed up for a stained glass class with a friend. The friend backed out so I took her spot. Two years later I signed up for a Tiffany lamp class got 2 of 6 panels done cut out all the identical white pieces and put them unlabeled on the drier where they lived for 3 or 4 years. My son found them when he was two and put them all in a pail... 2 years later I sorted them and built the lamp, which lived in the dining room in Saskatoon (SK) for 12 years.

I ran a commercial glass studio from 1988 until 2000. Now I have a seasonal gallery which I've run for 10 summers, five years in SK and 5 years here.

Fused Glass Plates:
Plate designed for World Jr. Volleyball Tournament

A kitty plate

Many glass artists have training in other art mediums. Do you? If yes, please explain.

I guess I started in fibre. I learned to knit when I was 12, took a weaving class while I was at University and then taught myself how to spin. Actually I've tried most things over the years. I volunteered as a blacksmith in Saskatoon on Boomtown street for a number of years; I dabble in silver smithing; I tired pottery; Clay doesn't like me; I went into a Fashion design program straight out of high school so have done a lot of fibre related things. I ended up graduating with a degree in Geology - not sure where I took that turn!

Felted wool hat

Describe the first bead you made that you were really proud of? Are you still proud of it now?

I started making beads in '94... I really don't know what my favorite bead was or if I still have it. I really like a lot of the Jellyfish beads I'm doing now but I'm sure there are other beads that I've made in the past that I was equally as impressed with at the time! I'm always pleased when I get a gumball machine to work.... as the base and the glob are one piece!

What inspires you?

I love gardening and oceans... hence the flower beads and jelly fish seascapes!

Jellyfish bead

Do you have a plan when you sit down to torch? Do you sketch beads or have photos around for reference?

I have photos if I'm trying to make something specific. Sometimes I'll sketch a shape - but I usually wing it. I often go out to make a specific bead and when I quit a few hours later the beads still hasn't been done!

Photography seems to be a key element for any glass artist. What type of camera / lightbox set up do you use?

Photo set up

Photo cube full of cat hair, (It doesn't have a top - just 3 sides and a floor.) natural light and a tiny samsung NV3 camera. [The camera] has a great macro lense but scenery really sucks.

If the issue of finances (i.e. will it sell?) were of no consequence, what would you spend your time making?

Not sure I like making the big focals but I also like doing beads that I can make into jewellery as I really enjoy making jewellery! (I sold my Kandinsky necklace.. a pair of matching earrings and a matching bracelet today! [Note:
Lynne, like myself, enjoys the Art Bead Scene challenges. She frequently cheers me on every month when I feel like I'm out of ideas! Kandinsky was the challenge for June.]

Kandinsky Necklace

What kind of jewelry do you wear? Everyday vs. out on the town?

Very little difference. I usually have a couple of my chain maillle bracelets and and lampwork bracelet on my right arm and one or two bracelets on my left... I always wear earrings and some sort of necklace. Most of the jewellery is mine although i do wear jewellery that I've bought from other bead artists and jewellers!

What is the one skill you wish came easier to you?

Intricate scroll-work (stringer) ; I work left handed and always seem to melt things that I don't want melted!

What do you love about marketing your business? What’s the hardest part of marketing it?

I like the look on peoples faces when they say, "You made these?
" Although a number of people walk into the gallery and look around ( I sell work from about 40 Canadian Women) and say did you make everything in here... I think the hardest part is knowing what to charge for loose beads, I have no problem getting my price for finished jewellery but loose beads are a much harder sell!
Aztec Love Bird

Please include any links you would like my readers to know about.
Lynne's website Fireball Beeds
Beads and wool hat available here: Lynne's Etsy store
More info on the Gallery Lynne runs


Lea Avroch said...

Thanks for the great interview Holly. I just love learning all about our fellow divas.

I must comment on the gumball is perfectly shaped & so realistic looking though I'm sure it's a millionth of the size of a real one. Great work!

Islandgirl said...

Thanks so much for this Holly! I missed it as I looked on your Creek Hiker Blog! Why it would be there I don't know!