I first saw a lampwork torch in action sometime in 2005/6 at a bead fair, and as soon as I set eyes on it I knew I had to have a go myself!
I was browsing the web in early in 2007, idly looking for lampwork lessons but couldn't find any in my locality. I stumbled across Manda Muddimer's website (Mango Beads) in Barnstaple, and I was due to take a holiday there in a couple of month's time, so fate had spoken! Manda is a fab teacher and although I was already very interested in melting glass, her enthusiasm was infectious, and her guidance and encouragement set me firmly on my way to becoming a fully-fledged lampworker.
After returning from Devon I bought my first lampworking starter kit. I'm lucky enough to have a workshop above our garage at home, so after some repair work to the roof I was ready to play with glass! After a very short time I knew that lampworking was what I wanted to do, so I saved up and invested in a more professional setup, a Nortel Mega Minor torch running on oxygen and propane.
As is the case with many artists, I find inspiration everywhere; the natural world, travel brochures, ornaments, fabric patterns and even my nephew's toothbrush! I don't feel I have a particular style although people tell me I have. I do have a signature design though - my Rainbow Tie-Dye beads, which I love very much. I'm pleased, not to mention amazed, to have developed a technique that I've not seen anywhere else.
I love what I do so much that I often wish I'd been doing it for longer!