I’ve always been a magpie, stacking up all those useless shiny things in big
gaudy piles. So, when I first became interested in glass, it seemed logical to
look into bead-making and lampwork.
I bought a kiln, started melting bottles and windows and never made a bead.
Another glass buddy (Frank) and I signed up to take a private, beginning bead-
making class from Jodie McDougall of GlassWhimz. It was seriously awesome. Not
only did Jodie have donuts and snacks for us, the bead-making instruction was
We learned on Minor bench burners after Jodie helpfully demonstrated on a Hot
Head/MAPP gas set up. One pass convinced us that this is not the best occasion
to go cheap.
Both Frank and I started out with itty beads until we got the hang of it, then
Jodie showed us how to make dots and stringers, then we used other tools to
shape even more beads and learned about what makes a quality bead different from
a sweatshop bead.
After an intensive 4 hours, I had about 10 beads done. All of them are, of
course, spectacularly beautiful.
If you have an interest in bead making and want an intensive personal
introduction, you should give the Jodie a call, I highly recommend the entire