Lea's involvement with the fascinating art of lampwork beads began when she attended an art festival at the University of Tampa and watched a demonstration of one of the vendors making glass beads. Unfamiliar with the art, she was mesmerized by the creation of these tiny beautiful works of art born out of a flaming torch.

She began to collect lampwork (also called flamework) beads and then decided to take a class to learn beadmaking first hand. Lea has since studied with many well-known glass bead artists, including Leah Fairbanks, Kim Osibin, Sylvie Lansdowne, Pati Walton, Bronwyn Heilman, Kristen Frantzen Orr, Paul Stankard and Loren Stump (the BEST!), but still credits the two-day workshop she took at a local art center with igniting her passion for the art. Marilyn Jobe of Ellenton, Florida taught the class using the simple Hot-Head torch. "For two solid days, Marilyn taught us to make simple, concise, well-centered neat little beads on the Hot-Head torch and I was forever hooked!"

Eight years later (and many, many beads later), Lea's hero is still Cindy Jenkins, the inventor of the Hot-Head torch and author of "Making Glass Beads" which is a simple guide to the art of making beads. Cindy's invention of this simple beginner's torch which uses a canister of MAPP gas has enabled many glass bead makers to begin making beads without a huge investment of money for tools, etc. Her new book, "Beads of Glass" promises to be the newest 'must-have' for both beginning and advanced glass beadmakers.

Lea currently owns three torches: Glass Torch Technology's Bobcat torch, another GTT torch called the Lynx, and a Nortel mid-range torch. She still uses her original Hot-Head torch for live demonstrations at shows!

Lea works in a delightful , 1930's cottage-style studio behind her home in Clearwater, Florida. Lea can be reached at her email ''.


last updated 09.06.2008
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