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,
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!"
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.
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