Monday, May 19, 2008


One by One! We're running a series of mini interviews, based on questions that we think were originally posed by Gerry of Gerry's Jewel Box as a basis for getting to know each other (thanks, Gerry). We will go in no particular order, but will do our BBEST to get everyone posted. Next in our series is

1. What is the name of your shop/s?

Our shop is named Gimmebeads. It was almost BeadsTerrific! You know like Tom Terrific only it's about beads. Cooler heads prevailed.

2. What kind of items do you sell?
The jury is still out on what kind of items we sell. We make glass beads (both of us) and Madeline assembles some of them into jewelry. I make the odd vase/bowl/bottle and some even odder objects d'art. I make a few pendants, which I love making.

3. How did you find Etsy and Boomers also?
I found Etsy when my son, who is a professional web designer, suggested that rather than building a website for us, it would be better if we just put a shop up on Etsy. Etsy? we look where we are? I found BBEST when I saw a posting somewhere about Boomers and I said...Hey, I'm a Boomer and I bet they can help an old man out and tell me what's going on.

4. How long have you been engaged in your art/craft?
We started playing with glass ourselves about 3 years ago. My uncle, Orville Hamon and cousin, Robert Hamon, are sort of famous glass blowers. Orville started his shop in Scott Depot, W.Va in 1931. That shop ran until the late 90's.

5. Do you consider yourself a hobbyist or a professional craftsperson?
This is the most difficult question, but since we can't live off what we make, we obviously can't be professionals. We're ummm...dedicated hobbyist. When we retire, we want to make this a part of our retirement plan.

6. What inspires you?
We put on music, click on the torches, pick up glass and let the glass reach its snakey little tenacles out and draw us in. Glass is all the inspiration we need. And then there's the whole universe out there cheering us on. An Joni singing to us. The sun smiling down. How could we not be inspired?

7. Please share with us what a typical day is like in your workshop or studio?
I usually crank the torch up around 5 a.m. before the heat of the day takes hold. Madeline usually works on jewelry until later in the day before she comes out. I mix up something cold to drink and I'll stay out there until it gets just too warm for me. I don't have a set routine. What I make depends on what we need to make, what people have asked for or just what I feel like that day.

8. What keeps you company while you are working on a project?
Music, Music, Music.

9. What is your favorite 'task' related to your art/craft?
OOOOooooh favorite task. I love pulling points. It's mindless drudge work. But in order to do almost anything with glass you have to take tubing and pull the tubing down on both ends of a section of it so that you have a sort of handle you can blow in to to inflate the section you've left the original size. I think Madeline's favorite task is sorting through the beads to find the ones she wants to make into something. She has them arranged in boxes according to some scheme that is apparent only to her.

10. What is your least favorite 'task' related to your art/craft?
My least favorite task it putting glass back so that it doesn't get mixed up on my table. Every different kind of glass has different expansion and contraction characteristics, sooooo...if you mix them up and put them in the same get an interesting shattered effect. So you have to put stuff back up...yes you do, I try, I really do. Madeline's least favorite task is putting clasps on finished necklaces and of course letting go of anything we make!

11.Would you care to share any 'words of wisdom' with other aspiring artists or
I wish I had some words of wisdom, but I'm just a tired old Boomer. I do know that it's better to be right behind than left behind!

Please leave a comment for these great artists. I'm sure they'd love to read some feedback about their interview. What did you learn about the artists that you didn't know before? Do you agree with some of their philosophies?


Clinging Images said...

I have great respect for anyone who works with glass. Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I've always wanted to know more about working with glass - thank you! - Fabric Art by Debby

jstinson said...

Mike and Madeline, your work is incredible! I have yet to see a single piece that I didn't love! It is always new, different from others work and so fresh! You keep up the great work. I assume that is Joni Mitchel singing to you, you wouldn't want it to be me! LOL

Anitra Cameron said...

Ooh, so gorgeous! I love beads, and I love glass, and you create with glass so beautifully. Thanks for sharing with us.

Anonymous said...

I have watched you guys grow and it is amazing. Just when I see something fantastic you guys have made---you come up with something even better. Keep up the good work dear friends.

Liz said...

Awesome work! I am really loving this series where I can get to know the people I chat to better.

AltheaP said...

I really love Mike and Madeline's work. I really miss Mike on morning forums!

Night Sky said...

Such a fun interview! Mike's personality really shines through here. And of course the beads he and Madeline make are mind blowing little worlds I could get totally lost in.

Precious Quilts said...

Just amazing work! Such a talented couple who create wonderful work!

Thank you for sharing this inspiration.