My name is Jeannie Cox and I just LOVE to create glass art, beads and jewelry with molten glass and a torch. The torch flame is just mesmerizing and creating works of art from a rod of glass by melting, shaping and manipulating is both exhilerating and relaxing at the same time. There are endless possibilities for color combinations, shapes and designs that I don't ever think I could discover them all. My first try at lampworking (melting glass with a torch) was way back in 1996. I received a boroscilicate torch, supplies and glass rods for a Xmas present. I was enthralled and excited to learn how to make small sculptures, pendants and figurines of my own. I always had a desire to learn the craft I saw artists demonstrate in malls and fairs since I was young, but try as I might, I just could not seem to get the hang of shapiing the glass the way I wanted. I fooled around with glass here and there for a little while, but a home move and lack of room to set up my workbench basically ended my desire to make glass art. Not having the space to work or seeing any potential in myself made me decide (at that time) that I may never improve or be good enough to create neat art pieces from glass. I put the "dream" out of my mind. Jump to 2005/2006. Long story short, I discovered glass beads and was enthralled with all the beauty jammed into such a small, compact space.  I thought again that I may just have a chance to create with a medium that I have admired since I was a child. I started with a Hothead torch in May of 2007, not wanting to invest much money if I just couldn't get the hang of this craft, either. Right away, I was able to make some fairly decent beads. I was thrilled - finally, I could create! I seemed to advance fairly quickly for a time, re-learning the feel of the glass, the way it flows. It seemed I had come full-circle, like I was always meant to work with glass. I finally had my desire fullfilled! I consider myself to be basically self- taught, learning from reading books, viewing instructions on-line, looking at cool bead pictures and trying to repeat the effect, or mostly just by experimenting with the glass myself. I signed up and took one, 7-week beginner's class in lampworking. The classes were fun, and I was able to use a Minor-burner torch instead of my Hothead, which was a MUCH better torch (and I ordered one the first week of classes). I had a wonderful instructor, Laurie Nessel, and I learned a lot just from viewing how she held the glass, applied decoration, used the flame, etc. I have since taken classes under the guidance of Margaret Zinzer, who makes cool color effects pop out in her beads, and also Deb Crowley, who was wonderfully enthusiastic about her fish beads. My most recent instruction was from Lauren Stump in November of 2008, and that class just blew me away. It was a week long, usually putting in 12 or more hours per day, but boy, was it worth it. So many ideas flowing through my head, things I never thought of attempting with glass. Amazing! We'll see where these ideas take me.
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