CrackerCottageStudio

Cracker Cottage Studio ~ Lampwork Beads by Jo Chapman

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Announcement   Welcome to Cracker Cottage Studio where I pursue the ancient art of lampwork, creating glass beads, one by one, and handmade one-of-a-kind jewelry and accessories featuring my beads.

All beads and finished jewelry in my shop are made by me. I work with primium domestic and imported glasses. My beads are digitally kiln-annealed and meticulously cleaned and inspected.

I ship orders within three business days. I guarantee you'll like your purchase. If not, just return the undamaged item within seven days for a full refund, except for return postage.

I'm happy to discuss custom orders at any time. To see more of my work, please visit www.CrackerCottageStudio.com.

Announcement

Welcome to Cracker Cottage Studio where I pursue the ancient art of lampwork, creating glass beads, one by one, and handmade one-of-a-kind jewelry and accessories featuring my beads.

All beads and finished jewelry in my shop are made by me. I work with primium domestic and imported glasses. My beads are digitally kiln-annealed and meticulously cleaned and inspected.

I ship orders within three business days. I guarantee you'll like your purchase. If not, just return the undamaged item within seven days for a full refund, except for return postage.

I'm happy to discuss custom orders at any time. To see more of my work, please visit www.CrackerCottageStudio.com.

Jo Chapman

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Jo Chapman

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About

I Can Do That!

It’s funny how things happen in life. A decision you carry out in one aspect of your life can send you in a new and unexpected direction in another aspect. In the early Spring of 2003, I had Lasik surgery. All of a sudden my eyes were much more useful to me than before. I had worn glasses since grammar school and contacts since the age of 16. Having good vision without the assistance (and bother) of lenses was liberating.

Throughout my life, I’ve always had some sort of craft project going. If you’re reading this blog, you probably know just what I’m talking about. At the time of my eye surgery, I was on a cloth doll-making jag. Girl and boy dolls, flip-flop dolls, Humpty Dumpty dolls, bunny rabbit dolls (of both sexes) and, of course, teddy bears lined the shelves in my sewing/bedroom. But with the improved functionality of my ocular tools, I started looking around (pun intended) for something different to do.

While browsing around the Internet looking for beads to string into eye-glass leashes (for my sunglasses), I clicked on the site’s book section and among other titles found "Making Glass Beads" by Cindy Jenkins. The brief description said the book explained how to "melt glass to make your own glass beads." The photo of the dust cover showed several groups of amazingly beautiful glass beads, and in the lower right there was a photo of a hand holding a stick with something glowing near the end — presumably very hot glass. "Humm...I’d like to read about this!"

In the fullness of time, the book arrived. I sat down and read it (no glasses needed!) from cover to cover. Well, to be honest, I read up to the section on Advanced Techniques. From there on, I basically looked at the photos and read the captions to see what was possible. Then I went back and reread the sections on Getting Started and Making a Basic Bead.

"I can do that!" I thought.

"I’m going to buy a blow torch," I informed Stan. One of the benefits of having been married for thirty odd years is that you’ve stopped asking for permission years ago.

"What do you want that for?!" I could see a look of sheer panic in his eyes as he asked that question.

"I’m going to melt glass to make beads," I explained.

By the time my Beginner Kit arrived and I unpacked my tools and new Hot Head torch, Stan had built a nice sturdy work table and located it in the garage near the end where the big door goes up. He firmly bolted my Hot Head to the table and positioned a fire extinguisher on a nearby shelf. I was off and running!

Hundreds of glass beads later, I decided it was time to make some jewelry. I was lucky enough to participate in two days of cold shop silver-smithing classes by Sharilyn Miller, an amazing artist, who was in Orlando at the time.

One day, a friend who had just bought a pair of my earrings said, "You need to set up a store on Etsy!"

"I can do that!" I said.

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  • Jo Chapman

    Owner, Maker, Designer, Lampwork & Jewelry Artist

    Located in the Ancient City of St. Augustine, my third-floor studio overlooks the beautiful Intra Coastal Waterway. My lampwork is inspired by views of North Florida’s marshlands teaming with birds by day and beautiful sunsets each evening.

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Last updated on February 12, 2011

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