Making a Glass Bead

I am self taught in bead making.  It looked so easy on YouTube!  My first torch was using MAPP propane attached to my dining room table.   Once I got my nerve up to lite the darn thing, I found out it’s not so easy to actually form something that even remotely looks like a bead!!  But I kept at it, read more books, and watched more videos and eventually I formed a non wobbly round bead.   I moved up to a propane/oxygen blend and moved out of the dining room and into my shop.  Watching glass melt and flow, being able to control the shape around the mandrel, and add colors or designs is very therapeutic for me.   Not every bead turns out like I thought it would, but sometimes that means I get really cool ‘accidents’.   I often get inspired by color combinations in nature and think of how to get a bead to represent my vision.   I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I loved making them!

First came the chickens. (The eggs came later)

I worked on farms through college and veterinary school (beef cattle, hay and row crops).  When I graduated veterinary school, we moved off the farm while Jenn finished school.  When we moved to Pennsylvania, a large farm was not financially possible.  We found a large lot in a rural area and that is where we settled and stayed.  Being a farmer at heart, we needed livestock.  The chicken coop was built and the chicks were bought.  I could pretend I was a farmer with my large garden and fresh eggs.

About nine years ago I bought my first Border Collie.  A  neighbor let me put sheep on their property and I got a little closer to being a real farmer.  I currently have three Border Collies that we use to work the sheep and go to Sheepdog Trials.  I have really enjoyed the Sheepdog Trials and the great people I have met through them.  Border Collies are really cool dogs.

We have continued to add to our little farm.  We now raise two pigs a year for a pig roast and the freezer.  We raise a steer each year and last year we added the dairy goats.  This spring we added the bee hives and now we have decided to expand this into a business.  Jenn has her beautiful handmade glass beads and jewelry and I have the farm products.  We hope you enjoy what we are now providing.  We appreciate the support.

My Glass Obsession

I have always been fascinated by light coming through colored glass.   I always loved looking at the stained glass windows at church when I was little.  Several years ago, my sweet husband bought me everything I needed to start making stained glass projects.  I have never used it.  I think it intimidated me, or possibly was an issue with four small kids running around and having a safe spot to work.  I did however start doing mosaics.  I love making candles and watching the flame flicker through the colors.  At Christmas, I have glass ornaments that I put in the windows and let the winter sun shine through.  It makes me happy.  Then somehow, I decided that melting glass in a flame would be a good idea.  Watching glass melt and flow and controlling the shape and movement of it while adding different colors and designs while turning it on a mandrel to form a bead is one of the most therapeutic things I have ever done.  It is an addiction.  I would sit an make bead after bead, then different shapes, experimenting with different types of glass and different color combinations.  It was a great stress reliever and a lot of fun!  Then I had all these beads.  What the heck am I going to do with all these beads??  I guess I should make some jewelry.  It’s amazing how one thing leads to another.  To be honest, I don’t particularly like making jewelry.  I have ideas and designs in my head but not always the skills to produce what I am thinking-although I’m working on it!  I like the designing part.  I like looking at a bead and thinking about how it would best be spotlighted.  Because it’s art.  It should be showcased.  I have thought about selling it for years but wasn’t sure how it would be received.  I mean, my mom likes it!  But she also liked the macaroni art I did in kindergarten!!  So here we are going public with some of my little beauties—I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed making them!

Jenn

And it begins

As a hectic summer winds down, we are ready to get this site up and running.  Two kids off to college and one just moving out on his own after graduating from college.  One still left in the nest.  We have laying hens, brown eggs, lamb and goat kids for sale and it is time get the word out.  Jenn has posted some of her jewelry on the site.  Still need to get more posted.  The laying hens we raised are just about ready to lay and the lambs are almost ready for sale.  We had our first sale of chickens, less than 24 hours after our first sale listing.  We are excited about getting started.  If you see anything that interests you, let us know.  Thank you.

Morgan and Jenn