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by Carolyn Jankovskis

Lyn Richards

2375 State Rd 13
Jacksonville, FL 32259


Beading Times: How long have you been making beads?
Lyn Richards: 2 years

What got you started making beads?
In 2002 I migrated to Jacksonville, Florida from Manchester, New Hampshire, in search of a management position in computer technical support. Two years later I was looking for work again, frustrated at having lost a second corporate management level job to international outsourcing. I decided to change career paths and become a Realtor. I reasoned that becoming a Realtor would afford me more time to spend with my family and practice my arts, and so Artemis Lampwork was born.
In the birth months of Artemis Lampwork, I began designing lampwork jewelry with great joy in my heart. The high price of the lampwork beads, however, was a less than joyous discovery. The price tag of qulaity lampwork, coupled with the fact that I couldn't seem to find the specific pieces I had in mind, inspired me to want to create my own lampwork beads. That year (2005) my husband surprised me with an early Christmas present; all the supplies necessary to begin lampworking myself. From that point forward, the glass began to take on a life of its own.
Did you have an artistic or craft history before that? How has that translated into the beadmaking, if at all?
With a degree from the University of New Hampshire in Pre-Vet/Animal Sciences, I began my career in the animal sciences, discovering that a veterinary career was not my cup of tea, as I couldn't separate myself emotionally from my work. I have always loved horses, and for many years was an Olympic Level Dressage competitor. My riding career ended with a bad car-accident in the mid-80’s, and I transferred my love of horses to dogs. I shifted vocations, becoming a dog trainer. I was successful in dog-training, and found more acclaim as a lecturer and published author on the subject. I co-authored a book with Jill Swedlow (The Great Dane: Model of Nobility), and my writing has been featured in many canine magazines, most notably The Dog Fancy publications.

Did you take a class?

What has surprised you most about working with glass?
The most interesting aspects of working with glass have been the surprises that await in the kiln when I try creative color combinations and the endless possibilities for shape and design. I don't prefer one specific technique over another, calling myself "eclectic" in that regard. My flexible style allows me to do a variety of things well.

Whose beads inspire you the most?
I find inspiration in the designs of "Amazoo," because of her bright colors and innovative shapes. "Corina," because of her teeny tiny beads with such amazing detail. "Kimberly Affleck," because of her amazing use of twisty and stringer. "Plum Loco Designs," because she thinks way outside the box and has a fertile and wacky imagination. Nikki Carollo because she has a great sense of humor, and her beads are exquisitely detailed and humorous as well. Last, but not least, "Amy Caswell's" adorable animals, I think her beads were my primary inspiration originally.
Do you sell your beads? 
Yes, EBay, Private sales, Website & Galleries.

Do you make beads for friends?

What does your spouse/children/family/friends think of your beadmaking?
My family is supportive of my art, though they alternately deem me insane and/or a genius, depending on the day!
What sort of set up do you have for making beads? (Type of torch, gas, kiln, etc.)
The torches I use are my original minor  and I have added a Bethlehem Pirahna, using both with oxygen concentrators & tanked propane; my kiln is a Chilli-Pepper, I love it!

What type of glass do you use?
My studio is stocked with Effetre, vetrofond, ASK, CIM and Lauscha glass, though at times I have used Gaffer, BE and Caliente.

Do you have a favorite product, i.e. bead release, glass, etc.
My favorite tools are a brass poker, graphite and brass marvers, and a Zooziis Kalera Press used for squeeze beads. I also keep Bucket'O Mud Bead Release nearby as it is my friend in the studio, it has saved many a bead!

Do you have a favorite technique?
In the last 6 months or so, I have branched out and begin to focus on specific elements of  lampworking techniques, in order to gain skill levels. My experiments with creating detailed and special application twisties has led to a mini-vocation within lampworking for me. I am catering to other lampworkers needs and creating CUSTOM twisties and canes for them to create their own masterpieces with. And to top it off, I LOVE making them!

Are you a “set person” or a “focal bead” person?
I typically create bead sets; focal type sets and sculptural sets being my mainstay.


Have you developed a “signature” bead, a unique type of bead that is recognizably yours. Tell us about it, how you developed it, etc.
In the beginning, my signature bead was an aquatic style bead with an "foil based transparent" center surrounded by seashore-type decorations on the outside (which I first made accidentally); I still make the aquatic style beads occasionally. Lately I've also been leaning towards florals, organics & pastels which I believe are becoming quite good. 


 These are some of my Signature Beads!
I call them Caribbean Beads, I mix the colors myself...

What is the hardest kind of bead to make for you? 
Dotted Beads.

The easiest?

Do you still have the first beads you made?  What do you think of them now?
When asked how the first beads I made, compare to the beads I makes now, I laughingly tell people, “they can’t compare!” (I gave them to my husband and told him to hide them!)

Do you have a technique or method or tip to share?
The best tips I can pass along to other lampworkers involve networking and reading. I am self-taught, BUT really I have learned a LOT from the SHARING of other lampworkers. I belong to the Lampwork etc forum ( since 6 months after I began lampworking, I've been a part of this very supportive community. There are other lampworking communities as well, but this one by far has been the most influential in my life, as a community and resource. I can share my art, ask for feedback when I am trying to improve a technique, and read tutorials about new techniques, then try them and share the results via pictures.
SO my advice? Network locally, make lampworking community connections online, read as much on the art as you can, watch technique videos, and Practice, Practice, Practice!

Do you listen to music when you work, or prefer complete silence? If you listen to music what is your favorite type of music or artist to listen to while you work? 
MUSIC, I love Mannheim Steamroller, Tripping Lily, the BeeGees, Najee, Evanescence, Do'ah, CCR, Jewel, Norah Jones, I could go on. I have eclectic tastes in MUSIC too, don't I? LOL
Do you have any advice or encouraging words for someone who is just starting out in glass?
My advice to those just beginning lampworking is to start out with a bare minimum of tools. Join groups for guidance and support. Many tools can be traded or purchased at a great discount from many lampwork artists. I also suggest joining forum groups as it is a great way to learn the art, build confidence, and make friends. I belong to Lampwork Etc. (, it is an awesome forum and a great place to network and learn.

Could you share with us some pictures of your studio set up?
Sure! Once upon a time my studio was my garage refurbished into a room in the house. Now I claim half as my studio and let my husband use the other half. 

Note the large pile of glass prepped for twisties on the far right rear of my worktable! LOL (In front of the fan)

Things I CANNOT live without, Creation Station, Bethlehem Piranha Torch, Chili Pepper Kiln, TWO DeVilbiss (5LPM, 10 pounds pressure) Oxycons under the worktable (from Oxygen Plus Medical Systems, ( the ONLY place to buy your 5 year warranteed Concentrators!), lots of  Effetre, ASK, Vetrofond, Lauscha & CIM Glass from (FAST delivery and VERY low prices!), Bucket'O Mud Bead Release, Fire extinguisher (freshly charged), Propane Leak Detector sprayer, leftover warehouse tiles on floor.

Glass Storage:

Who can work without a Studio Cat to keep your back warm? (or claw you depending on her mood?) LOL

I have this GREAT custom built cabinet to store all my packing materials and bead supplies!
When the doors are CLOSED it looks all nice and neat, when I open the left hand door, I also have a drop down table that serves as a computer stand and work area. (I also have a GREAT wooded view during the daytime, see?)




How much time do you spend making beads (in hours) per week? Is it enough?
40 plus hours and it is NEVER enough! I am addicted to the glass and the flame!
What about photographing your beads – what do you use to get your pictures and do you have any tips or tricks to share?
I have 2 photo cubes, I use a Canon Power Shot Pro digital, Photoshop 6.0 and have a LOT of tips as I used to be a professional photographer!

First off I own two light tents. Second... I rarely use them!
I've found that I prefer natural outdoor lighting (when possible), or an indoor single large spot light, a reflector card to bounce the light back to my beads, and I shoot from above! I own an 8 Megapixel Canon Powershot Pro with Super Macro abilities (a MUST when shooting small subjects) and a tripod.

I have a background in professional commercial photography from back in the 80s, which certainly helps me. Most of my work then was with a large format film camera. While digital is SO much different than film photography, I LOVE the instant gratification of being able to review and reject poor shots instantly.

Things to remember when shooting pictures of beads;
Don't use flash, use stationary lighting so you can "see" what the actual shot will look like. Flash also reflects off the beads and creates white-out, masking or hiding features on the beads. A diffused white spot will show the features without creating over-exposed areas.

Make sure you thoroughly clean your beads (remove finger prints, assure you have smooth ends and clean holes) after the initial bead release removal, to remove any trace of finger prints & bead release, It SHOWS UP in photos!

Take SEVERAL shots of the same setup from different angles and in different positions. It's amazing what looks good through the lens, doesn't on the screen.

Take photos of your beads on both sides if they are flat, and roil them if they are round. Show customers EXACTLY what they are getting.

Use Photoshop 6 or better to clean up your lighting (using levels). Lampwork Etc. has some GREAT tutorials on using levels to brighten up your pictures!

Good luck

Do you have a website or auction site that you regularly sell you beads on? If so, what is the url/id info, etc.
Ebay id: ArtemisLamp
Twisties Sales

Do you sell at shows or in stores or other venues?  

Do you sell the beads by themselves, or already made up into jewelry? 

Is this a job, or a passion? Or both? How much of making beads/playing with hot glass is about just making them, vs making a living?
When asked if I do this for a hobby or for work, I always reply, "I see bead making as an exciting career, not work. I don’t want it to become work or it won’t be fun!”
Lampworking is a culmination of all my years as an artist. Glass offers me endless possibilities; I truly feel I have found the perfect outlet for my creativity and love of shape. Even without formal training, I am already producing lovely beads, and I really love the glass, and torching! I think the glass and flame love me as well.

Beading Times is pleased to present a monthly article spotlighting a lampwork bead artist. If you, or someone you know is interested in being featured, please contact

Copyright 2006 Carolyn Jankovskis. Photos by and copyright by the interviewee, unless stated otherwise.

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