Pinar Hakim

April 2008


Beading Times: How long have you been making beads?
Pinar Hakim: Since May 2004

What got you started making beads?
I had a passion for glass beads. I collected antique (Pre-historic, Greek and Roman period) beads since I was in high school.  Then, I studied Greek and Roman archaeology and was able to see lots of old stuff in real life. Later I  became an antiques dealer but I always had this passion for glass and finally I decided to try making it myself. I got my first workshop at the Glass Furnace.  I was hooked on day one.

Were you interested in making beads before that?
Although I loved glass, it never occurred to me that I could produce them myself, until I saw this ad for The Glass Furnace on the internet. It was a turning point in my life.

Did you have an artistic or craft history before that? How has that translated into the beadmaking, if at all?
I used to work part time in the jewelry shop of a friend of mine at the Grand Bazaar when I was a college student. I learnt a lot in the workshops there and it has some influence on my work.

Can you share a photo of some of your other works with us?
Unfortunately I do not have any pictures.

Did you take a class?
Yes, my very first workshop was at The Glass Furnace   I’ve also taken classes with Kristina Logan, Anne Londez & Diego Bottacin, Corina Tettinger, Luccio Bubacco, Michi Suzuki, Tom Galbraith and Tom Holland (so far). I believe there is no limit to learning so I use every chance I get to attend a class.

What has surprised you most about working with glass?
The outcome of each and every work is a surprise. Glass is such an unpredictable matter when hot. The reaction of two different colors, the reaction with metals and what comes out of the kiln may be totally irrelevant to what you have in mind. It keeps amazing me.

Have you had anyone that you consider to be a mentor? Tell me about them.
Unfortunately no.

Whose beads inspire you the most?
Holly Cooper. I love her style and the shape and texture of her beads.  Michael Barley, Andrea Guarrino, Amber van Meter and Manuela Wutsche are some of the other names of artists that I really like.

Do you sell your beads?
Yes, I sell them on ebay and have an Etsy shop. Also I sell them in a private art gallery in Istanbul and soon I will be selling in the shop of the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art.

Did you intend to sell your beads when you first started? What got you started selling them?
No, in fact I first started lampworking as a form of meditation (instead of using Prozac). Upon the positive reaction of friends and family I decided to start selling them.

Do you make beads for friends?
I used to, in the beginning. Now I do not have enough time so I don’t. But if there is an occasional bead they really really love, I give it to them.

What does your spouse/children/family/friends think of your beadmaking?
My whole family is very supportive.

What sort of set up do you have for making beads? (Type of torch, gas, kiln, etc.)
Nortel minor torch, propane and oxygen tanks and a toolbox kiln.

What type of glass do you use?
Moretti, Vetrofond, Lauscha , ASK, CIM and Double Helix.

Do you have any favorite colors or  combinations of glass rod to work with?
I love working with Double Helix,  EDP and Copper Green.

Do these colors (or combos.) create a special reaction when used in a certain way?
These colors react in a very interesting way when used with silver leaf. I simply love it. I get the antique effect that I love so much. I also like the effect of etching.

Do you have a favorite product, i.e. bead release, glass, etc.
I love Double Helix glasses and some hand pulled glasses like EDP, copper green, sage and purple color glasses.

Do you have a favorite beadmaking book or piece of instructional material (video, etc.)?
Corina Tettinger’s book is a very instructive one, it’s a must have.

Do you have a favorite technique?
Since I work mostly with reactive glasses, my favorite technique is reduction. I can achieve the texture I want with this technique.  I use etching a lot also.

Are you a “set” person or a “focal bead” person?
I am more a “set” person. I love to see the different beads in harmony in a set, although I do make lots of focal beads.

Have you developed a “signature” bead, a unique type of bead that is recognizably yours. Tell us about it, how you developed it, etc.
I believe my scrollwork has become my signature. Although people seem to distinguish my other beads too.

What is the hardest kind of bead to make for you?
Encasing. I do not like the idea of it.

The easiest?
Anything I do with pleasure.

What is your favorite kind of bead or technique?
Olive form and squeezed beads. I love to use reduction a lot, and silver and gold leaf are my favorite materials.

Do you still have the first beads you made? What do you think of them now?
Not the very first ones. They were horrible. I kept the ones I made after setting up my studio.

How have your beads changed? Since you started or over the years?
At the beginning I made simple round beads and tried to mix colors.  With time I have changed into developing texture and antique effects using different forms.

What was your scariest beadmaking experience?
Once I was taking a boro marble class and dropped the marble on my lap. My dress was instantly on fire. I had a hard time putting the fire out. I still have the burn spot on my right leg. It hurt very much. I still don’t like making marbles.

Do you have a humorous beadmaking experience or moment to sare with us?
The same marble story. I laughed a lot afterwards. There was a huge hole in my dress... the size of a football.

Have you had any “glass epiphanies” while working – some revelation or understanding? What were they?
No, but I lose contact with the whole world when I work.


Do you have a technique or method or tip to share?
Use DH Psyche on CIM Canyon De Chelly or 274 purple or brown. Work as you would regularly. After the bead is done, cool down and streak in reduction flame. You get a beautiful color effect.

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?
Sometimes. Michael Franks is my favorite.

Do you have any advice or encouraging words for someone who is just starting out in glass?
Beware, this is addictive and contagious.

Have you “invented” any new tools, or recycled something that wouldn’t ordinarily be thought of as a tool for lampworking?
I had come across an ancient coin mould at the Grand Bazaar which I used in making a cabochon.

How much time do you spend making beads (in hours) per week? Is it enough?
Since beadmaking is my part time passion I can only spare 10-12 hours  a week. This is definitely not enough.

What about photographing your beads – what do you use to get your pictures and do you have any tips or tricks to share?
My husband does all the shooting and photoshopping. I am illiterate in technical issues.

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

I sell on ebay :  and I have an Etsy shop :

Do you sell at shows or in stores or other venues? Do you sell the beads by themselves, or already made up into jewelry?
I prefer to sell my beads by themselves. I see them as pieces of art. I leave the design part to designers.

I work with a well known designer in Istanbul, Gonul Paksoy.  Pretty soon the shop in the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art will start selling a collection made with my beads.

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?
For me it’s a passion. The feeling of producing and being appreciated is just great. I spend most of the money I make on workshops, books and supplies. I never have enough of it. I envy the people who do it full time.

Where do you see yourself going with lampworking/glassworking in the future? Or, where do you see it taking you?
I am enjoying the journey and never thought of the destination.

Do you have a favorite bead, a “best bead.” Can you share a photograph with us?
Yes. Here it is.


name :   Pinar Hakim

location :  Istanbul, Turkey



See Istanbul...

the city where Pinar lives, works and creates.