Archived Featured Bead Artists
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Kandice Seeber, Air & Earth Designs

Washington, USA

seeberk@comcast.net

by: Dwyn Tomlinson


Beading Times: How long have you been making beads?
Kandice Seeber: For about two and a half years.

Beading Times: What got you started making beads?
Kandice Seeber: I have always adored beads, color and light. When I discovered that people were able to make glass beads (this was about 4 years ago), I was immediately intrigued. I started off by buying them for my jewelry creations. I fell in love with them and decided that I had to try it out.

Beading Times: Were you interested in making beads before that?
Kandice Seeber: Not really, because I had no idea it was even possible. Once I found out that people could make their own, I began to research the idea for myself.

Beading Times: Did you take a class?
Kandice Seeber: Yes - it was a class given to me as a gift by a group of people I had been commiserating with online. It was a beginner's class in a local glass shop in Portland, and I loved it!

Beading Times: What has surprised you most about working with glass?
Kandice Seeber: That I could actually do it without killing myself! Working with sharp glass, really hot fire and actual tools helped me to face some fears of mine.

Beading Times: Have you had anyone that you consider to be a mentor? Tell me about them.
Kandice Seeber: My mentor is Paulette Insall. She's a glass beadmaker in Portland, and I apprenticed with her for a couple of months right after I first started making beads. She's a wonderful artist and a really sweet person. We've become great friends. She's a fabulous teacher and makes amazing beads.

Beading Times: Whose beads inspire you the most?
Kandice Seeber: Paulette's of course. I also love Corina Tettinger, Donna of Blackberry Beads, Michael Barley, Kalera (Beadwife)…..oh, the list goes on. I am constantly awed by the beauty of beads.

Beading Times: Do you sell your beads?
Kandice Seeber: Oh, yes. Online at ebay and on my website, and also once in awhile at a show or to people locally.

Beading Times: Do you make beads for friends?
Kandice Seeber: Definitely. Not only is it a great way to give gifts, but there is that shock factor…. "you mean, you *made* these???"

Beading Times: What does your family and friends think of your beadmaking?
Kandice Seeber: My husband is very supportive. He paid for all the equipment. He knows how happy it makes me, so he's really on board with it. Everyone who knows me knows this is a huge part of my life now, and they are all so supportive and kind.

Beading Times: What sort of set up do you have for making beads? (Type of torch, gas, kiln, etc.)
Kandice Seeber: I work on a minor burner with propane and an oxygen concentrator. I have a Fusebox Big Blue kiln with a digital controller.

Beading Times: Do you have a favorite product, i.e. bead release, glass, etc.
Kandice Seeber: I use Fusion bead release because it works wonderfully for me. I also have a couple of tools that I can't live without.

Beading Times: What are those tools you can't do without?
Kandice Seeber: My tungsten curved pick - it's the secret weapon! I use it for just about every decoration, especially flowers.

Beading Times: What type of glass do you use?
Kandice Seeber: Moretti/Effetre, Lauscha, Vetrofond, Bullseye. All soft glass for the time being.

Beading Times: Do you have a favorite technique?
Kandice Seeber: I am known for simple raised flowers — like daisies. Encasing stripes is like hypno-therapy for me — I love to gaze at the glass as it melts and pulls the stripes out. It's bliss.

 

Beading Times: Do you make sets?
Kandice Seeber: Definitely. Most of what I make are beads in sets.

Beading Times: How do you go about making a set? Do you decide in advance to make a set in a given color, or do you assemble it afterwards, or something else entirely?
Kandice Seeber: I start with the color scheme. For me, everything revolves around which colors I am using together. I gather the colors, and then I think about shape, then design. I plan my sets as I make the beads. If it doesn't end up working out, the beads get set aside for later.

Beading Times: Which do you prefer to make, a pile of beads or a single perfect bead?
Kandice Seeber: Well - I can make many small beads in a session, but they all have to be perfect. LOL It's the Virgo in me, I guess.

Beading Times: Have you developed a "signature" bead, a unique type of bead that is recognizably yours. Tell us about it, how you developed it, etc.
Kandice Seeber: Not as of yet. People tell me that my raised florals carry my distinct style. But I haven't done anything that hasn't already been done before, I think. Someday maybe.

Beading Times: What was your biggest obstacle to overcome?
Kandice Seeber: Learning to not be afraid of the flame.

Beading Times: How did you conquer your fear of the flame? Was it just through exposure, or was it something specific?
Kandice Seeber: Breathing exercises. Seriously - kind of meditation with the flame on. I learned to respect the flame, and always take very good care of my torch to avoid catastrophes

 

Beading Times: What is the hardest kind of bead to make for you?
Kandice Seeber: Encased florals, but I get better at it every time I try.

Beading Times: The easiest?
Kandice Seeber: Well, spacers - does that count? Seriously, I have a few techniques that are familiar stand-bys for me that I can do over and over. Raised simple florals, cubes, dot distortion beads, encased striped, scrolls, etc.

 

Beading Times: What is your favorite kind of bead or technique?
Kandice Seeber: I love making hearts and cubes. I also love making the rounds with flowers. I love it all. It's hard to pick a favorite. It's more about the color for me, sometimes. I adore using rubino (gold pink) glass. It has a special quality to it that is hard to describe.
  

 

 

Beading Times: How have your beads changed? Since you started or over the years?
Kandice Seeber: My beads are cleaner than they were — I like to perfect each technique completely before I move on. I've gotten to know the glass, so my designs are more on purpose than they were before I started, if that makes any sense. I can make matched pairs, now! LOL

Beading Times: Do you still have the first beads you made? What do you think of them now?
Kandice Seeber: Pfffff no. I wish I did. I can't remember what I did with them, but they were awful. Bad. Beyond terrible.

Beading Times: What was your scariest beadmaking experience?
Kandice Seeber: Making beads at The Gathering (ISGB) while people watched. I was using a torch I had never used before, and glass I hadn't touched before. ACK! Stage fright, definitely.

Beading Times: Have you had any "glass epiphanies" while working - some revelation or understanding? What were they?
Kandice Seeber: Hahahaha!! My biggest revelation was that making beads on 1/16" mandrels is so much easier than using larger mandrels! Glass wants to be rounder, and encasing is easier. For some reason. It's a physics thing according to my husband. Something about the amount of space the glass has to travel, etc. Whatever - it's just easier for me. I made leaps and bounds in my technique when I started using smaller mandrels for my smaller beads. Focals on the large mandrels are still fine though.

Beading Times: Do you have a technique or method or tip to share?
Kandice Seeber: Use a curved dental pick to crease flower petals. It's so much more precise than using a razor blade or stump shaper tool. I have hardly told anyone that. It's how my flowers turn out so well.

Beading Times: Where do you get your dental tools? Do you actually get them from your dentist? <grin> Maybe in trade for beads?
Kandice Seeber: Hahahahahaha!!!! No - Frantz Art Glass sells them, as well as a few sellers on ebay. I got mine from Frantz.

 

Beading Times: Have you "invented" any new tools, or recycled something that wouldn't ordinarily be thought of as a tool for lampworking?
Kandice Seeber: Um … no, not really. I love using dental tools — I can't live without them. But people already know this, pretty much.

Beading Times: Could you share with us some pictures of your studio set up?
Kandice Seeber: Sure. It's clean in the picture. Don't be fooled.

Beading Times: What about photographing your beads - what do you use to get your pictures?
Kandice Seeber: I use a Nikon Coolpix 4300 to take my pictures, which I absolutely love. Beads are placed on white paper in a homemade wooden box wrapped in white fabric, with incandescent lights.

Beading Times: Do you have a website or auction site that you regularly sell your beads on? If so, what is the url/id info, etc.
Kandice Seeber: I sell on ebay (user id kseeber) and on my website: http://www.lampwork.net

Beading Times: Do you sell at shows or in stores or other venues? Do you sell the beads by themselves, or already made up into jewelry?
Kandice Seeber: I sell both beads and jewelry, but most of the time just the beads. I only do one show — a private show for Costco Main Office employees once per year.

Beading Times: Where do you see yourself going with lampworking/glassworking in the future? Or, where do you see it taking you?
Kandice Seeber: It's my bliss, so I plan to do it forever. As long as I love what I am doing, I will continue.

Beading Times: Do you have a favorite bead, a "best bead." Can you share a photograph with us?

 


 


 


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 dwyn@beadingtimes.com.

Copyright 2005 Dwyn Tomlinson. Photos by and copyright by the interviewee, unless stated otherwise.