Archived Featured Bead Artists
Ania Karolina Kyte, Amy Waldman Engel, Barrie Edwards, Jodi Lindsey, Rebecca Voris, Karen Elmquist, Allison Turner, Debbie Dimoff, Margaret Zinser, Slava Popov, Faith Davis Ferris, Helen Harvest, Dwyn Tomlinson, Kristy Naray, Connie Paul, Rosemary Tottosy, Jennifer Gurganux, Jinx Garza, Nikki Lynn Carollo, Cathy Lybarger, NLM Glass Artists, Linda James, Kandice Seeber

Jocelyn Pappadakis,

Oregon, USA

by: Dwyn Tomlinson

Beading Times: How long have you been making beads?
Jocelyn Pappadakis: Since May of 2003

Beading Times: What got you started making beads?
Jocelyn Pappadakis: I've always loved beads and, having a need for a creative outlet, I thought that bead making would be something fun to try. After my first wonky spacer bead, I was hooked!

Beading Times: Were you interested in making beads before that?
Jocelyn Pappadakis: I had always used beads of one form or another in my jewelry designs. I had no idea how they were made so I didn't even realize that I could make them myself until I stumbled across other lampwork artist's websites. Now my husband and I both enjoy lampworking.

Beading Times: Did you take a class?
Jocelyn Pappadakis: No, we learned from a Kate Fowle video and Cindy Jenkins beginner book. That's not to say we wouldn't like to take a class though!

Beading Times: What has surprised you most about working with glass?
Jocelyn Pappadakis: How relaxing it was and how much creative imagination (and patience) really goes into making just one bead.

Beading Times: Have you had anyone that you consider to be a mentor? Tell me about them.
Jocelyn Pappadakis: Faith Ferris was my first lampworking friend. (Editor's note: read the interview with Faith Davis here.) I had admired her beads for quite some time. In getting to know her work, I got to know her. She's a very down-to-earth & funny lady! From there, I met other fantastic bead artists. All of whom I consider to be a mentor in some fashion or another because each artist brings their own personalities & style into their work. Who wouldn't look up to people like that?

Beading Times: Whose beads inspire you the most?
Jocelyn Pappadakis: There are just too many fantastic works of art out there to pinpoint only one as a main inspiration.

Beading Times: Do you sell your beads?
Jocelyn Pappadakis: Yes we do! We sell them on Ebay and from our web site.

Beading Times: Do you make beads for friends?
Jocelyn Pappadakis: We usually make beads and turn them into jewelry for family and friends. A couple of responses we have had are "Wow these stones are sure smooth!" or "How did you ever glue on all those bumps?" It is just amazing how many people do not realize that they're made from glass and that there is no glue involved.

Beading Times: What does your family think of your beadmaking?
Jocelyn Pappadakis: Well, my husband works along with me and our kids are very interested in what we are doing. They ask if they can make beads when they grow up. Future glass artists in the making!

Beading Times: What sort of set up do you have for making beads? (Type of torch, gas, kiln, etc.)
Jocelyn Pappadakis: We use a propane/oxygen set up with two torches, two concentrators and two propane tanks. We both use a minor bench burner.

Beading Times: What type of glass do you use?
Jocelyn Pappadakis: Moretti and Lauscha.

Beading Times: Do you have a favorite product, i.e. bead release, glass, etc.
Jocelyn Pappadakis: I'm totally in love with my CBS lentil tool. Of course there are lots of shapes that I try out. In the end I reach for the lentil tool as my tool of choice for making a shape.

Beading Times: Do you have a favorite technique?
Jocelyn Pappadakis: I absolutely love a bead that is jam packed with detail! I enjoy creative dot placement with a nicely detailed end result.

Beading Times: Are you a "set person" or a "focal bead" person?
Jocelyn Pappadakis: Definitely sets. Unless I end up making a bead for a set, a little on the large side, I don't end up making many focals.

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.
Jocelyn Pappadakis: I'd have to say lots of dots, lots of bumps and in general, lots of eye catching detail.

Beading Times: What was your biggest obstacle to overcome?
Jocelyn Pappadakis: Realizing that I would not set myself on fire or blow the place up by lighting the torch.

Beading Times: What is the hardest kind of bead to make for you?
Jocelyn Pappadakis: Scrolls. Definitely scrolls. I'm getting better with lots and lots of practice though!

Beading Times: The easiest?
Jocelyn Pappadakis: A simple bumpy bead.

Beading Times: What is your favorite kind of bead or technique?
Jocelyn Pappadakis: I can't decide on a favorite kind of bead or technique to stick with. That's why my style keeps evolving.

Beading Times: Do you still have the first beads you made? What do you think of them now?
Jocelyn Pappadakis: I don't have the beads but I do have photographs of them. I am always amazed at how far I have come when I look back.

Beading Times: How have your beads changed? Since you started or over the years?
Jocelyn Pappadakis: I think they are more precise than when I first started out. Dot placement, spirals, Saturns etc. are all more precise.

Beading Times: What was your scariest beadmaking experience?
Jocelyn Pappadakis: I forgot to shut off the oxygen one time when lighting the torch. That big POP was pretty darn scary!

Beading Times: Have you had any "glass epiphanies" while working - some revelation or understanding? What were they?
Jocelyn Pappadakis: Sometimes the simplest thing can just smack you right in the face. Know what I mean? I sit and wonder "how is that done?" Then when I figure it out, it's so extremely simple I'm like … duh! As an example, those melted in flowers where the petals just seem to gravitate towards the stamen area. A little poke helps!

Beading Times: Do you have a technique or method or tip to share?
Jocelyn Pappadakis: Hmm well, I don't encase flowers like lots of other lampwork artists do. I don't go with the big swoop of clear over the entire bead. Instead, I put a drop of clear over each petal, melt that in and then poke the stamen hole and add a small drop of clear over that and melt in. Technically, the flower IS encased (and less distorted).

Beading Times: Have you "invented" any new tools, or recycled something that wouldn't ordinarily be thought of as a tool for lampworking?
Jocelyn Pappadakis: I can't say that I have. The only thing out of the ordinary that I use is a stainless steel small jelly knife. I use that to smash flower petals.

Beading Times: Could you share with us some pictures of your studio set up?
Jocelyn Pappadakis: Sure! I have a few pictures but they're marked up with arrows and details so I'll show you the one that doesn't have all that clutter.

Beading Times: What about photographing your beads - what do you use to get your pictures?
Jocelyn Pappadakis: We use an Olympus 4000C with super macro. Our photo background is a simple white piece of paper and our lighting consists of an Ott-lite and a fluorescent desk lamp. We also use Paint Shop Pro to lighten, sharpen and so on.

Beading Times: Do you have a website or auction site that you regularly sell you beads on? If so, what is the url/id info, etc.
Jocelyn Pappadakis:  Our site is located at and our Ebay ID is Jaychantell.

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?
Jocelyn Pappadakis: We do not sell anywhere but online for the moment. And usually they're a strand of beads by themselves. Well, we do add a sterling silver charm to the strand. Otherwise, creativity is up to the buyer.

Beading Times: Where do you see yourself going with lampworking/glassworking in the future? Or, where do you see it taking you?
Jocelyn Pappadakis: As long as I have my wits about me, where ever the glass flows.

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

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