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Booger Booger Beads: Sheryll Hubbard-Anspach and Jim Anspach

Ohio US

Interview by: Dwyn Tomlinson

Beading Times: What got you started making beads?

Sheryll: I used to wander around Oberlin, Ohio for a lunch hour and one day, stumbled into a bead store called Bead Paradise. Back then, I was painting, and I wanted to paint a picture of the inside of the store. Such pretties, such colors hanging everywhere! But the light eluded any kind of capture and so instead of painting, I started learning polymer clay beads from books and buying beads instead. But there was something missing.

One day, my wonderful ex-mother-in-law, Jean (who was a stained glass artist) took me into her glass shop and showed me a shelf in the back. It had Cindy Jenkins' book, How To Make Glass Beads. She bought it for me and that was that. I thought at the time that those were the beads I was trying for, but was using the wrong medium. I have always had a deep feeling of gratitude to her for many things, but I wish I could tell her thank you for this gift and show her where its led.

Jim: Sheryll was making beads when I met her. She would talk about different things like mandrels and filigrana rod. I thought I should start to do this so I would know what she was talking about. So, I asked if I could try it. I was instantly hooked.

Jim Anspach

Sheryll Hubbard-Anspach


Beading Times: So, Sheryll, you got Jim started?

Sheryll: I started before I met Jim. He was always so encouraging and fascinated though with the entire process that I should have seen it coming. He has a side to him that needs a creative outlet and its one of many things now that we have in common.

Sheryll Hubbard-Anspach

Beading Times: Do you work independently, or collaboratively? Do you divide responsibilities, or are you working as two individuals in the same space?

Sheryll: Really, the only thing that we really do on a collaborative basis is popping glass. We help each other for set-ups, ideas, shows and feedback but the work itself is an individual undertaking. Usually, Jim dips and starts up - I monitor the kiln and shut down the studio at night. We work together when it comes to helping each other (pull a stringer, clean a rod of glass before passing, and bouncing ideas off each other) but a single piece of work from both of us? We have not tried that yet. Its a great idea, though!

Sheryll Hubbard-Anspach

Jim: I would say independently. We have done a couple of things together. Like when we got married.

Beading Times: And how long have you been making beads now?

Sheryll: 7 Years? Jim: About 5 years.

Beading Times: Were you interested in making beads before that?

Sheryll: YEP YEP YEP! Made beads from wound up computer strips and sticks. Macrame‚ and fibers - clays and doughs - noodles and safety pins. I made a necklace with my Grandfather out of cotter pins and bolts when I was still in high school and wore that for a year.

Sheryll Hubbard-Anspach

Jim: No.

Beading Times: Did you have an artistic or craft history before that? How has that translated into the beadmaking, if at all?

Sheryll: I have always been in need of creative outlets. I have drawn and written, embroidered, knitted painted and sketched my way through life. I have painted bath-tubs for racing, sets for plays, murals and rugs. I think that my Jack-Of-All-Trades background probably has added some to my glass work. But what is really fascinating for me is when they combine and form something unique.

Jim: I had an interest in woodworking; building furniture with my Dad. I love music and play guitar. I write songs all the time and sing them to the family. Wish I could remember the words to most of them. They are glad I don't … .
Beading Times: Please share with us some of the details of the differences or similarities in your work.

Sheryll: Pretty? Flowers and flames? Mostly Jim. Ugly? Frightening? Odd? Probably mine. The only similarity that is coming to mind is that they are both made of glass and have holes in them.

Jim: I make most of the pretty things Florals, Fire Beads, Organics. Sheryll does the more detailed sculpture work — not so pretty. Kinda scary.

Jim Anspach

Sheryll Hubbard-Anspach

Beading Times: Did you take a class to get started? Or since then?

Sheryll: I only had Cindy Jenkins' book to work with for years. After the coffee can burials, I decided to find a teacher and with tremendous luck found Aline Petersen, the GlassMama; and Mike Mangiafico from Fig Studios.

Jim: I have never taken a formal class. I belong to a group Hot Rods Of Northeastern Ohio. There is a lot of talent in this group. Lots of sharing and demonstrating.

Jim Anspach

Beading Times: What has surprised you most about working with glass?

Sheryll: That I can't teach Jim, but can show anyone else how to make a face. That there is always more……to learn, to try, to improve. That I haven't lost any love for it after all this time, that it has become a therapy for me and that if you heat it too fast, it still explodes. No matter how many times you try.

Sheryll Hubbard-Anspach

Jim: All the different consistencies of the glass. How transparent glass melts differently than opaques.

Beading Times: Have you had anyone that you consider a mentor? Tell me about them.

Sheryll: Our Glassmama, Aline Petersen. She has been my teacher long after the class was over. Aline has been most generous with her time, her talents and if not for her most gracious nature — I am pretty sure I would still be burying glass somewhere. And Jim. He believed in me when I didn't know how.

Sheryll Hubbard-Anspach

Jim: Yes, Aline Peterson. She has taught me a lot. She has been working with glass for a long time and has the knowledge and patience to help with any problems I have. Her and her husband are also two of our best friends.

Sheryll Hubbard-Anspach

Beading Times: Whose beads inspire you the most?

Sheryll: This is going to take some time:

Geez!You asked for one and I just gave you a few of the many.

Jim: Sheryll Hubbard-Anspach (Ms. Booger). Not because she is my wife but because her work is different. Detailed and intense. Kate Fowle — I really like the electroplating she does. Nikki (NLCBEADS) she has the best stringer control of anyone I know. Someday I hope she teaches me how she does it.

Beading Times: Do you sell your beads?

Sheryll: Ebay! Boogerboogerbeads! And a few shows a year. He sells, I sell, and most of the money generated supports supplies so that we can make more.  Jim: Yes, We sell on Ebay and do maybe 3-4 shows every year. I almost always have some for sale on EBay under the seller's name - boogerboogerbeads.  (Figured two people selling needed two names.)  I also sell at the few shows that we do a year and have applied to be a demonstrator at the next ISGB's Gathering. 

Sheryll Hubbard-Anspach

Beading Times: Did you intend to sell your beads when you first started? What got you started selling them?

Sheryll: Never thought in the beginning that they would ever be good enough to sell! Why do I sell? Mostly to have extra money to blow on extras like groceries. And glass. And oxygen. Glass is expensive, but its less than prescription medications.

Jim: No

Beading Times: Do you make beads for friends?

Sheryll: Yes. And sometimes, I make friends from the beads.

Jim: Most definitely, That is all part of the fun!

Beading Times: What does the rest of your family and friends think of your beadmaking?

Sheryll: They think I am obsessed and possibly strange - but I am not sure if that has anything to do with the beads … .

Jim: Well, I would say they think it is cool. Most of them want to come over and make some beads.

Beading Times: What sort of set up do you have for making beads? (Type of torch, gas, kiln, etc.)

Sheryll: A teeny tiny bedroom that we fondly call The Chamber of Torchers. I am on a National 8M and have been since Jim surprised me with it as a birthday gift years ago.

Jim: We took one of the bedrooms and turned it into the studio. I built a bench across the back wall looking outside. We use oxygen-propane. This is kept in the gas-house right outside the room. I built a little shed-type building to keep the tanks out of the weather and out of the house. I built the ventilation system out of a electrostatic air cleaner (using only the fan part), piped the heated exhaust into the bottom of the gas house-and it keeps the oxygen warm in the winter. There is a set of baffles inside the fan box, this is to assure no burning material can get to the gas house. I was on a Minor until the Gathering this year. I won a mini CC - this is one great torch!

Beading Times: What type of glass do you use?

Sheryll: Moretti, Lauscha, Bullseye and Boro. Would love to try Satake.

Jim: Mostly Moretti - I have just started playing with borosilicate.

Beading Times: Do you have a favorite product, i.e. bead release, glass, etc.

Sheryll: My torch and this one dental pick we bought at a Sportsman Trade show. It never melts and holds it point.

Jim: I like to use Moretti glass and Fusion bead release.

Sheryll Hubbard-Anspach

Beading Times: Do you have a favorite technique?

Sheryll: Basket beads. Dragging dots in a pattern that resembles a basket weave when finished. Very calming, repetitive detailed work.

Jim: Pulling cane to apply to a core bead then manipulating it.

Beading Times: Are you a set person or a focal bead person?

Sheryll: Focal, but as I learn to make jewelry I realize that sets are wonderful and I need to make more.

Jim: Mostly focal But I have started to make sets.

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.

Sheryll: I don't really understand the phrasing of "signature bead" — but I really like to sculpt faces. I tried many times to encase faces and always lost the details. I didn't have the control and was getting very frustrated. Jim saw the starter face one time and yelled to "leave it alone and see what happened." I liked that guy so well, I tried another, and another, and so forth, for years. And I am still trying another.

Sheryll Hubbard-Anspach

Jim: I would say my Fire and Ice is the one that many would know as mine.

Jim Anspach

Beading Times: What was your biggest obstacle to overcome?

Sheryll: Fear of anyone seeing what I made. I had a horrific terror that no one would like them, they weren't good enough. I can thank Jim for pushing me through one step to another. From the very first meeting of the Hot Rods (that I almost became physically ill from attending) to winning a scholarship to the ISGB Gathering, I slowly overcame the phobia. On-line, WetCanvas bolstered my confidence and selling on Ebay has been a tremendous help. I don't think I will ever be comfortable at shows, though. Perhaps, that is my next hurdle.

Beading Times: What is the hardest kind of bead to make for you?

Sheryll: Pressed beads. I can't get the hang of them! I try and try and they are always major wonkies. Too much glass, not enough glass, they fall off the mandrels. To me, they are not lentils - they are misshapen, undimpled, uneven blobs of frustration.

Jim: Round beads - I can't seem to get them even all the way around.

Beading Times: The easiest?

Sheryll: I love to make hollows!

Jim: Bicones would be for me. I think because most of my fire beads are bicones I have had a lot of practice.

Beading Times: What is your favorite kind of bead or technique?

I love faces. Creepy ones, scary ones, funny ones, serious ones. They may take me hours to make one, but they are my favorites. Heck, I even name them.

Jim: Fire and Ice bicones, pulling petals to make my roses.

Jim Anspach

Beading Times: Do you still have the first beads you made? What do you think of them now?

Sheryll: NO WAY! There are two three pound coffee cans filled with the little disasters and buried somewhere in Ashland County.

Jim: Yes I still have them. They were round or maybe not . Fish! I made lots of fish when I started.

Beading Times: How have your beads changed? Since you started or over the years?

Sheryll: Well, they don't crack as much, are more detailed and they seem to be growing in size. If this trend continues, by next year, they will be the size of door knobs.

Sheryll Hubbard-Anspach

Jim: I think my ends have improved. I always had a problem keeping them even. I now get dimples on my round ones.

Beading Times: What was your scariest beadmaking experience?

Sheryll: Almost getting evicted for having the propane and oxygen tanks in a crawl space of a 4-unit apartment building. Lucky for me, I had a wonderful landlord who was very sympathetic to artists and offered to rent us a larger single family home that had a small shed in the back yard. He held the tanks hostage until we moved in. Thinking back on it? I could have been the most careful person on the planet, but that was no guarantee that my neighbors were of the same mind. I still don't like to think of what might have happened had one of them gotten drunk and dropped a cigarette!

Jim: Sticking my right index finger right in the flame. Twice. S - (Good thing years of playing guitar provided a sturdy callous or we would have spent a romantic evening in the emergency room. Twice!)

Jim Anspach

Beading Times: Have you had any glass epiphanies while working some revelation or understanding? What were they?

Sheryll: I am sure that fact is totally obvious to everyone else and am embarrassed to admit it, but it took years before I ever knew that glass could be REMOVED! I thought that once it was on, it was on for good and ever. Did my eyeball pupils ever improve after that!

Jim: Once a bead would crack I thought it was done for. I put a couple back in the kiln to try and fix them and it worked.

Beading Times: Do you have a technique or method or tip to share?

Sheryll: Clear glass is a wonderful enforcer. When making something that is fragile, a simple swipe of clear will offer tremendous reinforcement. And if you are inclined to give a bead eyeballs? Poke a hole into the whites that hits the backing, lay your transparent over the hole and trap an air bubble. THEN put a pupil on. The air bubble will cause some alarming effects as your face bead moves.

Jim: If you encase after applying baking soda make sure you burn all the baking soda off before encasing. Here is how I make the Fire and Ice beads.

Jim Anspach

Fire and Ice Bead Instructions by Jim Anspach (aka Mr. Booger)


  • orange, red, yellow opaque glass
  • clear glass
  • trans aqua glass
  • baking soda
  • paddle for marvering

The Prep-work:

  • I start with orange, get a good size ball and smash it flat. (Like a lollipop)
  • Then I add red down the center, smash it flat again.
  • Then add yellow down the center of the red. Now I have a lollipop with all three colors. Heat this up and pull, making a ribbon cane.

  • Take the color you are going to make the base of the bead with (transparent aqua) and pull a few stringers about the size of a pencil lead.

The Bead

  • Start with clear glass (this will be the ice in the center) I make it about 1/4" long and maybe 2 wraps around the mandrel.
  • Roll in baking soda. You must heat this until all baking soda is burned off.
  • Now starting 1/4" to 1/2" on one side of the clear, wrap the aqua-blue transparent around the mandrel ending the same distance on the other side of the clear.
  • Shape this into a bicone.
  • After you have the bicone shaped, lay your ribbon cane from the edges to almost the center, from both sides. Try to do this equally all the way around.
  • Now take the bead-base colored (aqua) stringers and use them to twist the edge of the cane to form the fire.
  • Do this all the way around, marver the bicone back into shape, firepolish out the chill marks, and put it in the kiln for annealing.

Let me know how you do! I am suppose to demo this at the Gathering next Year!! (Thanks Cindy for all you do!)

Jim Anspach AKA Mr. Booger!

Beading Times: How has working with someone changed the way you work?

Sheryll: Besides dodging hot glass shards?  It's one of those "It's different now" answers, but different from the beginning to now.  

Going back, I was very used to working alone.  I loved the quiet time and it was a tremendous comfort to me.  When we first started this side-by-side melting, though, there was a very serious adjustment period for me.  I admit to a rough time of it in the beginning. If Jim was dipping a rod to warm it and shook the table while I was putting on a pupil or something; if he were to talk and I was in that zone where all creative folks love to go and fell crashing out of it; an ill-timed chair bump or a question or suggestion; all would cause immediate distress on my part.  Looking back, I wonder if there were some emotional issues going on for me also concerning the concept of sharing. 

Glass was the only thing that I ever did that made me feel unique or in any way special.  Glass was mine, the space was mine, the time was mine and I admit to being an awful partner then.  One night however, I needed some black glass and it was on the other side of the studio.  Jim passed me one of his from his table and I finally realized that having him near didn't have to be a duel.  My attitude began to fast change after that. 

Now, I am perfectly comfortable with him in "our" space and although making glass into anything is a very singular act - we work very well together.  We show each other beads before they hit the kiln, offer suggestions, bounce ideas back and forth, help when a cane gets big and needs another set of hands and talk.  A simple request to not interrupt during times that require concentration or to "QUIT SHOOTING GLASS SHARDS AT ME!" accomplishes wonders.  I sincerely look forward to our times in the studio together now and consider him being there with me a true asset.  I am very fortunate to have someone that I have so much in common with.

Jim: I have always worked with Sheryll by my side so I can't really say.

Sheryll Hubbard-Anspach

Beading Times: How much time do you spend making beads, in, say, hours per week? Is it enough?

Sheryll: 20 to 30 hours? It has been more since I am home for now.

Jim: 15 - 20 hours a week I mostly work in the evenings after dinner.

Beading Times: Is this a job, or a passion? How much of making beads/playing with hot glass is about just making them, vs. "making a living?"

Sheryll: You have caught me in transition, so I am not sure how to answer. I would call this a passionate job for now and hope it never comes down to routine.

Jim: I work a full time job. So for me it is about a passion and to see what I can come up with.

Jim Anspach

Beading Times: What about photographing your beads what do you use to get your pictures?

Sheryll: I set up a little photo studio on a table in the torch room. I use a Minolta DiMAGE Z1 camera. For lights I use two 100 watt Reveal bulbs.

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.

Sheryll: Ebay Sellers - boogerboogerbeads

Beading Times: How did you come by the name "BoogerBoogerBeads"? Jim: Booger Beads came about as a result of Sheryll's nickname, Booger - Given to her by her niece a long time ago. So when she said "I want to sell beads, what should I call myself?" I said  "Booger Beads" - kinda sticks to ya. (Ha Ha!) No one noses beads like Booger. Pick one for your friend. Okay, I'll quit.

Then I started making beads - now what do we do? We asked our friend Aline what she thought and she said "You be Mr.Booger and Sheryll can be Ms.Booger" (that was pre-marriage). Now we are known as "Mr. and Mrs. Booger."

So if you think it's funny, it's snot. ;-)

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?

Sheryll: Here comes a lame transition answer again. We have sold primarily loose beads, but that is changing. I am attempting to learn jewelry making and am working on mixed media as well.

Jim: We do 3-4 shows a year and sell mostly loose beads.

Beading Times: We noticed the very funky mixed-media items, incorporating the lampworked glass, among other things! Tell us about these - the inspiration, motivation, etc.

Sheryll: I get rather attached to these little heads that I make.  I made a few with hats, I made a few with arms. They started to grow. One day while making polymer clay ornaments with the kids, I took some scrap and made a hat for a glass head that was nearby. Bad enough that I name them and think they are little people, now I was accessorizing them?  

The inspirations that are happening now are very much from looking at the works of others who I found by internet, primarily artists from EBay. Bone Diva, the Creager's, Keri Joy. Mixed-media gives me a serious case of goosebumps now. I get a big dose of excitement from all the possibilities, all the potential in it and can't wait to see what happens next.    


Sheryll Hubbard-Anspach

Jon Revolta is a mixed media polymer clay bead stand. You can rip off his wired head and wear it for a necklace.

My favorite bead to date is the "Slyclops." He is etched and glass painted.

He was so special, I made him a special bead stand. The Mum is polymer clay and has glass eyes from the same cane as Sly. I titled that one, "Oh Look, He's Got My Eye."

Sheryll Hubbard-Anspach

Sheryll Hubbard-Anspach

Beading Times: Where do you see yourself going with lampworking/glassworking in the future? Or, where do you see it taking you?

Sheryll: Bigger! Sculptural, mixed media and functional glass items. It's another transitional answer, but I can feel things starting to change.

Sheryll Hubbard-Anspach

Jim: It is fun to let it take me to wherever the path leads. Stopping along the way to play with different techniques and learn.

Jim Anspach

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

Sheryll: This question was the hardest one for me. One of my favorite beads and one that I am most proud of is the Santa head.  He is one of the few that looks like what I had in mind at the start. 

He was presented as a gift to our real life Santa. Our Santa owns and runs "Santa's Hide-A-Way Hollow" - a camp for terminally-ill kids in Bundysburg, Ohio. Every year, the "Hot Rods of Northeastern Ohio" deliver some of the most beautiful little girls' necklaces made by secret elves that you have ever seen. And just a side note, but this band of secret elves are some of the finest short folks that walk the earth — just like lots of glass people that I know.

The bead that I wear the most is the Dentine-looking gargoyle, but I am super fond of the Slyclops, too.  Probably because it actually creeps me out and was the first mixed media bead as well.

Jim: Night Fire, I wear it a lot. It is huge @ 60mm long.

Jim Anspach

Sheryll Hubbard-Anspach


Sheryll Hubbard-Anspach

Sheryll Hubbard-Anspach

Sheryll Hubbard-Anspach

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