When I began flameworking in 2001, I was working as a lab scientist, preparing for graduate work in Entomology. I loved the technical challenge of working with a molten medium. At the time, flameworking appealed to my scientific side and provided an outlet from my exacting lab work. Flameworked glass provides limitless possibilities for shape, texture, and color. It nourishes me creatively and keeps me intellectually challenged. Ultimately, it's that balance that pushed me to pursue glass beadmaking full-time after I completed my Master’s degree in Entomology in 2004.
Many of my earlier bead series are studies in the colors and textures from the natural world. Much of my inspiration stems from an urge to translate particular intellectual challenges, apparent in my “Maze” series of beads. While this series varies dramatically in design, each bead is a fully solvable maze. I like the idea that the wearer of one of my mazes can engage in solving the puzzle I’ve created.
For many years, I resisted making insect-themed work in glass. My beadmaking, after all, was a creative outlet to help balance my "formal" education in Entomology. Eventually, the two interests fell together. After all, I love insects for many of the same reasons I love flamework: vibrant color, intricate detail, and breathtaking diversity. As I grew cozier with my adventure in glass beadmaking, more and more insects started showing up in my work. It started with beetles, then grew to include butterflies, grasshoppers, katydids, caterpillars, chrysalides, and most recently, moths.
My work has been featured in the Flow, Bead & Button, Step By Step Beads, Bead Unique, and in galleries in the U.S., Canada, and Japan. I teach group classes in studios nationwide and abroad, and private classes in my studio in Tucson, Arizona. A strong advocate of arts in the community, I volunteer on the Board of Directors of two Tucson non-profits: Sonoran Glass School and Beads of Courage. I am motivated, inspired, and deeply grateful to be part of such a committed community of fellow artists and volunteers.
Seeing myself as still- pardon the bug reference- in pupation, I look forward to continual creative transformation and growth. By purchasing MZ Glass beads, marbles, and jewelry, you are making an investment in wearable art, and in helping me continue exploration in glass. Thank you for your support.