Thursday, March 29, 2007

Beadmaker Interview: Lori Greenberg

1. What is your personal name, business name, website and location?

Lori Greenberg. Some might recognize me as the Bead Nerd, which is the name I originally used for my business. I'm still a bead nerd. My bead web site is http://www.lorigreenberg.com/ and my blog is at http://www.lorigreenberg.wordpress.com/

2. What kind of beads do you make? What kinds of processes do you use? What is your favorite beadmaking technique?

I make lampwork glass beads with a propane-oxygen torch set up. Today my favorite beadmaking technique is working with layered dots. Last month it was working with frit and encasing, a while back it was working with presses. I just can't sit still. One thing that has been constant is that I love working with enamels and I love decorating the edges of beads rather than focusing on the surface. Edges just have so much character compared to a flat surface...they beg me to exploit them and uncover their hidden potential.

3. How did you get into beadmaking? What are some of the important things you do for your business?

I was a polymer clay beadmaker before I transitioned into glass. While I've always felt a compulsion to create, I also was brought up believing that everything had to have a practical purpose. I couldn't imagine creating just to create. Beads were my way of bringing the two areas of thought together into something that could still be 'used' in a real way. So that's how I settled upon beads.

While I was still working with polymer we saw a demonstration at a farmers market and my husband saw that I was enthralled. He insisted I sign up for a class and I fought him because I knew what it meant if I liked it. I can't just dabble in something, if you know what I mean.

One of the important things I do for my business is to conduct myself in a professional manner. I do a lot of blogging and have been active in online forums and if I'm feeling particularly negative about something I keep it to myself. Of course, no one is perfect but I do try my best. That probably isn't what you expected to hear but a lot of what I do is in print so that is very important. You wouldn't want to walk into a store and hear the shop owner gossiping and complaining; online is no different to me. Another important thing I do is to keep my newsletter running regular, almost every week.

4. What is your workspace like and how do you work in your studio? What is a typical day like?

I am blessed when it comes to my workspace. My husband and I both work from home and we quickly outgrew our space when we started having children. Living in Arizona, it was more cost effective to build onto our house than to move so, in 2005 I got to build my dream studio. You can take a tour here. This is what my torch area looks like right after cleaning it up:


A typical day in the studio involves office work (shipping, writing, email, blogging, updating the web site, all that good stuff) in the morning. Once I feel I've put a dent in that my mind can be clear to create so it's onto the torch I go. From about noon to five I torch creating orders or working on new designs. Right before it's time to leave the studio I usually shoot my photos for the web site so I can continue to do computer work later in the house after the kids have gone to bed.

5. How do you stay inspired and motivated?

I don't have much trouble with motivation. I love what I do and can't wait to get to it every day. When it starts to feel like work or sales drop I just remind myself that I could be out there punching someone else's clock. That usually works in a snap.

I am still inspired by the great polymer clay work going on out there. When I worked in polymer, artists struggled for recognition of the medium as an art form and I'm sure they still do. How do you take something that can be seen as a child's toy and get it recognized as art? That struggle really helped to form what I do. I try to take something ordinary (glass rods) and turn it into something different and extraordinary...to show "Hey! Look what we can do with this stuff!"

6. What type of beads and jewelry designs do you feel best compliment your art beads? Do you design your own jewelry too?

Wow. I tell people all the time that I am not a jewelry designer so that's a hard question...I just don't see my beads that way which is why I like to work with designers. Sometimes though I do envision my beads with lots of funky, organic seed bead work going on around them, other times I think about unique metal work. Other times, just a simple chain or cable is enough. I guess the thing I think that compliments them best are designs that are funky and out of the ordinary but don't compete too much with the intricacies of the bead design.

7. What beady plans do you have for the future? Do you have new designs or ideas you will be exploring soon?

I'm being drawn more to simple jewelry design and I can't believe it but I feel like I need to find a way to show people how my beads can be used. I always have new designs but I don't know it until they emerge. I've always wanted to make funky face beads, or masks and I've tried many times but it just hasn't clicked yet. So, that's always on my list. Just today I fused some small bead halves and am going to experiment with some PMC. I was certified in PMC a very long time ago and never really did much with it. It's starting to call me. I've also started dreaming up a line of items for the home but you'll have to ask me again later on that one...it's top secret.

8. If you have a discount code you would like to give our readers, please list it here, including the expiration date:

I always have price breaks of 10% at $250 and 30% at 500 but just for Art Bead Scene readers they can get an extra 10% discount through the end of April 2007 by using discount voucher code: ABS2007 at check-out.

3 comments:

Carrie said...

Excellent comment about motivating yourself "You could be punching someone elses Clock!"

Tari of claybuttons said...

Lori, your work is fantastic. You are an inspiration to us all!
Go Girl!

Lori Greenberg said...

Thanks y'all! I talk like a Texan sometimes, don't I? It's better than my nasal Chicago accent. :)