Let me introduce you to Florence Sauerbrey. Flo is a magnificent Lampworker who creates beads. Her Etsy store is called Loupiac
. I have been in love with her work for a long time. I know you'll love her too. Enjoy this little virtual interview!
1. Who are you, and what do you create?
I am Florence Sauerbrey aka Loupiac
on Etsy. I came from France 9 years ago to marry that wooden boat builder man of mine. I make lampwork beads with glass rods that I melt with a torch. Sometimes I make jewelry with my beads, wear a piece once or a couple of times and then it disappears in my drawer forever because I don't wear -nor do I sell- much jewelry.
2. How long have you been working in this medium? What lead you to this craft?
I lit my Hot Head torch for the first time in November of 2006. Like for many other beadmakers, the idea was that I was going to be able to make my own beads for my jewelry, especially that I would always have a supply of spacers of all possible colors in the universe. Of course I focused on the beads immediately and completely forgot about the jewelry.
3. Who has had the strongest influence on your development as an artist?
Many people did, whether they are lampworkers themselves or not. My husband is always pushing me ahead of myself, encouraging me to try new things and helping me figuring things out. He offered me my kiln after a year, he installed my ventilation system, he even commissioned beads just to throw challenges my way.
My mother is my unconditional fan and she and my wonderful customers' appreciation keep me going and loving it.
In the bead world, I have to credit Susan Pacitto, former owner of SMP Designs on Cape Cod, who introduced me to all things beautiful about beading. Her shop was heaven on Earth and her knowledge about beads was as unlimited as her generosity. Her personal collection was my first introduction to lampwork. When I discovered Sarah Moran's beads on ebay, Susan was the one who told me "You can do that!". I said "Yeah, right!" and started thinking about it.
Over the years I have come to meet (personally or online) with some incredibly talented beadmakers whose work keeps reminding me that everything is left to be created yet. The talent of people like Sarah Moran, Claudia Trimbur-Pagel, Lydia Muell, Harold Williams Cooney, Dustin Tabor and many, many others, keeps raising the bar for all of us and I am grateful to them for that.
4. What are your goals for your art for the future?
I don't really consider myself an artist, more of a crafts(wo)man. I make beads for other people to use in their jewelry designs and the more use they can find for them, the better it is, because that means maybe I am a good beadmaker. So I guess I could say that my goal is to become a better beadmaker. I set some quality standards for myself and I don't mind throwing away beads that don't meet them. If a bead is a failure easthetically but still shows some technical improvement or innovation, I keep it, and then I come back to it several months later and laugh at it.
5. What do you consider to be the one thing that makes you stand out from your peers or help you be more successful?
My customers are always enthusiastic about the color combinations I use for my sets, and I admit that playing with colors is my favorite thing to do. Finding new color palettes and trying to translate them into glass beads is what feeds my soul when I sit at the torch, and I think this is what my customers see in my work.
6. For fun: What is something that most people don't know about you?
I love classical music and did a lot of choir singing in college, and sometimes I find myself singing along the alto scores of Beethoven's 9th symphony and masses by Schubert or Mozart. Very loudly.
Thank you Flo, for a great interview! I love that I know this little tidbit about you being a choir singer!