Saturday, July 4, 2009

INCrowdteam Interview 7/04/09 - Jennifer Cameron a.k.a. GlassAddictions

Happy Independence Day, everyone! Just in case you are not going to a fireworks display tonight, I thought I would bring you some fireworks, INCrowdteam-style! I know what you're thinking: "Huh? Fire and jaw-dropping displays of color in the blog, Stockannette? Not likely," to which I reply, "I present to you: GlassAddictions!" I challenge you not to ooo and ahhh over the photos of her beautiful lampwork beads below!

What’s your REAL name? Jennifer Cameron

Where were you born and raised?
Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Where are you now, and what led you there? We moved back to Fort Wayne three years ago after living in a few different places over the course of 13 years.

What's the origin of your shop's name? When I was trying to come up with a business name, I wanted something that had an available .com So many good ones were already taken and I was thinking of playing off my name with
Jane’s Addiction (the band) and calling it Jen’s Addiction. My husband suggested Glass Addictions because I truly am addicted to anything glass whether it is 500-year-old ornate stained glass in a cathedral, or a single color spacer bead.

What types of creations do you sell in for your Etsy shop? I generally only sell my
lampwork beads on Etsy. I have the jewelry I make using my beads on another site.

What's your educational background, as it relates to your work? I have never taken a beginner class on how to use the torch and make a round bead. I learned the basics from reading and PRACTICE. Over the last few years I have taken intermediate to advanced technique classes from internationally known lampworkers.

What’s your real-world job? I was a surgical technologist until my youngest was born. Now I am a stay at home mom and as of this last school year, a homeschooling mom as well.

Does creating stuff run in the family? Were you taught things on purpose or by osmosis from prior generations? My mom and step mom are both quilters. My grandfather did lapidary work, but he died when I was six, so I never really learned any jewelry or stone cutting from him.

How'd you get started creating? Ever since I can remember, I have needed to keep my hands busy making something. My mom taught me to cross stitch and quilt when I was very young. I hated quilting (sorry Mom!) and did cross stitch a long time, but not since my eight-year-old was born. But my love of making things with glass started back in 2000, when we moved to Cincinnati. I didn’t know a single person, we had moved from a three-bedroom house to a very small two-bedroom townhouse with a two-year-old. I took a stained glass class as a means to get out of the house for a couple hours a week. After that, I wanted to learn everything I possibly could about glass. I now have several kilns for fusing in addition to the one I use for
annealing beads. However, I haven’t made any stained glass panels in five years because I love making beads so much.

What's your muse, or what turns that little creative light inside you on? It can be anything. Sometimes it’s a color combination in a catalog, or a photo I saw, or a nightmare my daughter had. I love that you can see through solid glass (if it’s transparent) and I like to say I am inspired by windows in most of my work. What that means is I enjoy having “windows” in my beads and fused work so that you are looking through the glass and seeing something within the depths of the piece.

Do you ever burn yourself in the process of creating? If so, do you have a yard full of aloe plants? Ha ha ha! Yes, I burn myself on occasion. When using “soft” glass (any glass which is not
borosilicate), it pops as you introduce it to the flame and little tiny chunks go flying and often go down my shirt or stick to my arm. I have also done really stupid things and got burned pretty bad once. It’s never good when you smell burning flesh before you realize you’ve burned yourself... I have aloe plants, but I didn’t take very good care of them. Here's a photo of them:

Do you belong to any Street Teams (other than the INCrowdteam)? If so, which ones and why?
The Starving Artists Team (SATeam). I am also a member of the Fire Divas, which is not actually a street team, but it is the core group of a now defunct street team. We decided to be an unofficial street team.

What's your favorite thing about selling on Etsy? That I can do it in my pj’s and not worry about lugging and setting up a display at a show.

Please recommend your five favorite shops from all of Etsy.
CatherinetteRings - super cool steampunk style jewelry.
jenmaestre - love that she uses colored pencils to create incredible sculptures.
MonsterOpMaat - cute 3-D monsters on the pottery.
michals - incredible and vibrant lampwork!
elementclaystudio - love what she does with white and texture. WOW!

Show us three of your own favorite pieces, from your shop and work.

Nightmare Insomnia Series-Aura- This series of beads was inspired last summer when my daughter was having nightmares every single night about spiders. I was sitting at the torch and all the sudden adding the glass “caps” with projecting “legs” happened without me realizing it. My daughter knows her nightmares are responsible for this series and she thinks it’s mean that I make them.

Ethereal Enclosure is an example of windows being an inspiration. Color was used very sparingly over the fine silver mesh and openings were purposely placed into the design so as to give a different perspective depending on how it is turned and looked at.

Diamonds in the Sky again uses windows to see into the depths of the bead.

Do you sell on consignment? No.

Where else can we find and follow GlassAddictions online? On my blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

Anything else to brag on? I (along with a few other locals) was interviewed by the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette for a story about the Indiana Artisan program and a photo of a necklace that sold at the Off the Walls Exhibit at the Indiana State Museum ran with the story.

Are your beads are typically used in multiples, or do they ever “fly solo”? I prefer to make focal beads. My attention span is relatively too short for doing many sets of beads.

Do you yourself have certain pieces of jewelry that you always, always wear? Tell us about them. Shhh... don’t tell anybody... I don’t actually like to wear jewelry. I don’t even wear my wedding ring! However, lately I have been wearing a single bead simply strung onto a sterling silver box chain that is part of the ice cube series I will be rolling out on Etsy if I can ever get the photos good enough. So far these guys are very camera shy and uncooperative.

Last question: what’s the best piece of advice you’d give a new Etsy seller (like me)? There are tons of people selling on Etsy so you have to social network to get your name out there, promote others in order to have the favor returned at some point, make quality product with good photos, and not get discouraged if you don’t sell anything for the first few months. Keep plugging away and you will eventually get sales.

Oh, Jennifer - I've got an aloe plant that looks very similar to yours! Thanks for letting me interview you, and for having a shop filled with so many things that I covet! Plainly, fire works!


  1. Thanks for the great write-up! It turned out great. I love all the additional links.

  2. I second that: Great read! Fun and informative interview, beautiful beads!

  3. Great Interview , your beads are awesome ! Thanks for mentioning me .

  4. Excellent interview! And beautiful beads! I have no green thumb but aloe is one plant that seems to grow on its own in my yard, so I can send you some if needed!

  5. Stockannette you did a great job at showcasing such a fabulous artist! Jennifer rocks, and her work always leaves me speechless! Now I have to go and make the hardest decision of WHICH awesome bead to buy from her!
    Blue Scarab