Serena Smith, glass artist of Oregon, caught my eye on Etsy a few years ago with her gently rounded feminine figure beads, all earth mothers and goddesses, and floral beads that are tiny fantastical garden gems — but I think it was really the sinuous perwinkle-blue-tailed mermaid who made me an instant fan. Nowadays, she’s moved into mostly collections of tiny delicate beads inspired by garden flowers – perfect for those making their own jewelry from precious pieces.
Serena’s been creating her lampwork glass beads since 1991, and she’s one of the real pro artisans. In fact, she graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1996 with a degree in glass (how cool is that?). A member of the Oregon Glass Guild, International Society of Glass Beadmakers, Glass Art Society and Portland Bead Society, she is a self-supporting artist and craftsperson, and described herself to me when we first met as an “occasional teacher” of the fine craft of glass lampworking.
You can find images of Serena’s beads in several books and magazines, including the gorgeous 1000 Glass Beads published by Lark Books — and you can find the artist herself at her Etsy shop full of gorgeous beads at SerenaSmithLampwork.