Doretha Jones is a veterinarian who has found a second passion in lampworking. An accomplished quilter of many years, she has always loved to play with color. Doretha discovered lampwork beads at the Houston International Quilt Festival around the same time that she started experimenting with off-loom bead weaving. The bead obsession begins! The purchase of a beginning lampworking kit from ebay in October of 2003 led her on an incredible journey discovering the wonders of working with hot glass. Lampworking is an ancient art involving the use of flame (a lamp in ancient times) to melt and manipulate glass into a bead on a steel mandrel. "Off mandrel" techniques are used to form glass into sculpture and pendants.
Doretha is passionate about constantly improving her lampworking skills and invests much time and money in training with leading lampworkers in the field. Some of the lampworkers Doretha has trained with include Kim Osibin (www.createbeads.com), Lance and Maureen McRorie (www.flametreeglass.com), Becky Mason (www.beckymason.com),Amaya Masterson (www.amayabeads.com), Shannon Hill,( www.needabead.com), Deb Crowley (www.theglasshive.com), Larry Scott, Vittorio Costantini, Kim Fields, and John Winter. Doretha traveled to Italy to visit Murano and Venice in November of 2004 with Kim Osibin. She returned to Murano and Venice in the summer of 2005 to study with Corina Tettinger (www.corinabeads.com), Kim Affleck (www.kimberlyaffleck.com) and Lucio Bubacco www.luciobubacco.com). In May 2006 Doretha had the honor of having George O'Grady as a houseguest and taking a 2 day class with him in borosilicate glass. You can see George's beautiful work at www.georgeogrady.com. Doretha's "darling husband=DH" and wonderful support crew David took the class as well and is starting his own exploration of glass! 2006 also marks the addition of another torch to the glass studio, the "Lucio burner" created in collaboration between Carlisle Machine Works and Lucio Bubacco. Also David built an awesome ventilation system EXACTLY like Lucio has in his studio in Murano, WOW! Labor Day weekend 2006 Doretha and David traveled to Oregon to "GLASS STOCK" for 4 days of glass learning with Deb and Mike Crowley, what fun! Also got to see Kim Affleck again and learn from a host of other flameworkers including Barry Lafler, Cindy Lemmo, Kristi Brokaw, Vickie Branch, Julia Lund, Shawn Tucker and Chris Webb just to name a few! Doretha traveled a third time to Murano in November of 2006 for an entire week of intensive study with Lucio Bubacco and also learned from his apprentice Diego Bottacin. A highlight of this trip was getting to share the technique of fuming with 24 karat gold with maestro Vittorio Costantini. More learning occured at Glass Stock 2007 and 2008. I got to teach at Glass Stock in 2008 and hopefully 2009 as well!
Doretha's glass studio is at her home in Fort Walton Beach in the bright and airy surroundings of her Victorian styled greenhouse. It is the perfect environment for artistic endeavor. The majority of her lampwork beads are made with Effetre and Vetrofond glass from Murano, Italy. All beads are annealed for strength in one of her three kilns. Currently her favorite beads to make include seashells of all shapes and sizes and beads such as "Sand and Surf" and "Sand, Sea and Sky" that are inspired by the incredible beauty of the Florida Emerald Coast where she resides.
Doretha handcrafts all of her custom jewelry. She loves beadweaving with seed beads and has a Swarovski crystal obsession. She also works with Precious Metal Clay (finished piece 99.9% fine silver) and fused glass cabochons. Precious Metal Clay is an exciting material that combines well with glass to give a very unique finished art piece. She uses exclusively sterling silver findings in her jewelry. The occasional gold finish piece has gold-filled findings or 14K on request. Custom pieces are a fun challenge and are cheerfully attempted!
Doretha takes great pride in making each piece of jewelry truly one of a kind. We hope you enjoy your wearable work of art!
Doretha working at the torch in her studio:
My Favorite quote: "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the life you've imagined!" - Thoreau
The greenhouse, glass studio is inside!:
Doretha's workbench, not cleaned up for picture! (before improved exhaust system):
Some of Doretha's fused glass hanging over workbench:
Doretha and her son Julian's fused hands:
Julian, two years old, lampworker in training!
Doretha feeding pigeons in Venice:
Kim Osibin (Goddess of Beads) with sweet
factory kitty at Campanella glass, Murano:
View from our hotel in Venice, Locanda Acquavita:
Sylvester, OUR cat and dinner companion in Venice:
PICTURES FROM VENICE 2004:
Julian Alexander Jones, love of my life! December 2004
Bridge over above canal, Locanda Acquavita on the right:
The island of Burano:
Doretha enjoying an expensive cafe in the hotel Danieli:
Our orange harvest when I got home!
One orange tree!
Tent set up for Jazz Festival 2005 at Gulf Place, with new Dr. Meow Banner by my brother Rob Jones! It looks so good!
Doretha and Judy at the Flying Needles Quilt Retreat, March 2006. Doretha taught two very well recieved beading classes!
Recently (July 2006) David set up the Lucio burner torch on his OWN side of the greenhouse and built us a ventilation system, track lighting and organized my glass better! Wow! See pics below for his fantastic results:
Wow, look at my color palette of Effetre (Murano) glass all organized and together! That is my toolbox kiln on top of the glass selection that I use to anneal my beads.
Here is David's side of the studio, note the nice metal green shelving I found abandoned at the curb and David refurbished into part of his beautiful station! Also note track lighting and happy child! In the background outside you can see the Quilt House -- clubhouse to the "Cool Art Girls".
This is our huge intake fan bringing in fresh and somewhat cooler air than INSIDE the greenhouse. Beginning of borosilicate glass collection to right of fan, hey it's expensive compared to the soft Murano glass!
Here is my very messy workbench in it's general state of happy disorder :) Wonderful exhaust (pulling air) vent behind torch keeps my flame nice and straight and bad fumes sucked away from me! Thank you David!
Here is the young lampworker (4 years old here) waving around one of Daddy's first borosilicate beads. He tried to get it in every shot I took so I gave him his own special place here. Besides he is just SO darling!
This is David's ingenious exhaust system using a large plastic trash can to incompass the eave exhaust fan and then metal tubing to connect it to each station, I am very impressed with the amount of air it moves, it even sucks up flying bits of glass and those annoying flame diving bugs at night!
Here is my cutest creation ever, Julian, enjoying the birthday party we had at Camp Timpoochee for the quilt retreat 2008. Five and half years old here going on 16!! He wants a cell phone!