When you wear my handmade glass bead jewelry I want you to light up with happiness and joy.
Years ago, after earning a B.A. degree in art education, I flitted between teaching art and creating watercolors, drawings, jewelry and fiber.
I met Jim Foley in 1974 and my life changed.
While selling my crocheted clothing on the streets of San Francisco, I met Jim Foley, a goldsmith selling his beautiful lost wax cast jewelry. We fell in love and celebrated our relationship with a romantic trip to Mexico. There, on a secluded beach with only pelicans and a lone sailboat on the horizon, we vowed to sail around the world.
Our dream gathered dust until health problems woke us up.
My health issue was resolved, but Jim’s was not. He had Parkinson’s disease, a progressive, degenerative brain disorder with no known cure. After a doctors dire warning of “five years to live” we sold it all: the stores, the house, the cars, and moved aboard a sailboat. Ten years and 35,000 sea miles later we completed our circumnavigation. The book I wrote about realizing our dream, Go Anyway: Sailing Around the World with Parkinson’s , has inspired thousands of people.
After selling our sailboat in 2002 we moved to Round Top, Texas. I created jewelry again, but wasn't accepted into high end art shows since I did not make the beads. One rejection in particular incensed me, and I told Jim, “I’m gonna learn how to make beads, and I’m going to be in that show next year!”
Learning lampworking changed my life again.
Lampworking involves melting glass in a torch flame to make beads. The flame scared me, and I spent my first day making beads with shaking hands. Suddenly, the fear disappeared. I fell in love with melting glass. I bought the needed supplies and set up a studio. If Parkinson’s allows, Jim works too, designing and making findings and settings in sterling silver. *(I got into that show!)
I love making glass beads and jewelry.
My art skills and my love of drawing, of texture and of color merged when I found glass. Each bead I create with molten glass is a miniature painting, each a link in the jewelry I create,
"The essence of all art is to have pleasure in giving pleasure.” Mikhail Baryshnikov