Get to know…Amy Waldman-Smith

This is our second installment of BeadFX’s Instructor Profiles – getting to know our instructors a little beyond the classroom or studio setting.

BeadFX and her students know Amy Waldman-Smith as
an inspiring instructor. The world knows Amy as an accomplished lampwork artist,
acclaimed teacher and contributor to various magazines including Glass Line Magazine, The
Flow Magazine, 1000 Glass Beads,
and numerous
others. She is also the current Regional Director for Canada for the International
Society of Glass Beadmakers (ISGB). 
When describing herself, Amy states, “I am a lampworker, or flameworker. 
I make handmade glass beads in an open flame.  I do make jewellery with my own beads, but my
strongest skills are in actually making the beads.  I sometimes do wirework and stringing of my
work. I also do some tubular crochet work with seed beads, she says. “ This is
a challenging technique to learn – give me a challenge and I have a hard time
walking away!  I had to figure it
out.  I occasionally teach crochet at
BeadFX, but mostly I make plain crocheted necklaces for my glass beads.”
Primarily self-taught, Amy’s work is an
evolution. “I generally do not
work on projects, but a body of work,” says Amy. “The current focus of my
glasswork is footprints. The footprints we leave behind in each and everything
we do and say.  The footprints of glass
that can be manipulated, stretched or pushed. 
Each influences the elements surrounding it.  One footprint pushes the next, but never
supplants it.  It’s a metaphor for
living.”
Her inspiration comes from many sources. “The
world is full of inspiration – nature: flowers, branches of trees in the
winter, the patterns in the sand at the beach, stones, pottery, the colour of
the sky just before it gets dark.  I
could go on and on,” says Amy. 
Amy began her lampworking career in 2001
with an initial class with Lezlie Winemaker to learn the basics of lampworking. Since then, Amy honed
her skills at the BeadFX lampworking studio. 
Now you’ll find her at her home studio in Richmond Hill – when she isn’t
travelling to teach!
Teaching has become a way of life for Amy. In
addition to BeadFX, her upcoming class locations include the Craft
Guild of Dallas in Texas; the Southeastern
Michigan Glass Beadmakers Guild in Toledo, Ohio; at the Bead and Button Show,
Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and The Studio of The Corning Museum of Glass, Corning,
New York. What is the best part of
teaching? “The light in their eyes when I see that they too have fallen in love
with the glass (or that they have really been able to conquer bead crochet),”
says Amy.
What is Amy’s advice
to others who create? “Stick with it and say yes to all the interesting things
that come your way – you just never know where they will lead you.”
Amy’s upcoming classes at BeadFX:
Two-Day Lampworking Weekend – Part B
Saturday, June 22 (10:00am – 2:30pm)
Sunday, June 23 (11:30am – 4:00pm)
This two-day weekend class is designed for students who have taken an
introductory lampworking class and are ready for more.  This is a
follow up class to our weekend lampworking classes.  The topics covered
will be mainly student led.  We will work on the areas you are having
difficulties with or feel you are ready to try for the first time.

This class is eight hours of instruction and topics can include such
things as stringers, flowers, hollow beads, shaping, encasing,
sculptural beads (ie frogs and birds) and more. The beads you make in
class will be kiln-annealed and will be available for pick-up the
following day. If you are from out of town, we are happy to mail them to
you at no extra charge.

Intro to Lampworking Weekend
Saturday, July 20 (10:00am – 2:30pm)
Sunday, July 21 (11:30am – 4:00pm)

This two-day weekend class is designed for beginners.  This class will
introduce you to the wonderful world of making lampworked or flameworked
beads.  Practice is an essential ingredient in working with glass. The
class is eight hours of instruction and torch-time allowing
significantly more practice time than the 5 hour class. Topics covered include:


  1. Overview of the equipment and tools, safety information and studio protocols. Setting up a home studio is also discussed.

  2. Types of glass

  3. Making Glass Beads

Students usually make about 8-20 beads, depending on their aptitude.
The beads you make in class will be kiln-annealed and will be available
for pick-up the following day. If you are from out of town, we are happy
to mail them to you at no extra charge.

For complete information about the classes, go to our website and click on ‘classes’.To register, please call BeadFX at (416) 751-1911.

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