Light, Color, Glasswork of Larissa Spafford

Since 1998 Larissa Spafford has been making beautiful one-of-a-kind glass beads. According to Larissa, “People always ask how I have the patience to do such small and intricately detailed work. For me, it is such a relaxing and meditative process. It has kept me interested for over half my life now.”
Spafford uses the ancient art of lampworking to create her beads. The process begins with the melting of the end of a glass rod, about the diameter of a pencil, using the flame of a torch. Then she wraps the molten ball that has formed around a steel mandrel which has a clay like coating to prevent the glass from sticking. Next she uses various tools and techniques to shape, layer and decorate with both opaque and
transparent glass.
Each bead is made one at a time and must be completed in one sitting. After the bead is made in the torch it goes directly into a digitally controlled kiln for annealing.
Once annealed the beads are very strong and if treated carefully will last hundreds, if not thousands of years.
Larissa is passionate about working in glass. “I get to work with my main artistic love which is color. One of my favorite techniques is to layer a transparent on an opaque to make my own color. The way the light touches and reflects off the glass is also an element I love to work with.”
Once the beads are removed from their mandrels and cleaned, Larissa uses them in her own jewelry designs. She uses traditional silversmithing techniques and materials as well as less traditional materials such as silver metal clay. Besides the chains, ribbons and some clasps, all of the components she uses in her work are handmade by her.
Larissa Spafford is a member artist at the Red Chair Gallery and is a featured artist for March.

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