*The Scoop On Sharon*


   Before you go any farther, do the following:
First -  You'd better hit the bathroom, I've written a novel here...    

Second -  Dig out your old Creedence, dust off the turntable, and put on  'Lookin Out My  Back Door'.  Play it 25 times to get in the mood.  When "Tambourines and elephants are playing in the band, won’t you take a ride on the flyin’ spoon?"  gets stuck in your head, you've heard  enough.  

Are you ready?  Then Grit your teeth and start to read!  (note: there's a long, boring, extensive list of my exhibits & publications down at the bottom...  it's there to impress my mother.)


I've had a bunch of requests to expand the Standard 100 Word Bio, so here goes...   may the Farce be with you!

I had a huge advantage going into beadmaking... I can draw. I’ve been doodling and drawing silly cartoon critters since before I was three, and the designs have always had big bulgy eyes, bellybuttons, and stupid grins. By the time I was twelve they also had bad punny names - none as downright tacky as the ones I do now, but at the time I was pretty proud of ‘The Early Worm Catches The Bird’.  I had a nice business, drawing cartoons on commission for the kids in my 6th grade class (25 cents a shot - paid for my sci-fi paperback habit) and when the boys asked for a cannibalism cartoon, they got cows with white moustaches, holding Oreos and milking themselves. This didn't go down well (so to speak), so I drew the !#$@%&! explorer in a pot, got back the cow drawing, and now it’s one of my Most Pretentious Designs, ‘Recycling At Daisy’s Dairy.’

We lived on Marine bases in North Carolina till the summer before my senior year in high school, so I know all there is to know about the habits of hurricanes, mosquitoes the size of your head, snapping turtles, things that lurk in pine forests, and big fat hungry ticks. Need info? I can fill you in on the two right ways to remove a tick, and the 47 wrong ways. Learned by trial and error. I didn’t learn about the habits of Marines; my father, with knowledge no doubt based on experience, wouldn’t let me near em.

Then the Parental Units, my little brother (he's Normal. Rational. You'd never suspect we were related.... right) and I moved out to California, where I did senior year, and got into the University of California, Irvine as a pre-pharmacy major. That lasted one year... I’m pretty clueless in the higher maths, and landed in an advanced calculus class where the instructor preferred to talk football, so I did the Big Flunk (boy, was I pissed - I’d studied my butt off, but if the teacher doesn’t explain, it’s hard to learn). So I changed my major to Art, and it took 3 years of A’s to get my grade point average up off the floor.

Most of my course load was studio art and art history (heavy on cathedral and monument architecture), and I’ve got that stuff down. Ask me the historical and artistic precedents for my work, and I’ll talk you to death (surprisingly, no-one ever does....)  And we had to memorize EVERYTHING - but that came in handy in the final exam, when the prof put up a slide showing a portion of a Cathedral interior, the spot where the round dome is attached to the square body of the building. He asked us to name the little triangular structures that connect the two. I was one of the few who got it because the name was so odd it went straight into long-term memory: he'd told us they were 'squinches'.  After I heard that I spent 10 weeks tuning out the guy, doodling ‘How The Sqinch Stole Christmas,’ and was saved by the pun. They're really called 'pendentives'... I think he did the squinch thing to find out who was paying attention.  I lucked out.

The studio art classes were a lot more fun. I learned a lot - the favorites were copper plate etching, color and design theory, and stained glass, and I refined my drawing skills. Learning to visualize the underpinnings of form was a hoot! There were lots of buildings going up on campus, and the teacher had us sitting out on the hillside drawing the construction to learn light, shadow, and perspective. 

So for the first 6 weeks, we’re out there 3 days a week sketching walls, girders and cement trucks. And the teacher comes by, looks, and walks on, so I figure I’m doing okay. Then my roommate stomps on my glasses and crunches em to pieces (I’m sure it wasn’t deliberate, it takes at least six months for folks to get to that stage with me). So I’m out on the hillside, no glasses. And I’m seriously nearsighted, with the kind of astigmatism that makes pinstriped shirts do big whoopy loops and headlights at night do huge rotating rays, and I’ve got to draw the damfool buildings. So what can I see? No detail at all, just the big basic forms, a bunch of blocks, cylinders, and stripes, with white where the sun hits, gray for medium shadow, and black for deep shadow. So I draw it exactly as I see it, and the teacher comes strolling by, and has a coronary. He snatches the pad out of my hands, and I think, "Oh crap, he’s gonna kick me out of class for drawing garbage!" 

And he starts waving the pad around and yelling to the class "Look at this! Look at it! This is what you should be doing! This girl has gone beneath the surface! She has artistic vision! She’s gone beyond detail to the building blocks! This is what I live for, when a student makes this breakthru!" I couldn’t tell him that my artistic vision came from a pair of crunched up glasses, it would have broken his heart. But to this day... every drawing, every bead I make... no prescription glasses.  Kinda like cheating, huh?

So after college, unable to get an art-related job, I dived into data processing (the bucks are there!) and eventually ended up at Safeway, where I went from graveyard computer operator to day shift to supervisor to technical support to data security. 

And in the off hours I was Captain Chaos Glassworks and built stained glass windows & knickknacks, my own designs, mostly commission and consignment work.  I never did the silly cartoony stuff in flat glass, it was all nice artistic birds, art deco ice cream cones, dragons, etc, because that's what the customers wanted.  ack - it made me *hate* unicorns!  I liked creating designs and cutting glass, but putting it together wasn't fun and I was always looking for a new art form.

                                   MY_FIRST_BEADS_JPEG.jpg (32726 bytes)

That I started making glass beads is entirely Connie Klein’s fault. End of March 1996, she came whooping up waving a catalog that had a ‘Make Glass Beads In Your Home’ kit, with a how-to book, a couple mandrels, a hothead torch, and some glass rods, all for less than $100. And we realized that if we ordered the kits, we'd use up all the glass the first weekend, and then where would we be?  

So I started calling around looking for glass suppliers, and found a 2-day Beginning Glass Beadmaking class with Shannon Kindle at Sundance Art Glass in Mountain View, CA. Connie and I both signed up for the Beginning and Intermediate classes, and the moment the torch went on (LOVE that blue flame!) I was hooked. Forever. See the picture up above, with the rancid dotted beads?  Those were my 1st ever, from the class - I really thought they were hot stuff (well they were, really, until they cooled....)

So the first year, I copied every handmade glass bead I could get my mitts on, trying to learn the techniques. I had a pile of the most awful Pati Walton, Kristina Logan, Tom Holland, and Nancy Pilgrim knockoffs... they’d have laughed themselves silly if they’d seen ‘em, just before they killed me.  I didn’t want to rip off other people’s work, and I was going nuts trying to figure out how to develop a personal style.

Then I did my once-every-ten-years household cleanup and found all the old portfolios, cartoons, and doodles in back of the closet, shrieked BINGO!, and raced down to the torch and made my first sculptural bead, from a drawing I'd done when I was about 5.  It was a little gold cat, a compound bead with a separate head and body, white cheeks with 3 dots for whiskers, and I put it together with a rhinestone rondelle collar. I still have it, it’s really awful. 

My first classes had taught me how to make smooth beads with internal designs, but no sculptural techniques, so it took awhile to get a feel for just how far out from the surface of the base bead I could work the glass. But the second I made that first cat, I had the personal style down cold. I’ve been recreating all the old designs from when I was a kid (cows and pigs in party dresses, twisty lizards, banana slugs, big spotted sitting cats, etc) and every time I come up with a really miserable pun, it’s a new bead! The current favorites are a cat doing the usual, titled ‘The Hind-Lick Maneuver’, and a chimp on the toilet, 'Monkey Pee, Monkey Doo'.

And I’m doing the occasional theme necklace, too. It started out with ‘Peter Rabbit Meets The Carnivorous Carrot,’ then the doggy-infested ‘Bad To The Bone,’ then there was ‘Where Tiger Cats Come From,’ the story of how a non-striped cat got its markings by way of a Safeway big-rig, complete with the appropriate (censored) gesture.   These are a hoot to make, but they take forever! There's picture of the dog necklace on the Jewelry/Necklace page (it's the Bad To The Bone version 1), and I'm going to recreate Tiger Cats so we can finally get a decent picture (the originals are on thin cylinders - no way to photograph - if there was, it would have been in the Bead & Button article, darnitall...)

I live in Alameda, California with Jim, the beloved train obsessed husband, webmaster, photographer & chef (I married him for butter or wurst...  (oh that's awful)  who’s too often abandoned while I bond with my torch.  If you come across him at a show, expressions of sympathy and good food are always appreciated. And then there's the pair of increasingly bizarre cats, Velcro and Nicky ‘The Meatball’ Corleone. All four of us are housebroken. 

Note: I always name pets after what they do. Velcro won’t play unless she’s hanging onto a leg, and if cats have a Witness Protection Program, Nicky’s in it. All my black & white cat beads are modeled after The Meatball, so I’ve probably blown his cover. Past cats include Dammit Charley Stoppit and Seymour Exxon (one eye & gas) and Fuzzy Dum Dum -  just as well I don't have children, they would've been Professor Leaky and Banshee. 

You’ve made it this far? Congrats & Thanks, you’re the first to do so! We’ll end this extravaganza with the required quote, to try to fool you into thinking that I’m a Serious Artist:

"Working with glass and flame is so much fun, it should be illegal. I like playing with primary colors and sculptural forms; my favorite beads are the bright silly ones that tell a story and make people laugh. The process of melting and forming the glass is so calm and meditative, and the gratification is so instant, that the finished piece is just an added bonus."

(BRACE YOURSELF - Publication and Exhibit list below.  I've been busy!)



The Flow Magazine – Spring 2009, Article by Kendra Sanders:  An Interview with Sharon Peters, pages 20-22

National Liberty Museum’s 2008 Glass Now Auction -  Sept. 20, 2008, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown.   With exhibition catalog.

‘Tempest’ International Invitational Glass Bead Exhibition – Aug 22-Sept 28, 2008, International Festival of Glass, Ruskin Centre, Stourbridge. Exhibition catalog, one piece ‘Caliban, Act 6’

Commemorative Exhibition of Masters: Glass Beads, Major Works by Leading Artists - Kobe Lampwork Glass Museum,  July 11–Oct 6, 2008, exhibition catalog

Bead & Button Magazine, May 2008 – cabochon clasps

Out of the Box: Pushing the Boundaries of the Glass Bead – Traveling exhibition with catalog, 2008.  2 pieces,  Doggone and First Contact

Exceptional Works in Metal Clay and Glass – Mary Ann Devos, 2008

The Masters: Glass Beads -  Lark Books, May 2008  - 8 pages of me!

Bulles des Perles, creations contemporaines en verre – Invitational exhibition, Glassmuseum of Sars-Poteries, July 30 – Sept 17, 2007   Exhibition catalog, 2 pieces – Dichro fish and butterfly.

Metamorphosis: The Life Cycle of a Glass Bead:   Juried exhibition, Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh PA, May 5 – July 14, 2007;  Evoke Gallery, St. Paul, MN, July 26 – Sept. 8, 2007.  Exhibition Catalog, page __

Glass Art 2007 Calendar, I’m the April 2997Centerfold!  Beautiful 16 month calendar, get yours from www.blixdesigns.com

Beading Basics, Carole Rodgers, Krause Publications 2006 – two projects using my beads, pages 61 and 105 whoo hoo!  

Glass Craftsman, Feb-March 2006, issue 194, my collector cards on cover & contents page, whoo!

Profitable Glass Quarterly, Summer 2006, ARTICLE & COVER! ‘Sharon Peters and Her Sculptural Silly Beads’ by Marcie Davis, pages 14-16, get a copy!  http://www.profitableglass.com/profiles/hotglass/index.htm

Good Things | Small Packages: An Intimate Look at Small Glass, exhibition catalog,  Public Glass, San Francisco CA and Selman Gallery, Santa Cruz CA  May – June, 2006

Bead & Button, February 2006, issue 71 - Mardi Gras Headpins, page 14

Jewelry Crafts, December 2005, Carole Rodgers necklace project, Alien Lei starring my Alien Mosquito Bob!

Profitable Glass Quarterly, Summer 2005, Volume 9 Number 2,  Glass Talk With Dale Smeltzer:  Interview with Sharon Peters, page 46 

Bead Unique, issue #4, Spring 2005 -  Flora Lollapalooza Necklace, page 103 

1000 Glass Beads, ed. Valerie Van Arsdale Shrader, Lark Books 2004, pages 15, 50 and 183.

Framed! 13 Patterns For Split Loom Necklaces Using Lamp Work Focal Beads, Sonja Podjan, May 2004; Kitty Goes A Courtin’, page 34-35

Bead Unique, issue #1, Summer 2004 -  Chicken page 119,  Barb’s Sun pg 123

Step by Step Beads, May-June 2004, pages 62 – 65,  Out Standing In Her Field, Pat Moses-Caudel, Amulet Bag Project

Passing the Flame: Spotlight on Beads For The Inner Child, Corina Tettinger, 2004 – Article: Sharon Peters 101 page 1-2A; beads p. 27, 28, 31

Passing the Flame: Spotlight on Hollow Beads and Vessels, Corina Tettinger, 2004 - pg. 5, hollow squatty gremlin

Belle Armoire Magazine,  Spring 2003 issue, Salon section - Pat Barton's Giant Charm Necklace using my 1st beads!

Bead & Button, Dec. 2003 Anniversary Issue - Revisiting Old Friends, page 107  (big jester & cat)

Japan Lampwork Festival in Azumino - Exhibition catalog, page 42

Bead & Button – August 2002, issue 50, Dichro fishes & slug, page 27

More Than You Ever Wanted To Know About Glass Beadmaking, Jim Kervin, Fifth Edition, 2003; Frog on the cover! And pages VI, XII, XV, XVI, XVII, XX, XXXII.  The book is infested with my beads!

Beads of Glass: The Art and the Artists, Cindy Jenkins, Pyro Press 2003, page 12, 19, 33

Contemporary Lampworking Vol. 2, 3rd Edition, 2002   Bandhu Dunham, Salusa Glassworks Inc.  page 310

Obsession: A Ten Year Affair With The Bead  – Exhibition catalog, International Society of Glass Beadmakers (ISGB); traveling exhibit, May – August 2002  (Frog - In The Shallows, NeeDeep)

Lapidary Journal, October 2001, Barb Sun doll, contents & page 44

Lapidary Journal, October 2000, page 22,  sun bead

The Wild and Wonderful World of Sharon Peters and her Silly Sculptural Shapes, May 2001, Jim Kervin, 32 pages

The Best in Contemporary Beadwork, Published by The Dairy Barn Cultural Arts Center and Co produced by Beadwork Magazines, in conjunction with the 'Bead International 2000' exhibition in Athens, Ohio, June - Sept. 2000

More Than You Ever Wanted To Know About Glass Beadmaking, Jim Kervin, Fourth Edition,  1999.   Pictures of my hands doing things, and photos of my beads all over the place (even the cover!)  Great text, an absolute must-have for glass Bead makers.

Bead & Button,  December 1999, issue 34 ‘Beads Tell All’   Alice Korach.  Article, pages 46 thru 49  (yeehah!)

Bead & Button,  December 1998,  ‘1998 Embellishment Gleaming Treasures Winners’  page 89

Lapidary Journal,  October 1998,  ‘Echoes of the Past,  Visions of the Future’ Marilyn J. Fox.  Picture and text,  pages 40 & 43

Glas Pa Kroppen, Moderne Amerikanske Glasperler , Torben Sode, (Contemporary American Glass Beads)    Published in conjunction with  the ‘Contemporary Glass    Beadmakers From America’ exhibitions in Denmark,  Nov. 1998 thru Oct. 1999

Exhibition Catalogue: Contemporary Glass Bead and Jewelry Show, Rockwell Museum,  Corning, New York, May 1 to June 28, 1998


Perspectives:Traditions and Innovations in Glass Beads - ISGB Juried Exhibition

·        Glass Art Society Conference, Corning NY - June 5 – Nov.r 30, 2009

·        Glass Art Society Conference, Corning NY:  June 05 – Nov. 30, 2009

·        Ohio Glass Museum, Lancaster Ohio:  Jan. 05 – Feb. 26, 2010

·        Bead & Button Show, Milwaukee WI:  June 08 – 13, 2010

·        ISGB Gathering, Rochester NY:  July 28 – August 1, 2010

 Muy Caliente Bead Pendant Show – Windisch-Hunt Fine Art Gallery, Coconut Grove, FL – July 21-August 31, 2009

Under The Sea - All Member Show, International Society of Glass Beadmakers Gathering 16, JL Knight Center, Miami FL, June 23-26, 2009

National Liberty Museum’s 2008 Glass Now Auction -  Sept. 20, 2008, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown.  

'Tempest’ International Invitational Glass Bead Exhibition –  Invitational touring exhibition:

·        International Festival of Glass, Ruskin Centre, Stourbridge, England.  -  Aug 22-Sept 28, 2008

*       Creative Glass,  Zurich Switzerland -  2009

·        Glass Art Society Conference, Corning NY -  June 2009

·        Studio 34,  Rochester NY  -  July 2009

·        ISGB Gathering, Miami FL  -  July 2009

·        La Jorunee de la Perle de Verre, Sars Poteries, France -  September 2009

 Commemorative Exhibition of Masters: Glass Beads, Major Works by Leading Artists - Kobe Lampwork Glass Museum,  July 11–Oct 6, 2008,

Out of the Box: Pushing the Boundaries of the Glass Bead – Traveling exhibition with catalog, 2008. 

Bulles des Perles, creations contemporaines en verre – Invitational exhibition, Glassmuseum of Sars-Poteries, July 30 – Sept 17, 2007  

Metamorphosis: The Life Cycle of a Glass Bead:   Juried exhibition, Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh PA, May 5 – July 14, 2007;  Evoke Gallery, St. Paul, MN, July 26 – Sept. 8, 2007.  

Exhibition - 2006 Japan Lampwork Festival in Nagara,  Dec. 1 – 20, 2006, Studio TAKUMI - World Design Gallery, Nagara, Japan

Trajectories    Juried exhibition, The Bead Museum, Glendale AZ, Sept. 15, 2006 – March 16, 2007;  then traveling to additional exhibition venues (will update when announced)  

Perles D’Ecume – Invitational exhibition, Musee Berck-sur-mer, Berck-sur-Mer, France, June 17 2006 – January 31, 2007.  An ocean themed glass exhibition, see my best ‘Carpe Diem’ there

Good Things | Small Packages: An Intimate Look at Small Glass -  juried exhibition and publication,  Public Glass, San Francisco CA and Selman Gallery, Santa Cruz CA  May – June, 2006

River of Glass  – Juried Jewelry exhibition at the Kentucky Museum of Craft, Louisville KY, July 25 – September 24, 2005

Winner’s Circle  – All Member Show, International Society of Glass Beadmakers Gathering XIII, Louisville KY, July 2005

The Eternal Bead - Invitational exhibition, The Bead Museum, Washington, DC, January 2 – June 26, 2005.  After the exhibit 'Bookworm in Love' goes into their permanent collection.

International Lampwork Exhibition at the Fourth Japan Lampwork Festival – Kyohei Fujita Museum of Glass, Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, November 2004

Forest Realm  – All Member Show, International Society of Glass Beadmakers Gathering XII, Portland OR, July 2004

Bead International 2004 - Juried exhibition at the Dairy Barn Cultural Arts Center, Athens, Ohio,  June – Sept 2004, then touring thru 2006 - catch the show to see my big Jester necklace!

Artist in Residence, Turtle Bay Exploration Park, Redding, CA Nov. 19-23, 2003

To Dye For – All Member Show, International Society of Glass Beadmakers Gathering XI, Lowell MA, August 2003

International Lampwork Exhibition at the Third Japan Lampwork Festival – Azumino, Japan, April 2003

Fireworks  – All Member Show, International Society of Glass Beadmakers Gathering X, Alexandria VA, August 2002

Obsession: A Ten Year Affair With The Bead  – ISGB Juried Auction and touring exhibition

·        Bead Museum, Glendale, AZ, April 17 – May 15, 2002

·        The Craft Alliance,  St. Louis, Missouri, May 22 – June 19, 2002

·        The Studio, Corning Museum of Glass, June 26 – July 24, 2002

·        The Gathering, Alexandria, VA,  August 1 – 2, 2002

Lampwork Festival – Second Annual Invitational Glass Bead Show, Nara, Japan, December 1 – 10, 2001

Invitational Glass Bead Exhibit, Glass Art Society Conference, Corning , NY, June 2001

Beads To Infinity and Beyond – All Member Show, Society of Glass Beadmakers Gathering VIX, Boulder CO, May 2001

Bead Annual -  Invitational glass bead exhibit,  Bullseye Connection, Portland, Oregon  May 31 – July 22, 2000

Summer of Love Beads – All Member Show, Society of Glass Beadmakers Gathering VIII, Oakland, CA, August 2000

Bead International 2000 -  Dairy Barn Cultural Arts Center,  Athens, Ohio  June – Sept 2000;  Exhibit touring the U.S. thru 2002

Designers Showcase - Juried exhibition at Bead Expo 2000, Santa Fe, New Mexico, March 2000

Just Desserts – All members show,  SGB Gathering VII,  Scottsdale, Az, May 1999

Reflections - Juried Glass Bead show,  Scottsdale Museum of  Contemporary Art,   in conjunction with the SGB Gathering in  Scottsdale, May 13 –16, 1999

Contemporary Glass Beads From America  -  Invitational exhibitions

 *  Glasmuseum,  Ebeltoft,  Denmark,   Nov. 7, 1998 - Jan. 17,  1999

 *  Museum of Decorative Arts, Copenhagen, Denmark,  3/ 5- 4/5,  1999

 *  Bornholm Art Museum, Bornholm, Denmark,  Apr 30 – June 6,  1999

*  Anneberg Collections, Denmark,  June 13 – Oct 3,  1999

*  The Finnish Glass Museum , Riihimaki, Finland Feb 4 – Aug 10, 2000

Gleaming Treasures,   Embellishment,  Sacramento Ca.  July  1998 (First Prize,  Lampworked Glass Bead Division)

Contemporary Glass Bead and Jewelry Show  -  Juried SGB exhibition

*  Rockwell Museum,  Corning, New York,  May 1 to June 28, 1998

  *  Abington Art Center,  Jenkintown, Pa,   Sept. 25 – Nov. 25, 1998

Broadfield House Glass Museum  -  American Glass Beadmakers exhibit, coordinated by Kate Drew-Wilkinson,  fall 1998

Bright Reflection From The West – SGB All members show,  Glass Art  Society  Conference,  Seto, Japan,           May, 1998

Echoes of Ancient Glass – All members show,  SGB Gathering VI, Corning N.Y.,  May, 1998

Ocean in the Desert – All members show,  Society of Glass Beadmakers  Gathering V,  Albuquerque, N.M., September, 1997

© 2000 Sharon Peters. All rights reserved.