Make Something With Your Hands

Handmade Glass Beads & Jewelry Design

Here’s my story…

My life changed when, at the request of my daughter, we attended a beginner glass bead making class at Bavin Glassworks in BC for her 16th birthday (2010). I really did not expect this art form to take over my world, but since that class so much has happened. Of course with a new hobby comes new friends that are like minded and share the same interests. Some of these ladies have now become my best friends and I am so grateful to have them in my life!

I am blessed to have a two torch studio complete with a ventilation system, kiln’s, and all the glass, tools and toys required to make glass beads at home. Incredible!  Then it came about that I could share my studio with other lampwork friends who don’t have a studio. Then, after some years of acquiring the skill and knowledge, I decided to start teaching  small classes for one-four people here at my home studio.  I absolutely love sharing the artform with others! 

Along the way I learned about Beads of Courage. It is a non profit charity that is committed to transforming the treatment experience for children and families coping with serious illnesses. Through the Beads of Courage Program, children tell their story as they receive colourful glass beads to commemorate milestones along their treatment path. I now donate beads to this charity. In April 2014, my glass “owl” was the featured bead at the 2014 gala fundraiser event.  In 2019 I was inducted into the Beads of Courage Hall of Fame. I am so proud of this accomplishment.   

This is such an amazing art form to learn. I encourage anyone who would like to try something truly beautiful for the soul to give it a try. There is nothing more peaceful and relaxing to me.  It is my “yoga/zen” time and It involves melting glass rods at a torch to a molten buttery state and then using balance and gravity with your mandrel to form, shape and create your glass bead. It is absolute wow!

Classes

Introduction to Lampwork glass beads – beginner classes available.

Would you like to explore if glass bead making is your “cup of tea”? Then this class is your perfect opportunity to do so! In the introductory glass bead class we will focus on the basics to give you a strong understanding and foundation to begin your bead making skills.

This is your opportunity to fall in love with glass like I did!   Using a Nortel Mega Minor Torch powered by natural gas and an oxygenator, you will experience the joy of melting glass to make your own unique works of glass art. 

    • learn to pull stringer to get a feel for molten glass
    • make a single color bead- round or close to round  🙂 
    • make a two color bead and be introduced to a masher tool to flatten the glass
    • learn to do a fun decorative twist within glass
    • work with glass chips called “Frit”
    • have one extra hour after instruction to play with the skills you have just learned
    • when over (next day-after beads are out of the kiln) I will prepare one of your special beads into a keychain or a pendant- your choice
    • you will make 8-15 beads

The class is personalized with a teaching style that balances demonstration with one to one attention. With such a small class (1-4, 2 is optimal) I will demonstrate skills and then watch over you to offer advice and guide you while you try what you have just watched. During the class students will continuously receive individualized instruction to facilitate success.

I supply everything you could possibly need for this class, you only bring your own wonderful self. Let’s have fun and try a wonderful new art medium. Come make a “molten memory” (glass bead), with your friend, mother, daughter, husband, or whoever you think would enjoy a new experience. 

For Safety’s sake please wear cotton clothing, (throw on an old comfy pair of jeans and a cotton t shirt-short sleeves only please), wear closed toe shoes and if you have long hair just tie it back. That’s it! Simple.

Upon completion of the class I will also provide you with some basic information about supplies, furthering your skills and ideas on learning more about the artform etc.  Your beads that you make will need to go through the annealing process and sit in the kiln for several hours. So we will make arrangements before you depart regarding how you will get your ” molten memories”.

Thank you for your interest. I truly hope you enjoy this time immensely and that you leave feeling that you just tried the “coolest (hottest)” thing on earth!

If you have a particular date in mind, please feel free to contact Rhonda (me) to request a date and make arrangements. 

1 participant (private class)

3 Hours of Instruction

$225

2 participants

3 Hours of Instruction

$175 per participant

3 participants

3 Hours of Instruction

$145 per participant

4 participants

3 Hours of Instruction

$135 per participant

Each of the classes comes with 1 Freedom Hour in the studio where you can create whatever you desire with your new skills after your instruction period.  Cash, debit, EFT and credit card accepted.

Exceptional Studio - Quincy

“Absolutely exceptional studio! Rhonda is an excellent teacher and her studio is a great place to craft beads. She is highly talented and very attentive. I really enjoyed creating glass beads and she created the right environment for inspiration, fun and creativity.”

Fb Review - Martha

“Learning from a very talented and knowledgeable artist is mind altering! Love working in your studio and the inspiration and encouragement you provide Rhonda!”

Beginner Beading Class

“I wanted to take a moment to tell you how much I enjoyed the beginner beading class that Meagan and I did together at your studio recently. Thank you so much for sharing your passion with us. When you first mentioned that you were a bead maker, I thought that you enjoyed stringing beads together to make things for friends. It didn’t cross my mind that you actually “made” the beads, and I had no idea how incredibly beautiful your work is until you showed me your studio. I knew Meagan would love it because she has always enjoyed doing crafts when she was younger despite my own lack of creativity and ability to show her how to do them. It is sometimes challenging to find things that one can do with their teenagers that both people will enjoy so that was an extra value added to the experience for me. You are a gifted artist, but also a natural teacher. There is a big difference between being able to do something and being able to teach someone else how to do it, especially when it comes down to using those fine motor skills. Your step by step instructions, patience, encouragement, and progressions to more challenging skills were very specific to our abilities. I had no idea that we would be able to create some beads that we could be proud of and use in making some wearable pieces in just one session. The snacks were lovely too! I loved the opportunity to relax in your fun and peaceful studio and the sense of accomplishment and bonding with my teenager. When we got home she said, “Good outing Mom, thanks! When can we do it again?”. We’ll be back.”

FB Review - Carmen
“What a great experience. Thank you Rhonda for teaching me the art of making glass beads. Rhonda is amazing teacher (patient, knowledgeable and creative). She made me feel comfortable with the flame and glass even though I had never done anything like this before. You are definitely a natural at what you do both making beads and teaching ! It was fascinating to watch you transform a rod of glass into a beautiful glass bead. I would thoroughly recommend this course to anyone who wants to learn a new skill or craft. It was the perfect introduction into making beads. Thank you so much!”
Wonderful Teacher - Kim

“Hi, Rhonda. I wanted to thank you so much for introducing me to your world of bead making in the introductory class. You are such a wonderful teacher and made me feel so comfortable. I never felt rushed while trying out the different techniques that you showed us. I am so excited to see my finished product and can’t wait to do some more.”

FB Review - Valerie

“What a game changer! Thank you so much Rhonda for your encouragement and inspiration. I loved the class so much and can’t wait for my second one. The instructions Rhonda provides are easy to understand, fun, and professional. I encourage anyone to try making glass beads with Rhonda, she’s incredibly artistic and with her encouragement – you can’t help but feel you will be a success in this art!”

What a Joy! - Amanda

“What a joy! I attended the Introduction to Lampworking Glass Bead Class taught by Rhonda a few weeks ago, and I truly had a wonderful time. From the moment I entered Rhonda’s beautiful studio, I felt completely at ease and I knew I was going to enjoy learning from her. Her confidence, knowledge, and teaching abilities allowed me to feel comfortable using a torch and melting glass within the first hour. I can happily say I made six beads during my first class! I highly recommend this class to anyone who is interested in lampworking, You will have an amazing time. I look forward to returning to the studio to practice and take more classes, thank you Rhonda!”

FB Review - Trina

“Rhonda is an amazing artist and teacher! Her glass studio is one of my favourite places to spend my free time!”

Awesome & Fun - Anne-Michele

“This class has been an awesome and fun experience for me. I have to admit I was totally skeptical at first, as I thought I had no artistic flair….but it was so easy to learn. What to say about Rhonda: She is kind, so friendly, welcoming, generous and so talented, (the whole family is so friendly too). Every week I am counting the day for beads night. Thank you so much for everything and now I am a Lampwork beading addict.”

Best Taught Class - Susan

“This was probably the best taught class, in the most relaxing environment, I have ever taken (and I have taken a lot of different art classes). I went to the beginner class having never seen glass introduced to the flame before and left dreaming up many ideas for me to create in the flame. You learn, in detail, the beginner necessities and feel comfortable with what you have learned. The facilities and the instruction were top notch. Rhonda is friendly, knowledgeable and best of all I was at ease around her which made it easy to ask questions and just feel very comfortable. I would like to say a big thanks to Rhonda! You got me hooked.. Or should I say “glowing”.”

One on one Focused Instruction - Kathy

“Looking for the next step in your Lampworking journey? Rhonda’s Glass Bead Girls Studio is a joy to work, learn and create in bright, cheery, well designed and equipped. Having already taken a beginners lampworking class at a larger, public, studio here in Calgary, and having a bit of time already investing at the torch, it was great to be able to book a small, semi-private class that was tailored specifically to our individual needs. With only two of us, we picked the techniques we wanted to focus on, and in One-Class had the opportunity to watch and learn with plenty of time to practice all the time getting “One-on-One” focused instruction! If you want to learn how to master a technique, how to use presses and rollers, dots and twists, or just expand upon your new found passion, make a list and let the girls know what you looking for You won’t be disappointed! We are looking forward to our next class.”

Exceeded Expectations - Dee

“This glass lampworking workshop exceeded my expectations. It was a great “girl outing” and I can’t believe we made several beautiful beads. I can’t wait to glass bead again!”

Perfect Balance - Shelley

“I’ve always wanted to explore glass and bead work and jumped at the chance to attend a class. The course was the perfect balance of observed instruction and hands on application in a professional studio with a charming, intimate setting. This experience far exceeded my expectations and I know that I will definitely be back.”

Thank You - Theresa

“I want to thank you for the glass bead lesson you gave me and my husband. I had been interested in glass beads for quite some time and was very happy to come across your website. Your class appealed to me because of its small size, allowing more productive time with both of us, teaching us the correct techniques. Because we live out of town, we decided to set up a studio in our basement rather than come in to the city to rent studio time. We only have one torch at present and we take turns making beads. My husband enjoys it so much that we plan to put in a second torch soon. We would recommend the classes at Glass Bead Girls to any of our friends. We both are looking forward to taking the next level of glass bead making.”

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(403) 608-4088

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Yes please! I welcome in home studio visits/field trips to come by to browse and shop anytime!!  Located near Westhills in Calgary, Alberta; message or call to arrange a time!

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