Bonney Beads

Bonney Beads

Nobody warned me: working with hot glass is addictive! In 2013, on a lark, a friend and I went to the Corning Museum of Glass Studio to have a “glass experience.” I sat at a torch while an instructor held my hands in place and guided me through the process of making a simple glass bead – and that was that! Two years later I had my own glass studio (built by Ithaca’s wonderful John Mead). I’ve been fortunate to have very talented and generous teachers along the way.

I make beads from glass rods that come from Italy, Germany, China, and the U.S. Sitting at a torch that’s about 3,000 degrees I melt, shape, and decorate the glass, and then anneal my beads in a kiln overnight to make them strong and stable. I use my beads to construct jewelry and to create beaded handles for objects such as jam spoons, cheese knives, and coffee scoops. I especially enjoy this aspect of my work because I like creating pieces that are functional. In my jewelry I incorporate sterling silver chain and findings and sometimes semi-precious stones such as citrine, turquoise, lapis, and pyrite.

Working with glass – transparent, opaque, translucent – in every color imaginable, richly saturated or pale as a whisper, is as fun as it gets. 


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