Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Down Memory Lane ... Justbeads.com

My special friend, Jean Yates, sent me her fabulous new book, Links (click the book cover to the right to visit Amazon so you can order it NOW!). I have so much to say regarding this book but I want to dedicate several posts to it later.

Jean took me down memory lane this morning and I thought it would be fun to share with you my February 2002 Artist of the Month profile from Justbeads.com. Click the title "February 2002 artist of the month" to visit the exact page as the photos didn't translate well when I copied over the text to share with you here.

Once you are on Justbeads, you will see how "young" I looked back then. The photo is part of a studio photo Nick and I took while we were dating (circa, 1997 or 1998 as we were married July 1998) at the SAME studio that took my photos for the book and my publicity headshot for my magazine articles. The Justbead photo was taken by Henry Wang's mom, Lucy, a family of superb photographers! If you need great photos for ANY occasion Henry and Lucy are the ones to go to and they travel to your shoot, as well for your convenience. I'd admit, I was bad and cropped Nick's head out of the Justbead photo. Oooops! Sorry husband.

Even then my design sensibilities were already taking root to who I am now. I was inspired by nature, texture, color, shape, form and function, etc. I love playing with FIRE to create beautiful things! Even then, I wrote and wrote. Hahah. I gotta be me and now you know I've always been this way - long-winded and chatty!!! I love to write and talk about beads, beads, and MORE beads as well as the creative process! Be glad you are not my husband, Nick, who has to listen to me gab EVERY day about beads! I sleep, drink and eat beads!

I'm actually posting this now also because then you'll know my birthday is May 4th. (hint hint) ;o) No need for presents now... just a note in the email on that day is all I wish for. On May 4th, my birthday I will be exhibiting at Bead Expo Phoenix, promoting THE book Bead Romantique.

My sister Sandy and I will also be representing my friends Ezel Findings (aka Ezel Jewels) at their booth (next to me), so drop by for a lookie if you are visiting the show. I'll have a few FREE passes to the show, in a month, so email me if you want passes to save money on beads instead. You'll have to promise to come to my booth for a "short" chat and send me your birthday wishes. There are no breaks for this gal, even on her birthday! But at least I get to celebrate my time surrounded by my Interweave friends, beadie buddies, beautiful beads and talking about beads, beads and MORE beads. If I could eat and drink beads, I would!

From Justbeads.com February 2002 (click the banner to visit the exact page!):

Meet This Month's Featured Artist

My name is Lisa Kan, better known to most as "LKan54". The "LKan" is obvious. The "54" is my birthdate, (May 4th).

Before I begin telling you about myself and how I got to where I am now, I want to extend a few special thank you's to some very deserving people. I was quite honored when asked to become February 2002's Artist of the Month. First, this could not have happened without the support of my husband, Nick. I would also like to thank Victoria Sutherland (a.k.a. Storia Designs) who was the first to tell me about this site back in October 2000. I came, I saw, and I stayed. Why? To me, Justbeads engenders a feeling of "family" because they care about their users and have devoted a lot of effort to make this the best bead auction site. Therefore, I want to take this opportunity to thank Bettina and Bob. JustBeads is the only site where I list.

Now about me: I can go back to my childhood years and tell you what inspired me to reach where I am now, but I won't. It's not important where I've been, but where I am going. I've been known to have the gift of gab and can write long novels if given the opportunity. Just ask some of my closest friends. My website tells the rest of my history (www.lisakan.com). I'll just begin the story with the BEADS.

Beads came into my life in March 2000 when I started selling online. I sold and still sell today Bali precious metals, Swarovski crystals, Czech glass, pearls, semi-precious stones, as well as, finished jewelry. I operated this "business" part time on my off hours from the day job. Time passed. Then, in November 2000, a new bead store opened in my area. I decided to drop in to take a look at the grand opening. Browsing through the bookshelves, I came across everyone's beginning lampwork book, Cindy Jenkin's "Making Glass Beads". I bought it. During the next few weeks, I studied this book intensely and dreamt of glass beadmaking. It was not until April 2001 that I found time to take a 5-hour beginner's course. In late May, I also took up metalsmithing, primarily working with sterling silver. The two beginner courses gave me sufficient information to get started and the rest I learned on my own. Thus, began my journey.

The metalsmithing was placed on the back burner. Within one month of using a Hothead torch, I was set up with a Minor and propane/oxygen tank. And it was not long after, my studio quickly evolved. I took a hiatus from beadmaking practice in June 2001 due to an impromptu business trip to the Far East. Upon returning, the flame beckoned me and I was determined to play with fire once again. In August 2001, 5 months after taking up lampworking, I officially launched my own glass bead line, KanDes Lampwork exclusively on Justbeads. "KanDes" is Kan Designs, which is pronounced "khandeez" (as in Genghis Khan). It is a play on the word "candies" with my name. In essence, I hope my lampwork will "sweeten" your designs.

Birth of an idea: How can I describe the process? Why is lampworking so exciting to me? Well. . . Working with glass, you heat the glass rod until it melts and glows an amberish red, then slowly wound the glass around a stainless steel mandrel. Although it may begin very much like a glob of nothing, gravity takes over and does its work if you manipulate the speed with which you turn your mandrel, with learned control. Turning clockwise towards the flame, right under the flame, it works perfectly all the time. ALL glass when heated looks the same. It is a big glob of molten amberish red. But, aaaaaaaaahh.. when the shape begins to form, whether it be round, oval, square, bicone or abstract, it is exhilarating that it was I and the flame working together to achieve the final shape.

The reality that is: I have a thousand ideas of beads and of metalsmith projects waiting to be made. The only restriction is time and getting my workshop fully equipped. As to lampworking, it's amazing how some of these beads can turn out, since it can be difficult to distinguish colors and the designs when you have a hot gather of glass in front of you. You have to think a mile a minute. One wrong move or a little too long in the flame and that's it. There are rarely any second chances when dealing with hot glass. Precision, control, concentration, patience and meticulous care to details are attributes one needs to master. As to metalsmithing, there's nothing like pounding on some metal after a long frustrating day at work.

If untamed, fire can be destructive. On the other hand, lampworkers and metalsmiths, harness fire to create their art.I can go on and on about the passion I have for the creative process, but I'll end it here. Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to share my thoughts. I hope you come to enjoy my imagination, artistic interpretation and creativity in each of the tiny works of art I make. Lastly, thank you also to everyone (you know who you are!) who has been there to support me in this journey I simply call "My Dream".

All My Best

P.S. I hope you enjoyed reading this little "blast from the past". There are similar information on my updated website bio! Thanks Jean for taking me back to Justbeads.com this morning. You are extra special, xoxo!

Please visit Jean's website and blog for more insightful commentary, wonderful stories and creative designs. And, more about Jean's book Links in upcoming future posts! In the meantime, it's back to the studio for me, to make more beads for Portland! Whew! (wiping sweat off my brow!)

Related Posts with Thumbnails