"Glass Is My Medium And Fire Is My Tool." -- Larissa Spafford
Larissa Spafford creates wearable artwork from dazzling beads of her own design and construction. Her vibrant beads delight the viewer with their striking variety, exacting precision, fascinating complexity, and unexpected colors. Larissa has come into maturity artistically since taking up glass work over a decade ago. The expressed uniqueness and originality of her work have proven her a notable Northwestern artist.
Larissa meticulously crafts each bead design from molten glass in a gas torch flame. Thus she continues the ancient art form called 'lampworking' which became widely practiced in Murano, Italy, in the 14th century. Glass beadmaking has exploded in America over the past 30 years. Larissa participates in this movement's evolution. As she wields special tools and applies precise techniques to combine specific materials, she achieves an alchemy of captured light, color, and glass that elevates mere sand to become art. Beyond bead making, she assembles her beads into uncommon representations of common objects, creating visual delights to be encountered in everyday life.
Larissa's jewelry transcends the usual notions. Enthusiasts agree -- wearing her work uniquely expresses one's sensibilities and sense of self. Her jewelry is considered 'wearable art.' Larissa makes socially sensitive and environmentally responsible choices at every step. For many who share these values, conscious intentionality imparts an added dimension to an artist's work.
A group of pioneering American artists formed the International Society of Glass Bead Makers. This Society recognized Larissa's achievements by selecting one of her beads for exhibition, along with beads of other accomplished glass artists. To view a larger image of the Society's pick, "Lovely Bloom in Fiesta," click here. To see the entire ISGB article about the exhibit and view all the selected winners, from The Glass Bead, Summer 09 issue, click here.