Interview with Amber Van Meter of Na0s Glass

Of all the media most commonly used to make art beads, the one I know the least about is, I guess, glass. I’ve seen the basics of lampworking demonstrated but, looking at the finished work of a skilled lampworker, I can feel like some kind of alchemical magic must be afoot.  One of the things I really like about contributing to this blog is having an excuse to find out more about bead makers that I particularly admire. Today my interviewee is Amber Van Meter of Na0s Glass.  I remember when I first came across her work, when I was still fairly new to the world of art beads.  I was immediately smitten. I love the soft, subtle colours that predominate in her work.  I am waiting for a custom order from her and I can’t wait to receive it, although I know that once I do I’ll be struggling to prize them from my stash and actually part with them. Anyway, on with the interview…

How long have you been working with glass? How did you get started?

Thirteen years. A co-worker just happened to know a lampwork artist who generously showed me how to do it and I’ve been working with glass ever since.

What lead you to start making beads?

I have always been an artist but had to give it up (or so I thought) when I had my first child twenty years ago. I was working at a successful marketing firm bet felt I was dying on the vine so I knew I needed to do something in my spare time that was creative. Painting was too intensive once I had a child so I went back to an old hobby – making jewelry. Trolling online auction sites for jewelry components, I discovered
handmade lampwork glass beads and, subsequently, fell in love!

What do you love most
about working with glass?

endless possibilities!  Put a few rods of
glass in front of several lampworkers and each of them will make something
completely different, just like paints or pencils.

What inspires your
lampwork designs?
father is a retired heavy-equipment engineer who worked in the mining industry
for over 40 years.  My home was filled
with specimens of every kind you could imagine when I was growing up.  Naturally, my style ended up being organic.  When I started, I wanted to make big, bright
happy beads but I just kept picking up the more neutral colours to torch with.

What is your
workspace like?
messy!  I believe right now I have a pile
of shorts and half-used rods that is about 5 inches thick…not to mention all
the little bits from used stringers. 
I clean my
space maybe twice a year.

Do you make anything
else with glass, other than beads?
No.  I have tried fusing but beads are really my bailiwick.

Do you make jewellery
yourself or is it all about the beads for you?
the beads.  Strangely enough, I never
wear jewellery made with my own beads. 
I’m likely missing an excellent marketing opportunity now that I think
about it.

Are there any lampworkers
or bead makers that you’ve found particularly influential or that you
particularly admire?

bead communities on Wet Canvas and Lampwork Etc.  We all shared so much information in the
early days about glass reactions, new glass, and new designs.  I admire those fellow glass adventurers the
most.  I also admire those new to the
craft.  They remind me of where I came
from and why I keep doing this as my life’s work.

Thank you, Amber, for agreeing to answer my questions!  

And just in case you’re feeling a sudden and inexplicable need to acquire more beads, here’s another link to her Etsy shop!

Bye for now, Claire


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4 Comment

  1. Katherine Thompson
    August 15, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    Excellent questions Claire! I have been impressed with Naos glass for some time now and I would love the opportunity to play with it on a regular basis. What beautifully work!

  2. Divya N
    August 16, 2015 at 6:13 am

    These beads are spectacular. They showcase your talent, patience and hardworking tendency Amber, they are fantastic

  3. Gale
    August 17, 2015 at 11:57 am

    I love Amber's unique lampwork and so must many others, as I've always sold the pieces I've made with her beads. In addition to admiring her fine work, I appreciate that Amber takes an active interest and shares what we do with her glass after it leaves her hands. Thanks, Amber!

  4. Mary Harding
    August 18, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    Great interview Claire!! So glade to learn about Na0s glass!! Beautiful colors and beads!!

Comments are closed.