Meet Margie Shanahan
I am a native of Omaha, Nebraska, and, until retiring in May 2009, taught English full time at a local high school. I worked with stained glass for a number of years, but in year 2000 discovered hot glass beads. I was enthralled.
I have so much fun making my lampworked beads. With a torch, I melt glass until it is a molten glob and wind it on a steel mandrel. Using gravity, a marver and sometimes a little prayer, I shape the bead, then embellish it with glass stringers, chips and powders. To finish, I anneal my beads in a kiln for extra strength. I have had the opportunity to work with some wonderful glass bead artists and lampworking masters through workshops and classes. Their influence can be seen in the improvement of my technique and my "artistic eye."
For a number of years, my beads and jewelry brought home first place ribbons from the Nebraska State Fair, and I went on to judge the lampwork (hand-made glass bead) division. A number of my beads and jewelry have been published in catalogs and magazines, and I enjoy participating in several juried art shows, both in the area and out of state. A number of my beads and finished pieces have been "on the road" as part of a traveling art show.
From its inception to March 2008, I was the sole glass artist for Nathan Tim, designing a line of glass-topped cufflinks that ended up in the jewelry cases of Brad Pitt and Kofi Annan, retired Secretary-General of the U.N. I have published a number of articles related to my art in the Glass Bead and Profitable Glass Quarterly.
I am a member and current Director of Education of the International Society of Glass Beadmakers, a member of Bellevue Artists Association as well as Nebraska Gem and Mineral Club, and founding member and secretary of the Midwest Lampworkers Guild. I teach bead classes at the Hot Shops Art Center in Omaha. FLAME ON!