Flamework Glass Artist Branda Corey of Placerville
05/31/2017 04:51PM ● Published by Heather Becker
Gallery: Glass Artist Branda Corey [3 Images] Click any image to expand.
Success for flamework glass artist Branda Corey is creating a piece she likes and feels good about. “Artists are notoriously hard on their work—we’re our own worst critic,” says Corey. “Oftentimes I’ll make something that didn’t come out the way I wanted, but someone will see something in it I didn’t.” After taking her first class at Arrow Springs in Placerville, Corey had her home studio set up within months, and currently makes stunning, nature-inspired glass. Whether beads, jewelry, magnifying glasses or utensils, her work manages to be both practical and whimsical—much like nature itself.
HLB: What is flamework glass?
BC: Flamework is another name for lampwork, a method used to melt glass rods into beads and small objects with a torch as the heat source. Lampwork is believed to be an ancient art form, with glass having been discovered after a campfire was burned in sand. Even though blowing is often used to create the items, it’s often confused with furnace glass. I work in what’s known as soft glass, because I love the color palette, even though it’s not actually soft.
HLB: Do you have common themes?
BC: My favorite pieces resemble water. Glass in its motion state behaves like water, so it seems like a natural relationship for it to end up [that way]. I also love to make polka dot beads, which go back to the 10th century Viking era. It’s odd to picture Vikings wearing polka dots, but many of those beads are still with us today.
HLB: Describe your work with Beads of Courage.
BC: Beads of Courage is an arts-in-medicine program for children with serious illnesses. Each time a child goes through a procedure, they add a bead to their string. For certain procedures, an artisan-made glass bead is used to represent their accomplishment. I love making beads for these young warriors; it helps them mark the goals they’ve set for themselves.
HLB: As an artist, what do you love about this community?
BC: We live [among] a large hub of artists, and I love that I know at least 50 of them, since it’s helpful to talk with like-minded people.
HLB: WHERE DO YOU GO FOR INSPIRATION?
BC: For outdoor inspiration, I go to the water—the lakes, rivers and streams. My favorite place to go is tide pooling in Bodega Bay or anywhere along the California coast.
HLB: If you could design something for anyone in the world, who would it be?
BC: As someone who wears glasses, I have magnifying glasses all over my house. My favorite sale was to an elderly gentleman who used one throughout his day. He fell in love with a large ocean-themed one I made and was so happy to buy it, which made my day and was such an inspiration.
HLB: What’s something UNIQUE people don’t know about you?
BC: My parents thought they made up my name. A few years ago, we did genetics testing and the DNA test showed we have some Viking lines, and Branda is a Norse/Viking word for torch or sword!