...living hopefully ever after... -john lennon
Who are you, again? Why am I here?
My name is Nikki Carollo, and my favorite obsession is melting glass...
When it all began...
I started making beads in a roundabout way. My father wanted to learn stained glass, so he took a class, then taught me. We both worked on stained glass for about a year, and during trips to the local glass shop, I noticed the glass rods. They were mesmerizing, the colors, and the entire concept of glass work being instantly gratifying - well, I had to try it! I did, in January 2003, and I haven't looked back to my stained glass since...
So tell us about the beads and technique.
I am a lampwork bead artist, which means I make beads individually in the flame by shaping molten glass. I use mainly 104 COE glass and my trusty Hot Head torch hooked up to bulk propane - at least I used my Hot Head until May of 2009. I then switched to an M-15 oxycon and a Minor torch. I feel I have a range of bead styles, from sculptural silliness in sheep, aliens, frogs, and lizards, to sculptural elegance in dragonflies and goddesses. I'm also proud to have accomplished encased florals, which I wanted to do since I saw one. In the years since, I've upgraded to a Piranha, a beautifully space age looking torch that plays well with me.
And the sheep?
I was doing a demo at Artful Hands Studio, one of my homes away from home. At that time I was mainly making cat faces, fish, and plainer focal beads. Someone came up and asked if I could do a sheep. The first one was done as a sheep face - it involved dots and dots and dots, and about halfway through I swore I wouldn't do another. Until I saw how cute it turned out... I think I left with three sheep that night, and I've lost count how many since. An eBay group christened me as The Sheep Goddess - it's a title I proudly use.
And the Nikki?
One of my favorite artists is Berkley Breathed, creator of Opus, who used the phrase, "I have the best friends in explored space." It's how I feel - I am so fortunate to have friends and family who have helped me by teaching, sharing, and just supporting me along the way. I'm an avid reader of a variety of books, enjoy an eclectic variety of music, and try to find the beauty in every day. Peace in my heart is my daily goal - the kanji in my logo are the symbols for peace and calm.