Beadmaking Class with Kristen Frantzen Orr

Last weekend I participated in a wonderful glass bead making class with Kristen Frantzen Orr, an acclaimed bead artist. According to her website “Kristen’s handmade glass beads blend her love of nature with her background as a watercolor artist. A single bead can take hours to make, as she draws and sculpts with molten glass over the flame of an oxygen-propane torch. To add detail to her work, she makes special canes from multiple colors of glass, and by combining these component parts with layers of transparent colors, she creates depth and captures an exciting play of light.” Kristen has had her beads published in many books and magazines. Recently she was featured in the December, 2013 Soda Lime Times “Allstar” edition.



Here is Kristen demonstrating:

IMG_4429 IMG_4430

Here is the bead she made:


Kristen taught us how to hold both ends of the mandrel for better control. Kristen also described this technique in the Soda Lime Times. We learned how to make multi-layered striped cane for flowers, stems, and leaves. We made both round cane and flat cane. We also learned 3 different interesting base beads.

Here are some of the class beads. I made the bead on the right. I am pleased with how it turned out.


The class was taught at Graceful Customs Studio in Gilroy. Thank you Grace and Jelveh for bringing Kristen to this area.

About ingetraud

I make lampwork beads and jewelry. My other interests include traveling, reading, hiking, and collecting art and handcrafted items, especially pottery. I have always loved handmade things and have collected hand-thrown pottery since I was a teenager. I have done stained glass and weaving. I had been stringing beads into necklaces for a while when I attended a clay and glass show in Palo Alto. There was a beadmaker there whose work I fell in love with. I bought one bead to make into a necklace and decided I wanted to learn how to make glass beads. I took my first beadmaking class from Jackie Marr in Santa Cruz. After taking another class from Katie Stuart in Santa Barbara I set up my own studio and have not looked back. Beadmaking is like meditation for me. What has kept me interested is that there is always some new technique or color combination to learn or try. I have taken advanced classes from Sally Prasch, Marjorie Langston, Holly Cooper, Shirley Cook, Dolly Ahles, J.C. Herrill, Kristen Franzten Orr, Amy Waldman Smith, Claudia Trimbur-Pagel, Astrid Riedel, Amanda Muddimer, Melanie Moertel, Angela Meier, Gay Massender, Kris Schaible, and Jennifer Geldard. I love combining my love of beadmaking and traveling by taking classes away from home. In September, 2016 I got to attend a bead symposium in Wertheim, Germany. I took a bead lining class and watched many demos. I am married and have one son, age 26. I live in the Santa Cruz Mountains between Los Gatos and Scotts Valley, California.
This entry was posted in beadmaking, beadmaking class, handmade beads, Kristen Frantzen Orr, lampwork beads, lampworking class and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Beadmaking Class with Kristen Frantzen Orr

  1. jelveh says:

    it was a great class.

  2. Iveth Caruso says:

    Absolutely gorgeous beads, great job Inge!

  3. Pingback: Kristen Franzten Orr class at Snow Farm | Inge's Blog

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