An Interview with Lori Greenberg

One of Lori Greenberg's beads

Michelle: How did you get the name "Bead Nerd"?

Lori: Around our house "nerd" is a term of endearment. My husband owns a computer networking business and what he does is way over my head. I would hear him talk with customers and it sounded like secret code so I'd always call him a nerd. One day he heard me talking glass with someone and understood. He started calling me a "Bead Nerd" and it stuck.


Michelle: What techniques or ideas are you currently exploring?

Lori: I'm always exploring new techniques. I like to work like fashion designers do and have new designs for each show season. Currently I'm obsessed with color layering on the body of my beads but also in the small stringer of glass used to decorate the surface. Most components I decorate with have multiple layers and I believe that is what helps make my work (or anyone's work) stand out in the crown. Layers. My motto is, "anything less than 8 layers isn't enough and more than 11 is too much."

Other ideas that are taking up my time have to do with blogging and getting information out to bead makers and beaders. A new project is the Watch Me Create blog where I've brought together about 12 glass bead makers who share their process on a daily basis . . . how they come up with bead designs and their inspirations. I think the process of creativity is fascinating and I believe anyone can learn to be creative.

Michelle: Is your work seasonal at all? Do you change your use of colors, or the amount of time you spend on the bench depending upon the time of year?

Lori: While I say I like to work like the fashion designers, rather than having four seasons I have two. Bright and earthy. I am an earth-tone loving person so I have to force myself to do bright colors for spring and summer for my customers. I feel a wave of relief as August rolls around and my ambers and tans start calling me again.

Another bead by Lori Greenberg

Michelle: You recently attended the International Society of Glass Beadmakers Convention. Tell me a little about that. Do you go every year? What kinds of things do you do there? What was the hot topic that everyone seemed to be buzzing about?

Lori: Where does one begin to talk about the Gathering? This was my third Gathering and I can't imagine ever missing one. Not only do you get to hang out with at least 500 people of like mind you also come home inspired and motivated. Forgive me for speaking for everyone but I think it's accurate.

There are all day demos by great artists from around the world sharing their techniques and secrets, lectures by veteran glass workers, seminars for business, an auction, juried shows to visit, tool and glass vendors, a bazaar of all lampwork glass beads, etc.

This year's hot topic? It depends what conversation you are listening to at the moment. I would say though that one thing I think was "HOT" is the fact that Gwynne Rukenbrod, along with the staff and board of the ISBG are taking the organization to the next level. I marveled at my first Gathering at how professional the ISGB is but it's getting even better as they continue to work on educating the public about glass beads as art.  

Learn more about Lori Greenberg and see more photos of her beads on her website, If you're interested in learning more about making glass beads, check out Lori's advice to Beading Daily readers in Getting Started Making Glass Beads. Lori's lampwork project, Amber Marquis Bead, is also available free for Beading Daily members.


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