In the Pink: An Interview with Lampwork Artist Kandice Seeber

Kandice Seeber has been creating lampwork beads since 2002. She loves color (especially pink!) so much that she started a new blog, Color Addiction, where she shares her experience with various glass color combinations, including new colors that are being produced. Even if you do not create your own beads, you'll still appreciate her time-tested advice on combining colors and selling your work online.–Michelle Mach, Beading Daily editor

Michelle: You started out working at a fabric store. How did you make the transition to beadmaking? How long did it take for you to realize that you had a new career?

One of Kandice Seeber's newer designs, a stylized tulip bead

Kandice: My transition into beadmaking was a pretty logical progression from discovering seed beads at the fabric store, to beadweaving and embroidery, to jewelry making, to an obsession with beads, and then eventually to beadmaking. I never knew lampwork existed until I discovered it online! I was conversing with fellow bead addicts in the Usenet newsgroup rec.crafts.beads, and they introduced me to lampwork.

When I realized people were making their own beads, I was really intrigued. The ladies in the newsgroup somehow knew this would be the thing for me, so they got together and bought me a beginner's class for lampwork beadmaking. I fell in love with melting glass and decided to keep on with it. I apprenticed with one of the ladies from the newsgroup, Paulette Insall. We became good friends and she taught me the basics. I knew then that I wanted to do this for the rest of my life. Even though I'd had no experience with glass and no real knowledge of the industry, I felt like this was what I was put on this earth to do. Thank goodness I am decent enough to make a living at it!

Michelle: What's the story behind your website name, Air and Earth Designs?

Kandice: I named my business Air & Earth Designs before I was making beads. A friend and I started a jewelry designing business awhile back. Her zodiac sign was Gemini, an air sign. Mine is Virgo, an earth sign. So that's how we chose our name. When we went our separate ways several years ago, I kept the name and now it's recognizable, so I haven't changed it even though I have changed what I do. I still make and sell jewelry on occasion, but my main focus is lampwork beadmaking.

Michelle: How do you choose your color palette? Are there any tips you can offer readers on choosing color palettes?

Kandice: Color is a very personal thing for me. It's my main inspiration. It's my passion, really. I love to look at things like fabric, scrapbooking paper (some really fabulous colors there!), fashion magazines, and most of all, nature. Flowers have amazing color and I often use them for inspiration. Another really fantastic tool to use is a website called Colour Lovers. You can create your own palettes and even name your own colors. You can also see what everyone else has created–it's amazing inspiration.

At right: Pure Joy bead set features a signature color combination for Kandice Seeber

Michelle: What's your favorite color combination? What color(s) seem to be most popular with your customers?

Kandice: I am well known online for my love of pink combinations. People seem to really love pink with brown or green. Pink and khaki brown is the most popular combination I have, along with pink and shades of cream and orange. Personally, I really love pink with anything. I also love to pair neutral brown with any bright color – such as purple or green.

Michelle: I noticed that you have several different ways of selling your work online–eBay auctions, Etsy, and your website. Which one(s) work(s) best for you? Do you have any advice about selling your work online?

Kandice: I actually have a really long article I wrote about selling handmade beads and jewelry on eBay that people seem to enjoy.

Woodland Blooms

As for myself, I really love the new site Etsy. It's a very easy interface to use, and they have made it really pleasurable for buyers to use. Etsy supports the artists and craftspersons out there and I really like that. My website also does very well. My advice to people wanting to sell online is this: be ready to put a lot of time and effort into it. You can never just sit back and let orders pour in. The online market changes constantly, and you have to be willing to adapt with those changes.

Making a living at selling work online is a lot more time consuming than having an outside job. If you can commit to it, and you work hard at all aspects of it, you can be successful. Do lots of research, listen to your customers, make use of word of mouth, and make sure your product is top quality. And for goodness sake, learn to take decent pictures of your work. Presentation is very important. I could go on and on–I am very passionate about this.

Michelle: What new things are you working on now?

Kandice: I am actually doing some testing of new glass from a company called Creation is Messy. I test their glass colors and review them for my blog and for their website. I am always on the lookout for new colors, so that's a lot of fun for me. Other than that, I am just filling orders and making the occasional new bead set for Etsy and eBay, often using those new colors I have been trying.  

Thanks, Kandice! To see more photos of Kandice Seeber's work, visit her website at or her blog, Color Addiction. Kandice's blue and brown lampworked glass and chain set "Deep Seas" appears in the May-June 2008 issue of Step by Step Beads.

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