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Beauty and the Bead

I would rather be thought of as an artist than a fashion accessory designer," explains Tucker. "My beads are more like art and art doesn't transcend that way into fashion."

Tucker is a self-taught jewelry designer and bead maker whose work is anything but ordinary. When I first browsed her website I was immediately impressed with the way her glass beads were intertwined with swirls of colour and what looked like different textures.

Her beads owe their unique look to the way they're created, using various types of glass that are fused together in her kiln or by using a torch a technique called lampwork. This technique involves various coloured glass rods that are reshaped using a form of glass blowing and a torch.

Tucker is also using a new type of glass that lets her create beads with shimmer and shine.

"It has a high silver content and the more you flash it in and out of the flame, the more colour you get. So you don't really know what you get until you do it," says Tucker. "Sometimes it comes out and it's beautiful and other times it's so ugly, and those ugly ones just end up in the ugly bead box."

And according to Tucker that box is full. The designer says over the years she has accumulated a mass of so-called ugly beads, but while some might think tossing the unusable glass work into a box is useless, Tucker says it serves a reminder of where she's been and where she is going as a designer.

"It's neat to take all the junk out and see how far I've come; it's kind of like a pat on the back," she says.

Personally, I can't quite picture what an ugly bead would look like, since the ones Tucker sells and uses to create her jewelry are so stunning. They look almost like elaborate decorative glass platters.

I'm especially fond of her cuff bracelets, which are a solid piece of glass containing swirls of colour and shaped into a wrist-wrapping form. Her fused glass belt buckles are very cute and a great way to dress up your waist the perfect gift for the guy who has it all.

Tucker's glass jewelry is sold at a number of stores across the country, including Artifacts at Johnston Terminal at The Forks , the Gallery Shoppes at the Winnipeg Art Gallery and Village Streewear. She is also auctioning off a piece at Art for Angels on March 12 at Alive in the District.

For more information on LeVerne Tuckers jewelry log onto www.levernetuckerstudio.com.


Beauty and the Bead 1

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