I literally stumbled upon jewelry making.
One winter while family was skiing, I went shopping in Frisco, Colorado, where I actually tripped while walking in front of a local bead shop. It was kind of like a dream – I caught myself with my hands and when I looked up (as you do to see if anyone saw you do something this stupid), there was this great bead shop! I wandered in out of curiosity.
The friendly and persuasive staff introduced me to beading, showed me how to make a necklace and earrings, and I walked out of there with about $250 worth of beads, supplies and equipment. I soon realized that while beading was fun, I was most attracted to fused glass pieces, particularly those made with dichroic glass. After attending several classes throughout the United States I was hooked, which is interesting since by trade I am an attorney and trust officer with CoreFirst Bank & Trust in Topeka, Kansas (very left brain). But I had other right brain leanings, as I music direct shows at local theatres.
My foray into wire wrapping was equally serendipitous. I went to a national bead show, headed right when I should have turned left, and wandered into a classroom where a wire-wrapping class was about to begin. A very nice gentleman named Dale Nichols, the teacher of this class, asked if I would like to join the class and I asked what they were making. He showed me a sample of some beautiful wire wrapping and I immediately said yes. While I wished at the end of the class I had asked how much the class cost (turns out it was several hundred dollars), I thoroughly enjoyed the class and made several beautiful wire-wrapped pieces. But then I did not follow up with what I learned and ended up taking the same class again a year later. I still did not follow up immediately, so about six months after that I tried another wire wrapping class, this time in Wichita with a woman who had also studied with Dale.
First, let me say that Dale is an amazing teacher – his technique cannot be beat, and he has some great designs. But Dale is a military man, and everything he does is incredibly precise, measured and totally perfect. I think, because of this quest for perfection, I was really scared to try it myself. However, the gal in Wichita showed me you can do the same thing and use those perfect techniques, yet maybe eyeball some measurements and get a little more creative with your designs so that they become your own. Right after that, my sister asked if I would wrap a piece she had made and I pulled a pattern and modified it for the stone and to reflect my personal taste. It is nothing like I wrap now, but it looked decent enough. I was thrilled!
Since then I have expanded my glass and jewelry repertoire to architectural pieces, wire wrapping, casting, metalsmithing and lampwork beadmaking. I have studied locally, as well as with Dale Nichols and Kent Lauer (California), Patty Gray (Washington), Colleen McGraw and Scott Dye (Las Vegas), Bonnie Perry (Massachusetts), Catharine Weaver (Alaska), Will Smith (Tennessee), Joe DiPietro (Florida), and Sara Sally LaGrand (Missouri). I also studied at the William Holland School of Lapidary Arts in Georgia.I have been awarded Best in Category at several art fairs. I teach fused glass, wire working and lampwork beads. My work can be seen at various art fairs, shops and galleries throughout the region, as well as on my website, www.NancyGoodall Designs.com. So that is how I started!