Ed Sharr making marbles
I recently went to the Atherton House in Adel, IA. A mentor of mine, Ed Sharr, was doing his glass marble demonstration for the public. I was warmly greeted by his wife, Nancy, who I also respect for her own lampworking skills. Ed and Nancy Sharr are the couple who originally taught me how to lampwork. I sat there, watching Ed demo his marble making talents to the crowd, who oohed and aahed with every marble. I watched Nancy so proudly showing off his collection of marbles displayed for sale to all who were interested.
The day I spent with them in their glass studio about 10 years ago changed the course of my life forever. I was absolutely mesmerized from the moment I saw Ed and Nancy working the hot glass at their torches and knew I had to do this. The three of us spent a whole day together way back then, them teaching me the basics of bead making and then showing me a few advanced techniques as a bonus:
- round beads with nice tucked ends
- plunging stringers
- simple encasing
Ed even showed me some of his early marble skills which he has honed quite well in the last 10 years. I went home at the end of that long day not tired, but hungry to learn everything I could about lampworking and melting glass.
I loved chatting and catching up with the Sharrs because they love glass like I do. Nancy has moved on now and has a very successful quilting business. She admits she doesn’t get much time for lampworking anymore like she’d like to, she’s quilting 7 days a week. Ed also has multiple talents but does have time to still play with his “marbles”. They are an inspiring couple with many talents and I thank them because, I wouldn’t be doing what I love if they hadn’t taken the time to teach me and light my fire to learn more about melting glass.
Who were the mentors in your early career? I would love to hear your story.