2010 Rochester Gathering
Presenter  and Instructor Biographies
The 2010 Gathering in Rochester will offer presentations and workshops given by experts and renowned artists from many aspects of the glass and beadmaking arena.   
Dan Adams and Cynthia Toops
Dan and Cynthia are the Master Presenters and Instructors for our 2010 Gathering. Originally trained in Anthropology, Dan is intrigued with the history of glass and the use of beads in the world’s various cultures. Warring States beads were his initial inspiration but tribal design, contemporary design and natural history all have translated into beads.
Cynthia has been working with polymer clay since the 1980s. While she is known for her figurative micromosaic pieces, in the last few years she has been concentrating on thin sheet work, creating the cone and claw necklaces and the rolodex series. Most of her work is inspired by ethnic jewelry and ancient beads which she and Dan collect. After twenty-five years of making jewelry, Dan and Cynthia continue to collaborate although many pieces are individual as well. But together, they both still seek to reinterpret the past, hoping to create new ar tifacts that will also inspire as they have been inspired. Learn more about Dan and Cynthia and see their work at www.cdbeads.biz.  

Julie Mueller-Brown
Julie is currently a Professor of Illustration at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Atlanta, GA Campus. She has taught at SCAD since 1989, taking a hiatus from 2001 to 2005 when she pursued her interest in Fiber Arts and glass bead making. During her tenure at SCAD,she chaired both the Foundations Program and the Illustration Program and she now teaches exclusively in the Illustration Program. Throughout her career  she specialized in the study and application ofcolor theory. Since relocating to Atlanta, GA in 2005, Julie has taken advantage ofnumerous workshops.  She is the designer and bead maker of the Convergence I piece, Study in Blue and Orange.

Eun-Suh Choi
Eun-Suh has been working in glass since 2001. Graduating with a MFA from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2007, she continues her glass education by attending as well as teaching glass art seminars across  the United States. Originally from Korea, she draws from her Korean heritage in an effort to merge her eastern background with her western experiences, which is reflected in the intricate organic glass forms that she creates.  Her work can be seen at www.choiglass.com.

Nomoda “Cedi”Djaba
Cediis our 2010 International Presenter and Instructor from Ghana, West Africa. He is the owner of CediBeads Industry. His family has been making Krobo Powder Glass since the 13th century. Cedi has taught extensively throughout the world including The Penland School of Crafts, Bullseye Glass and The Centre for Global and Development Education in Somerset, England. He is also featured in the Bead Documentary World on a String.

Leah Fairbanks
Leah has been creating glass beads since 1992 and began as an instructor in 1993. She continues to teach workshops  in the United States and abroad and her work is exhibited both domestically and internationally, as well as being featured in numerous publications. Her inspiration is drawn from nature itself and Leah is best known forher distinctive representational floral, berries  and bonsai tree beads. Leah calls Ashland, Oregon home with her husband  and daughter.  You can enjoy Leah’s work at www.leahfairbanks.com.

Wesley Fleming
Wesley has been working with hot glass for nine years. He is inspired by the shapes and colors of nature as well as his wacky imagination, while spending much of his spare time exploring under rocks and logs! With his glass insects, Wesley mimics actual species with intricate detail. His work is represented by numerous galleries through the United States. Wesley’s pieces can be seen at www.wesleyfleming.com

Nolly Gelsinger
Nolly began making beads in 2002, inspired by the creations of bead artists selling on eBay. She has taken classes with Ann ‘Schermo’ Baldwin, Larry Brickman, Lisa St. Martin, Kristen Frantzen Orr and Kate McKinnon.  Flowers have been artistic inspiration for centuries  in all decorative arts; it just came naturally to bend glass to represent floral forms. You can view Nolly’s work at www.nollysfolly.com.

Bronwen Heilman
Bronwen started working with glass in 1996, but was previously a metal smith for10 years. She began using enamels to ‘paint’ on glass after a visit to New York City.  While there, she visited the MOMA and was floored by the beauty and intensity of Kandinsky and had to find a way to get this feel, this brightness, onto her canvas of glass! The work and creativity continue today. Bronwen’s work has been featured in numerous publications. She lives in Tucson, AZ and her glass art can be seen at www.bronwenheilman.com.

Caitlin Hyde
Caitlin has been working with flameworked glass beads and small sculpture since 1996. The mysterious,  challenging, versatile beauty and history behind the glass is where Caitlin finds great inspiration. She lives in Corning, NY and teaches at the Corning Museum of Glass, as well as across the United States. Her background in illustration, textile design and her love of high contrast, rhythmic pattern are clearly evident in her pictorial beads and assembled figurative work. Learn more about Caitlin and her art at www.caitlinhyde.com.

Robert K. Liu
Formerly an ethologist and biomedical scientist, Robert Liu is currently a coeditor of Ornament magazine and author of Collectible Beads. He has written about glass and other silicate ornaments for 36 years and is also a self-trained photographer and jeweler. He lectures  on ancient, ethnic and contemporary  ornaments and gives workshops on the photography of personal adornment.

Michael Mangiafico
Michael is a glass artist and teacher who lives and works in Pittsburgh, PA.  Graduating with a BFA in glass art from Carnegie Mellon University in 1985, Michael continues his education by attending as well as teaching glass art seminars across the United States. In 1996, Michael built ‘Fig’ Studios-Forms in Glass where he designs and creates sculptures and craft items from glass, utilizing the techniques of blowing, casting, flame and cold working. His work can be found in fine art galleries across  the country and can be seen at www.figstudios.com.

Jeanne Menafo and Brett Pierce
Since 2000, Jeanne and Brett have been combining their talents to create unique glass jewelry and blown glass sculpture. A glassblowerfor 25 years, Brett has taught flameworking both locally and nationally and he is currently an instructor at The Studio of The Corning Museum of Glass. Jeanne has studied glassblowing and sculpture at SUNY ESC, The Studio at Corning, More Fire Glass Studio, RIT and Horizons New England School of Crafts. Her concentration is blown sculpture and hot bit application.

Margaret Neher
Margaret began working with stained and etched glass in 1984 and spent several years making collectible kaleidoscopes. She has been flameworking since 1991, inspired by the art found in nature. Eight-time NICHE Award finalist and two-time winner, she is best known for her detailed botanicals, sold in shops and galleries throughout the country. Her work has been featured in numerous publications and on the Carol Duval Show on HGTV. Margaret lives in Ithaca, NY and you can enjoy her work at www.margaretneher.com

Kirsten Rasmussen
Kirsten earned her BFA with teaching certification from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has taught art at an alternative high school for 11 years. While enjoying a variety ofart media, she finally realized her true passion four years ago while taking her first lampworking class. Along with teaching, she now creates and sells jewelry that combines lampwork beads, fused glass and metal clay elements.

Larry Scott
Larry has been a bead maker for 17 years. Most people think his best years are behind him, though he feels that he has not yet achieved the status of ‘has-been’! He teaches in North America and Europe and says that he “makes the same  beads over and over again in his studio in Seattle.” Larry is the author ofthe Lark book Master: Glass Beads. He and Kathleen Dyer have been married for 31 years. You can see Larry’s work at www.larryscott.net.