Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Beads 2010 Project: Calvin Orr

Way, way back in the beginning of this blog in 2008, I took a trip to visit my friends, The Stanleys, in Hawaii.  In addition to sandy beach adventures and wonderful fun just being together, I found the best bead shop in Honolulu:  The Bead Gallery.  Heck, it was my first jaunt into a bead store like that and I was in heaven!!  I think I made Lauren stay in there with me for at least four hours pawing over every piece in the shop.  To share some of that BGL (Bead Gallery Love) with you, here's The Bead Gallery Blog!

Well, while in the Gallery, I found some completely wonderful lampwork glass beads.  Even with a novice eye (haaaaaaaaa, now that I actually made one myself I'm no novice, right???), I knew these were amazing little works of art.  The creator?  Calvin Orr

Since that trip, I've treasured this piece that I made with a "Calvin Bead" (that's the name Lauren and I gave to these special pieces) that Lauren gave me as a gift.  It's soft and subtle and bold and unique and orange...my kind of bead.  I actually have this one hanging as decoration in my kitchen...when you have a bazillion pieces of jewelry in your house, they have to go somewhere!  haaaaaaaaaa

So why Calvin right now?  Well, with the recent arrival of the Beads 2010 magazine, I was thrilled to see his name listed among the tons of bead sources.  He has a butterfly piece on the "Bugs We Love" page that is so detailed and pretty!  His bio information on The Bead Gallery webpage include this description from a 1999 newspaper article: 

"The delicacy of Orr's beads are incongruous with his rough, tattoo-covered exterior. Orr's resume includes stints as a computer cable fabricator, janitor and tattoo artist. But it was his work in stained glass that brought him to lampworking."

That just cracks me up!  And it gives so much life to something that could be "just a bead."

It was serendipity, I suppose, that Lauren's birthday was last week and I just happened to have a delicate purple plumeria Calvin Bead from our very special shopping trip two years ago.  In my art bead bracelet way of late, here's what she got for her birthday:

If it looks kind of small for a bracelet it's because she has skinnie-minnie wrists.  :)  haaaaaaaaa  By the way, it fits her perfectly and she loves it!!  Whoo hoo!!


  1. Those beads are beautiful. I want skinny wrists. Actually, I want that beautiful bracelet.

  2. What a beautiful bracelet, Stefanie

  3. Gorgeous pieces again, Jen! Just love the gray/black color combination in your wire and lampwork bracelet! :-)


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Charleston, SC, United States
I'm a retiree/artist/student who makes things. It's a nice kind of lifestyle!

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