Glass Bead JewelryJudy Fuentes spent nearly three decades as a public school teacher with an abiding passion for the arts. Beginning in 1972 she took up pottery to fill her spare time, and from 1979-1982 her ceramic creations in clay and porcelain were featured in galleries throughout the Southeastern U.S. More recently, handmade glass jewelry has become her primary source of enjoyment, and in the year 2000 she retired from public school teaching to start her own jewelry business in Austin, Texas. The jewelry she creates personifies the term "wearable art", and her unique designs have been shown and sold nationally.
Educated in Los Angeles and also in Mexico, Judy first became interested in glass jewelry while watching the glass blowers of Guadalajara as a child. Today, she forms her colorful beads by using a blowtorch to melt straws of Italian glass over stainless steel rods. She adds depth to the beads by using straws of various colors and manipulating the molten glass to create unique shapes and designs. Afterwards, the beads are linked using sterling silver wire. All toggles, clasps and ear wires are also sterling silver. Amazingly, although the beads she creates are handmade from glass, they are also incredibly durable and can be worn on a daily basis without hesitation. In addition the jewelry can be cleaned with simple soap and water, and if tarnished can be dipped in liquid silver cleaner without fear of damaging the handcrafted beads.
"I love the bright colors and translucency of the glass. It makes me happy to wear it!"
- Anita G., Seattle, WA
"My wife loves her bracelet and earrings. They were a great Christmas present."
- Anthony F., Portland, OR
"Your jewelry is lightweight, comfortable and beautiful. I feel dressed up in my casual clothes."
- Clarice A., San Luis Obispo, CA
"My sister absolutely loved her bracelet and necklace. She appreciated the art and wore the pieces for New Year's Eve."
- Dolores G., Austin, TX
"I get compliments whenever I wear your jewelry. It brings me luck."
- Susan R., Las Vegas, NV