Artbeads strives to be the best place to find high-quality products that are chosen by designers, for designers. Some of the products we carry should really be described as works of art because the designers behind the pieces are true artists. JC Herrell is one of those artists. She expresses her freeform talent through lampwork glass beads, creating unique and colorful pieces that make wonderful focal points for jewelry. The space her beads take in the universe make them unique—even unique enough to be blasted into outer space! We’ll get to that later.
To understand the uniqueness of her creations, you have to understand how JC Herrell came to be a bead designer. While working as a corporate trainer, JC began to teach herself lampworking in 2001. Nothing happened the first time she tried to make a bead. She had read about how to create a lampwork piece, but had no hands-on experience on how to physically mold. It didn’t make sense: if she could follow written instructions it should work, she thought. JC had to teach herself how to physically maneuver the glass, which discouraged her from trying again for months. She finally did get the hang of it and the end result was a little round bead. Her favorite lampwork bead artist is Terri Caspary-Schmidt; JC loves the cool, calm and collective nature of Teri when she creates.
It’s hard for her to pick a favorite creation, since JC is always excited for new beginnings. Whatever project she’s working on at the time becomes her favorite. She’s a lucky person to be able to create full-time. JC Herrell enjoys the freedom, the open space of being able to design for herself, but she never forgets that she also has to run a business. Others can now view her talent from high above the sky, where one of her beads orbits in space.
Photo Source: Aardvark Art Glass
JC Herrell was one of eleven artists who were lucky enough to have their beads shot into outer space as part of a program put on by Beads of Courage®, a program designed to support children struggling with a serious illness and strengthen their families. These children are able to tell their story through beads, using them as symbols of courage that mark the passing of milestones accomplished through their journey to treatment. In April 2011, the space shuttle Mission Endeavour shot specially made beads into space to honor the children who are part of the Beads of Courage Program®. These beads were submitted by artists and only a few were selected. JC Herrell admits she almost didn’t submit a bead, but was encouraged by the thought of making her parents proud. She imagined how thrilled her parents would be to know their daughter had her work rocketed into space, and how happy she would feel that she made her parents happy. Her beautiful lampwork bead has a square shape and displays a blue starry night with a telescope in the middle. When the beads come back to Earth, they will go on a tour to 20 Beads of Courage® member hospitals so the kids can view them. The purpose of this program is to remind these children that no matter what is happening in their lives, their imagination can take them anywhere! You can learn more about the Beads in Space Program and even purchase a replica of the beads shot into space.
JC Herrell is truly one amazing artist. From her home studio on Mendocino coast in northern California to the far reaches of space, her raw talent can be appreciated by all. You can view JC Herrell lampwork glass beads on our site to get your own piece of incredible art.