Natalia Designs

Hey, I've gotten some great press! Check it out:

Bead & Button Magazine Etching How-To Article
The Glass Bead Artist's Spotlight
Ornament Magazine Artist Statement

About Katherine Natalia Wadsworth

I came to jewelry and lampwork glass beadmaking by an indirect path through the ivory towers of academe. After a number of years in those hallowed halls, I came to wonder more and more often “What the hell am I doing here?” I wanted a major change. I wanted to move from the production of abstractions to the production of real, tangible things; from working with my mind alone to working with my hands and my heart. So, I jumped the rails of the tenure track and happily took the artist's path to fulfillment.

Well, it was a little more complicated, but that's the gist of it. Here are a few more details for anyone who is interested:

I discovered my love of this art form by taking a single step out of my normal routine. As a break from grading papers one semester, and perhaps out of a need to get the taste of art back into my life, I enrolled in a silver casting course at a local community college. Once there, I became more and more absorbed in all aspects of jewelry design and metalwork. Soon all my discretionary income (and academics don’t have much) was directed toward taking more courses and setting up a home studio with all the essential tools. Of course, I soon felt that all tools are essential.

Whenever I could, I took classes with artists near my home in the Northwest. I had wonderful access to some of the very best teachers in the field through the Pratt Fine Art Center in Seattle. There I learned hollow forms in metal from Suzanne Stern, jewelry design and rendering from George McLean, and nearly everything else from Virginia Causey. That region of the country is a Mecca for glass artisans, and I studied lampwork techniques with
wonderful artists there, including Julie Clinton, Will Stokes, Larry Scott, and Jim Smircich. I soon found my imagination swallowed up by molten glass, and was seduced by the humble but powerful allure of the bead form. After years of study, and a steadily growing devotion to the discipline of hand-made craft, I decided to break from my past career and pursue this new course.

And so, with the help of my trusty sidekick, I cast off the golden shackles of economic security and now make my living as a craft artisan. I also keep my intellectual cogs well-oiled by continuing to work as a professional editor in my former field.

These days I live and work deep in the Bayou Country of South Louisiana. I am a recovered academic, and I continue to develop my skills with glass, metal, and more, in my home studio.
For another view, read on here.