Jill Shank

Jill Shank
Glass
Arroyo Seco, NM
www.FirenzaBeads.com

Return To All Artists

I am blessed to have a career in art, and pursue my passion that began when I was in grade school and summertime art classes. While my adult years brought marriage, children and a full-time nursing career, I was shown a way back to my dream of being an artist and creating work for both myself and others to enjoy — art that I hope tickles some whimsy and provokes a smile along the way…..

My training in lampwork beads began in 2002 under guidance of Ginny Sycuro in Evergreen, Colorado; training that helped shape my current lampwork style. I have also studied with other noted  artists such as Kim Miles from Taos, New Mexico, and Corina Tettinger from Camano Island, Washington.

Inspired by the creative processes involved with bead making, I joined the International Society of Glass Beadmakers  (ISGB) and attended their national gathering in Arlington, Virginia where I was exposed to international artists whose glass bead creations were beyond fabulous! I was inspired to make art full time, and soon began traveling to shows in Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas, Louisiana and Georgia under the trade name Bluebird Beads.

In 2005, I relocated to Colorado, where I was inspired by the beauty of the mountains, streams and wildlife in nearby Rocky Mountain National Park.  I launched Firenza Beads & Silver with my husband Tom, and we discovered an artistic synergy with my glass beads and his work in silver. In January 2009, I was blessed with the opportunity to move to Arroyo Seco, New Mexico, and open Firenza Gallery.  The beauty and serenity of Northern New Mexico provided an inspiration for new creative work.

My greatest joy is in creating new designs of my glass beads; I especially enjoy making my sculptural
“critter” beads.  These critters take on life and bring a smile to all.  Some of my whimsical creations have been featured in trade publications such as “Beadwork” magazine and in the books “The Art and Soul of Glassbeads” and “Passing the Flame – Spotlight on Beads.”

In the fall of 2010, we closed our gallery and returned to our somewhat nomadic life of traveling the country, doing regional art shows and festivals and making new friends. We have a permanent home and studio in our renovated adobe house in Arroyo Seco, New Mexico and a winter home/studio in the old mining town of Globe, Arizona.  Our kids asked us if we would send an email occasionally , telling them what state we are in …we sometimes seem to reside in the state of “confusion” but really enjoy creating and sharing our whimsical jewelry creations.

The Taos News once referred to us as “reformed art gypsies”; because we enjoy traveling and doing art shows and festivals all over the country. We probably need to delete the “reformed” part of that phrase. So keep an eye out for us and our whimsical jewelry…we may be coming to your community to do an art show.  Our new website with a shopping cart allows us to better serve our customers…not everyone wants to wait for the “art gypsy” wagon to come for a visit.

..