Sunday, February 7, 2016

I Made the Beads - Guest Post & Giveaway

High Strung, the first book in the Glass Bead Mystery Series, will be 99 cents from Feb 7th through 11th and $1.99 from Feb 12th through 15th.  Be Still My Beading Heart, A Glass Bead Mini-Mystery short story is free on Amazon and iTunes. A Bead in the Hand is available for the discounted price of $2.99 through February 15th.

I Made the Beads
By Janice Peacock

Oftentimes when I’m wearing jewelry that I’ve made, I’ll get a compliment about it. Sometimes I simply thank the person, but if I’m ready to have a conversation about my personal adornment, I’ll say something like, “Oh, these beads? I made them.” Which usually leads to a myriad of questions like, “How do you make glass beads?”

That was a question I asked myself nearly twenty-four years ago. I made a charm bracelet with beads I’d bought at a local shop, but I was disappointed in what I had to choose from. As I looked at the beads dangling from the chain around my wrist, I wondered who made them—and how.

This was 1992, and those of us of a certain age remember that there was a time where there was no internet, no Google, and certainly no Facebook page about beads. I was left with a telephone and a lot of perseverance to complete my research. The first person I called said I needed a glass furnace that runs 24/7, holds several pounds of glass, and costs thousands of dollars a month to run. That was not an option for me. The next person I found said he could teach me how to fuse glass in a kiln—sort of high-temperature cooking-baking, only with glass. This would have made a lot of flat things, plates and tiles and such, which was not what I wanted to make.

Finally, after many phone calls, I found a studio in Oakland, CA, just a few miles from my house. The studio owner was bringing in a guest instructor from Washington state. He was going to teach a class on how to make beads using a torch to melt glass. When I showed up at class, I had no idea was to expect. I watched, mesmerized, as the teacher melted a brightly colored rod of glass with his 2,000 degree torch. While the glass was molten he wrapped it around a thin metal wire and sculpted it. When the glass was cool, he removed the metal wire and a hole remained—a bead!

This was what I wanted to do.

As soon as I sat down at a torch to try it for myself, as soon as I melted my first piece of glass, I knew there was no turning back. I was hooked. I made a dozen beads that weekend, all lumpy, and all my own personal works of glass art.

On went on to buy a torch of my own, and over the years I have made many beads and created one-of-a-kind jewelry. There have been times when I’ve done other things creatively: knitted, worked in clay, and made quilts. Most recently, I wrote a couple of books (with more to come) about a glass beadmaker who solves murders in between firing up her torch to melt some glass. (You can learn more about the books in the Glass Bead Mystery Series at

But I always return to glass because it is my passion. And that’s why, when the moment is right, and a random stranger asks me about the colorful necklace I’m wearing I’ll often say:

Thanks, I made the beads.

For a chance to win a two e-book set, leave a comment on this blog post telling us if you've ever done any beadwork, or made something out of glass. Leave your comment, being sure to include your e-mail address, no later than 11:59 pm EST Tuesday, February 9, 2016. Be sure to enter the rafflecopter as well!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I enjoy beading. I've made earrings, bracelets & lanyards. There's an unending amount of projects I want to try. Looking forward to reading this series.

  2. I've made a few things...earrings, necklaces and bookmarks. However I haven't done it in a while. May have to look through my stash and make something.
    kkdaley (at) comcast (dot) net

  3. I've made some jewelry but never made my own beads. I find the process of making glass beads Ms. Peacock describes in her books fascinating. I've already read these books ... they are great reads!!
    (Please do not enter me in the e-book contest.)

  4. I have strung beads to make bracelets. I've never done any glass work, but I do collect it.Thankyou for the opportunity! Looking forward to reading this series. Jill Broussard;

  5. What a fascinating post. I am so impressed by your creativity. I have never done anything like that but it sounds like a fun challenge. And I love the titles of your books, especially Be Still My Beading Heart. Thanks for the giveaway.

  6. I have done some beadwork projects. Being a teacher, I had an incentive program where my students earned a variety of beads for behavior and achievement. At the end of every month they could make something out of their stash...bracelets, necklaces, hair ribbons, shoelaces, bookmarks, or sew them onto a shirt. It was fun!

  7. No beadwork. Would love to read these anyway!

  8. Hi all! Thanks for the comments. It's always fun to hear about everyone's love of beads. Glad you're intrigued by the books. Please fee free to ask me questions here, and I'll check back.

    All the best,

  9. I have seen glasswork done, but never tried it. My daughter likes beads so we have made bracelets and anklets.

  10. I've made lots of things with beads, including rosaries. Sounds like a awesome book. Thanks for this opportunity.

  11. These sound really interesting! I have not worked with beads of any kind - wanted to, and have not had the opportunity and have lost some of my manual dexterity. Would enjoy reading these, though! jeaniedannheim (at) ymail (dot) com

  12. Congratulations Mama Cat! chose your comment to win. Be on the lookout for an e-mail from me.