Featured Artist – Nancy Tobey – Studio 104

Our newest Featured Artist is Encaustic Painter & Glass Bead Maker Nancy Tobey! Here goes…


Q: Tell us a little bit about your background. Where are you from? Where did you study? How long have you been an artist?

A: Maybe I was born an artist, but I didn’t really get my first big break until the mid ’90s when I first learned how to use a torch to melt glass. That is when I began my journey into the world of glass beadmaking. I was primarily self taught – reading books, and eventually meeting up with other beadmakers enhanced what I knew and moved me forward in my work. Being a full time beadmaker has been an incredible experience in my life – I truly loved going to work. But several years ago, I decided I needed a hobby and took up painting – starting off with watercolor but quickly moving into encaustic (painting with hot wax) painting. Me and the torch just could not separate! That hobby quickly turned to an obsession, and I am happily wearing two ‘artistic’ hats right now.

Q: What is the first thing you remember making/creating by hand?

A: I am pretty sure that the first thing I made were those woven cotton pot holds – made on a steel loom in all kinds of colors…..loved them! I was a lucky kid, in that my birthday gifts were almost always arts and craft related.
Avis Studio

Q: What do you love most about your art?

A:  Would it be corny to say “just doing it?” Truly though, my joy is in the making. Each time I try something – a new technique or new material – I get a rush of adrenaline. Of course after I make something, I kinda love just looking at it too!

Q: Describe a typical art creativity session. What is it like? For example, do you work in silence, or do you work to music? Do you prefer to be alone, or do you need people around?

A:  If I am making glass – I cannot listen to music. I usually listen to audible books – and find it very easy to concentrate. But painting is different. It is much more physical – I am always moving around the studio and music works really well for me. In both cases, I am at my best when I am working solo.


Q: How does your personality translate into your art?

A: Short story – its colorful!

Q: Do you have a big seller? What do you think people love about it? And be honest…are you tired of making it?

A: My big seller – its still glass and in particular a bead style called Milano Leaf. Im not tired of making it, though I don’t make as many as I used to — now a days I make maybe 2 -3 a month. In the past I would make 3-5 in a day!

*You can meet Nancy in her Studio 104 on First Saturday Open Studios. Stop by and say Hello!!






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