Going Dotty

The point of patience

The first question you have to ask is — how do you ever get all those glass dots so perfectly placed?

Kristina Logan, a Portsmouth glass bead maker of international acclaim, says, “It’s about slowing down. Through controlled breathing you can find a better connection to your hands. It is very repetitive, but not frustrating — I find joy in precision.”

In the bead world Kristina is known as the “Dot Queen,” and is in demand for workshops all over the States and Europe. In fact, she even taught dot placement techniques in Murano at an Italian glass school. Ironically, the Muranese and Venetians have been making beads with dots for hundreds of years.

The beads are created over a flame, using canes of glass wound around a metal tool or mandrel. As the glass heats Kristina is able to poke and drag dots of glass with a metal pick to form symmetrical patterns.

Creating beads is her main objective, but most of the finished work is set in metal bezels for necklaces, bracelets and brooches. She learned metal working skills from her mother, Reg Logan, an area jewelry artist who was also her inspiration. “I learned I could be successful making things with my hands.”

Kristina’s first “Constellation” necklace is in the permanent contemporary jewelry collection at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Corning Museum of Glass just released a DVD of her at work as part of their Master Series. She is the first woman and second American to be so honored. It seems patience does pay off.

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