At the time, I was working with a surgical residency program in a major medical center, assisting the director of the program in the training of Oral Maxiolfacial Surgery and Prosthetics. I was also spearheading the first Ryan White Dental Care Unit in New York State. Once I learned that mom would not be able to be left on her own, I made the choice to turn my love of torch worked glass - a hobby, that started in 1991 with stained glass and the making of a very lop-sided star, into my profession. It was a scary and stressful time, but worth every second.
Leaving the professional world allowed me to stay at home and provide the care she so rightfully deserved. She was given the chance to live out her days in my home with her beloved dogs. She was a wonderful mom and she earned this right to be with her family at the hardest time of her life.
During my mom's battle I was also able to care for my father, Ken who came to my home in NY under hospice care in 2002 and passed away from Cancer at the age of 90 in July of that year. In 2008 my brother Doug came to my home under hospice care while waiting for a liver transplant. I was supposed to be his living donor, but it was not to be. While waiting for the proper clearance his heart and kidney's failed and he lost his battle. I tell you all this, because it is part of who I am. And to also let you, my supporters, know that without you I would not have been able to care for those I loved in a way that allowed them to be surrounded by friends and family. When you buy designs from a sole artist, instead of the big box stores, you are part of so much more. Thank you all.
My mom's journey lasted over 14 years. There were many hard days, thousands of hours of tears - but there were also precious wonderful moments that gave me the strength to learn to be her caretaker and provider.
She left in July 2012 and I miss her every day.
my lovely mom :)
My love of glass has taken me to many places and I have been blessed to have been able to meet wonderful talented artists and designers. I have studied with the National Hot Glass Shop located in Ballston Spa NY, Sally Prasche, Bandu Scott Dunham and many others. In time I developed my own style and sense of how the glass flowed into the flame and every day I find a new way to give the molten glass a new life.
I have spent many hours at the torch - by many hours I mean over 14 THOUSAND hours (and that is a low estimate). I have burned a few body parts - lost eyebrows - and even given myself a "haircut" in the flame. But, my love of glass and design has never grown cold.
My beads have been included in workshops at Bead and Button and featured in The Record News in NY, where I was a contributing design columnist until I relocated to California. My boro lampwork pendants have been focal points in jewelry used by designers that were contracted by Nordstroms and other jewelry stores in New York State and California.
In 2016 I began creating ceramic kiln-fired beads and findings to my glass passion. I love combining both mediums and discovering new ways to keep my passions challenging.
My beads have traveled to places I can only dream of seeing. I am most proud of the fact that designers have taken a small piece of my lampwork art, joined it with their creative spirit, and have made magical and wonderful adornment to be shared for many years.
Presently I work in my home studio located in Southern California. From dusk to dawn I am either at the torch, dreaming up new art, taking pictures, and of course cleaning beads! My life is surrounded by glass, clay and color! For those that are unfamiliar with the term - lampworker - this is the name used to define a person who works in a glassblowing torch and creates beads - we do not make lamps - lol.
To my faithful customers over the years, yes, I changed my name. Why? Well, it is simple - I made some life changes. I started challenging myself - I joined CrossFit - yes CrossFit at age 60 and I found that I could do things I never thought possible. Between playing with real fire and trying to reach that burn in the Box (gym) I decided my name needed to reflect the new me. If you are ever in Murrieta California be sure to visit CrossFit UnScathed you will be amazed at what you can truly accomplish - at any age. Our motto is Stone Strong - which is quite fitting, considering my love for clay and enamels. lol.
When I get the time, I cuddle and play with my little rescue pups - Sampson and BeBe. BeBe is a Coton de Tulear and Sampson is a friendly Rottweiler In a Chihuahua's body. In 2017 we added our lovely senior Minnie AKA Min the Pin to our family, so there is a great deal of doggie love in our household. I try to support local animal rescue groups and even slip in a fundraiser for people now and then. There is nothing more rewarding than giving back. And when the day gets too long or boring I just have to spend a few minutes with my lovely grand-daughters to learn that life is wonderful! They are what keeps my heart happy.
I am a proud clean-aholic - lol. Never happy to let laundry pile up, leave beds unmade, dishes in the sink or dust on the furniture. My "reward" for finishing these daily tasks? Sitting down at the torch and watching the magic of the flame mold the glass, or forming a lump of clay into a new and exciting piece of art.
I am inspired and a bit in awe to see what others have designed with the things my heart has created. Without my loyal patrons and friends, I would never have been able to provide a loving environment for my dear mother, myself or my little fur buddies.
Sampson and BeBe and now Minnie!
I am the very proud mom of one son - Joe. He has been such a blessing to me. His life is a testament to all who meet him. When he was born we were told he would never walk - but he went from a wheelchair to a CrossFitter and a very successful Big Data Architect and Engineer. I also have a gorgeous and supportive daughter-in-law - Marcy, who is successful in her own right. She is an artist, dancer, singer, writer, motivational speaker and a wonderful mom and wife. Basically a true blessing to all who know her. She even designed my new logo for Fearless Fire and helped me get a cleaner look to this site. Last but never least in my heart - two beautiful, kind and well-behaved (honestly it's the truth!) grand-daughters - Natalie and Gianna. We are an extended family all living under one roof in California - and getting along - lol. Love and respect rule in our home and that is the truth.
My son, DIL and my little grand-daughters
I have had an interesting life so far. I have lived in New York, Texas, Italy, Florida, and Alaska - finally settling down in California. As time goes by I realize that my biggest most precious blessing is my family. We are a team. They have nurtured my dream, and I am eternally grateful. Because of them and designers from around the world, people who graciously allowed me to to be a small part of their creative process, I am able to play with fire every day. Thank you seems like such a small way of expressing what my heart truly feels.
May you always find the time to pray, create and love - your support has given me this and so much more.