ARTisan Interview with Louise Nelson

Louise Nelson Owl army 2011
Louise Nelson Owl army 2011

Louise Nelson is a glass artist from the UK. I first encountered her work one day when little lampwork owl beads popped up at the Art Bead Scene. Her Etsy shop, Glassdaft, is chock full with birds, owls, fish, tree focals and many other creative beads. Take a moment and get to know her a little better in this newest installment of my ARTisan Interviews!

1) Describe yourself in 3 words.
Contemplative, Contradictory, Conscientious   (in the mood for C’s today)

Recycled bottle with copperfoil stained glass, fusing and lampworking. 2011

Birds and flowers sculpted bottle 2011

2) How would you describe your craft and style?
Gosh! My style that’s a hard question for me, I think I am too close to be able to see it. Last year someone I respect greatly called me an “Applied artist”.  I had been floundering for a while wondering what exactly I was as the title of beadmaker was not at all sitting happily with me.  

3) What inspires you?
Just about everything! I know that sounds irritating but really my eyes and ears never switch off.  A simple word or a mood that I witness can spark ideas. I never tire of art galleries or just my art books ( Klimt is a personal favorite right now ). Fabric and threads frequently get me going as does paint, these things are very dear to my heart. Before becoming a mum I drew all the time and “embroidery” was my entire life.

Bird and bottle sculpture Louise Nelson 2011
Bird and bottle sculpture Louise Nelson 2011

4) How long have you been creating?
I distinctly remember my first go on my mums Singer sewing machine aged about 8 or 9, we had a camping trip coming up and I was entrusted to make the sleeping bag liners. I loved the comforting rhythm of the sewing needle going up and down and the reliable motor powering the teeth. Now the actual job I did was less than “couture” but it was a pivotal moment and it unlocked the knowledge deep within me that I could make anything.  

5) Is this a job or a hobby?
Job sounds so harsh, but I do it full time. It doesn’t support me yet but I live in hope.

Bird beads ready to fly by Louise Nelson

6) How do you see your work evolving?
I do love making beads and I don’t think I will ever stop however I need to follow the artistic noises in my head. I imagine I will move into “off mandrel” sculpting or perhaps take lampwork elements back into fusing. Really the future is so full of possibility my head spins a little. 
lampwork owl bead 2010
Lampwork bead 2010

7) I find that I have a love/hate relationship with Etsy....
What is your favorite and least favorite thing about selling on Etsy?

I started selling in March 2011 and so far I have been very impressed with all aspects of Etsy as a selling medium. It is only my inadequacies in computer knowledge that frustrate me. 

Owl beads 2011 in copper tree by Louise Nelson
Owl beads 2011 in copper tree by Louise Nelson

8) Do you have any advice for other Etsy artisans?
Take good pictures and use all 5 spaces provided to show off your work. (Drives me nuts when there is only 1 picture!!)

As a special promotion, Louise will be including a small glass bird with any order placed today. Just put Lorelei Eurto in the notes to seller when checking out! Head on over to Glassdaft now!


  1. Lovely to see a fellow Scot being successful ! Very cool and I love Louise's work. I have encountered her unique designs before. Lovely!

  2. Oh my goodness. These owls and birds are wonderful. But I especially like the vases and how she's incorporated so many different techniques. Really, really, beautiful work. Thanks for showing us this amazing work.

  3. This was a wonderful interview! I stumbled across Glassdaft in Etsy one day while I was scrolling through lampwork artists one day. Her birds are the most spectacular I've seen! I've favorited several, which have all sold & have always planned to some day purchase from her shop. That day may be today!!!!

  4. Oh my gosh I was expecting to see beads and more beads, but those bottle sculptures floored me! My daughter would go nuts over those sweet little owls.

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Great interview and I love, love all her owls and birds. So much so I just ordered a beautiful pink owl. Thanks for the offer of the free bird with purchase!

  6. That bird and bottle is amazing!

  7. Oh so beautiful! How on earth have I not seen Louise's work before?! Off to etsy now....

  8. Ce travail est superbe. J'aime beaucoup les hiboux dans l'arbre. Mais en fait j'aime tout.


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