Friday, July 27, 2012

BFF Beading Friend Friday: DONNA MILLARD

Have you ever wondered about the person behind all those luscious glass Lampwork beads? Well today I give you a glimpse, but be warned - though you might find out a bit more than you knew, she seems to still remain somewhat a mystery! With that said, I present - Donna Millard!


     *  Donna Millard lives in the majestic Midwest
     * She has one daughter
     * Donna has 2 dogs, a Bichon and an English Setter plus one cat, a Persian named Mr. Boo
     * When she isn’t creating Donna likes photography, remote hiking, and snow shoeing.

BFF: What is it that you do with beads?
DONNA:  I am a lampwork artist and make an occasional piece of jewelry.

BFF: How would you describe your role in the beading world?
DONNA:  I make art glass beads for jewelry designers/collectors around the world.

BFF: How long have you been working with beads?
DONNA: 11 years.

   BFF: What is your style? And what attracts you to this style? 
     DONNA:  I tend to go towards organic for the most part.  They get pretty labor intensive if I create a large focal bead.  By large I mean anything over 40mm end to end.  Usually mine are around 50 to 60 mm.  I do also make some floral beads with specialized glass canes I make.  I am attracted to organic beads probably because of my years living in Alaska, which is a pretty organic place.  I'm not a frilly or blingy type of girl so I never make that type of bead.

BFF: What are your favorite metals to use?
  DONNA: Antiqued brass, copper and sterling.

BFF: What is your favorite stringing medium to use?

  DONNA: I usually use wire for a base of my designs.


 BFF: What is your favorite color palette?

  DONNA:  I really have no favorite.

BFF: Your technique(s)?
DONNA: When I make jewelry I like to weave sterling wire, I do enjoy stringing beads, I etch my own metals, I've done some PMC and electroforming, I solder my own components and so on. 

BFF: What else would you like to try your hand at? 

DONNA: At this point in my life, I've done what I want to do with the exception of doing digital art and maybe designing websites.  Of course, I’d have to go to school and I don't have time or funds to do that.  But maybe one day…

 BFF: Other artist/designer(s) you admire? Any special reason why?

DONNA:  This may come off as being odd, but I really don't even pay attention to what other people are making.  I focus on what I do because this is how I support myself.

BFF: Where do you want to be in 5 years from now?

DONNA: Still making beads and selling like I do now but hopefully back in Alaska where I get most of my inspiration from with a larger studio so I can have a small teaching facility.  And I'd love to teach abroad.
     Editor's Note: From your lips to God's ear, Donna!

    BFF: What’s your favorite quote or saying?

      DONNA: PPP Practice, practice, practice.  I can't stress it enough.

BFF: Any advice you'd give to new artists who are just beginning in your medium?

  DONNA:  Ask questions, pay attention to what you are taught, lots of practice, trial and error.  Make notes of what you do, what works and what doesn't.  Good photography is a must in this medium.  But most of all - enjoy yourself.  It's all about the fun times too.

BFF: What has been your favorite Blog Hop or Challenge?

BFF: If you had all the money in the world, what would you buy?

DONNA: A house in Alaska.

BFF: Favorite subject in school? Why? 

DONNA: Art, so I could be creative,
 I also loved psychology.

BFF: What was your favorite YEAR of your life thus far? Why? 

DONNA: 2001, when I moved to Alaska.

In the artist’s own words -

    ”I haven't had an easy life and because of that I tend to be a very serious and private person.  I work 7 days a week and support myself with the glass beads I make.  It isn't easy but nothing worthwhile in life is.  I love my job, but it does have drawbacks.  I don't have a regular paycheck but I can take off whenever I want - though I rarely do.  One thing I wish is that I had more money so I could help people.  Once, when I was in a more financially stable environment I met someone that needed to have her furnace fixed.  It was in Alaska and she didn't have the money and was worried because her house was going to freeze up.  I gave her $600, no strings attached.  It was one of the best moments in my life knowing I was able to help someone.  I would love to be able to do things like that again.”

    Well I warned you. If you read between the lines you can see the  real Donna. She seems to love solitude and natural inspiration. She is a quiet giver and she pours her passion into her work.  I know I speak for everyone when I say we look forward to images of her latest creation. Her posts have ALWAYS elicited loads of “oohs” and “ahhs”.  We love her work, and we love Donna too.

Contact Info:
Donna Millard Art Glass

Website address


YaY! Jewelry said...

Lovely interview and amazing work and detail!!!!! You can tell Donna is meticulous! Glad to know her better.

Donna said...

Thank-you Shelley! It was fun and such and honor to do this interview with you. xx

Anonymous said...

Hi Donna, nice to meet you

Toltec Jewels for Jewel School Friends said...


This is a fantastic interview! The beads, jewelry, photographs and candid interview with DONNA MILLARD is awesome. I love reading your BFF posts -- an excellent, rich and inspiring read every time!

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