Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Angelina Beadalina - Mother, Sculptor, Writer

Angelina Beadalina is one of the many wonderful friends I have met online. It is my dearest wish that she, along with so many others, and I will get to meet in person and not just in cyberspace. Ang, being the sweetheart that she is, agreed to an "interview" with me for this blog. Check out Ang's blog, if you haven't already. It's full of humor, life, common sense, emotions, marriage, children, and, of course, glass.

Here's is Ang's bio:

I'm a member of Club 1966, born in February of that year to Stanley and Clara Greer in Louisville, Kentucky. I'm the oldest of three kids, and that means I was the one who specialized in stirring up trouble and trying to jump back out of the way while my sister and brother faced the consequences. I grew up, graduated from college (Murray State University, 1988), and moved away from home. Now, here I am in the flatlands, married to Ricky the BeanCounter/GearHead, raising James Stanley and Katherine Clara, and having a blast being an artist.

How did you become Angelinabeadalina?

I had to think of an online user name when I signed up for LampworkEtc, and I wanted it to have something to do with beads, just in case I liked glass and wanted to stick with it. My daughter had an Angelina Ballerina video that she never watched, but I kept toying with that name. AngelinaBeadalina just popped out, and it turned out to be pretty catchy, even if it is a mouthful.

If you had taken the road less traveled, where would you be today?

Would you believe it? I did take the road less traveled. At least, I was on a very nicely paved road, riding with the prince in his carriage toward the fancy castle, when I decided it wasn't the right place for me. I jumped out and hitched a ride with one of Robin Hood's merry men, and here I am in just the right place for me! The forest turned out to be home, and we have our own merry band of munchkins, so I'd say I'm a pretty lucky girl.

If you could be a flower, which one would you be and why?

An old fashioned, ruffley, sweet scented rose. My mom has had a bunch of those since I was a kid, and I can't remember a summer when I haven't stuck one of those pinkish/purplish blooms up to my face and inhaled deeply. Those roses have been part of a birthday card to my mom, they've decorated wedding gifts to cousins, and they've been arranged in pretty vases every summer. I'm kind of like them, ya know? I'm not a conventional girly-girl, but I'm still feminine and sometimes sweet.

Choose a Star Wars character. Who is it? Why?

If you'd asked me this question long ago, in a decade far away, my answer would have been Han Solo, the swashbuckling pirate of the future, a little bit bad but mostly good at heart. Never wanted to be Leia, the funky hair always freaked me out! If you ask me nowadays, then I have to tell you about my very own Star Wars character. My son, the 7 year old Jedi-brain, was arguing with me about something one day this summer when I blurted out, "Of course, I'm right, son. After all, I'm older than Yoda, and I know everything. In fact, I am actually Yoda's Jedi Master." Well, he only hesitated a bit before he declared, "No way, Mom. Yoda is 800 years old, and you are only 42." Ah, but you could see the wheels visibly turning when I answered, "Yes, 42. But 42 what? Years, or centuries??" Uh-huh, the Force is with me :)

You are a phenomenal sculptor! Which work your art is your favorite? Why?

You know, I'm pretty much hooked on sculpting because that's the thing that seems most natural to me when I'm melting glass. Well, sculpting and stringer work, although I have to make the stringer bug be quiet when I'm in sculpting mode or I end up putting way too much "stuff" on a sculpture and completely losing the "less is more" impact it would've had. As for my favorite, it's almost always the last thing I made! I do fall in love with each one, whether it happens at the torch or whether it happens months later when I finally figure out just the right way to display a sculpture that's been patiently waiting for me to listen to its story.

When you compare your life with your art, where does one begin and the other end, or do they merge into one?

Art never felt like a genuine part of my life until I discovered glass at the age of 40. I was always a little bit artistic, always a lot creative, and always too scared of failure to ever really attempt anything that might be considered art instead of just dabbling. Glass, sculpture, and a book about religious art came together all at once and changed my whole outlook on life and art. Art isn't just a subject to study anymore. Art is life. They are bound together by the briefest observations of the colors of a sunrise, by the "aha" moments like when you realize there are spirals everywhere in the universe, by inspirations that fill your mind and won't let go until you create something. What's really satisfying to me is to look at my kids and see how art is naturally a part of their perspective on life, while when I was 6 or 7 years old, I only knew that I liked a new box of crayons and that I could color in someone else's drawings in a coloring book all day long.

Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall—which one are you? Why?

Fall, definitely fall! It's school time, ya know, and I have always loved school. I adored all of my teachers, from Mrs. Owsley in first grade to Ms. Howard in the sixth grade to Mrs. Alicna and "Mom" Springer in high school. Well, okay, I'll admit there were a few exceptions along the way. For instance, my seventh grade class can be credited with helping a new teacher turn her life around, quit teaching snot-nosed-almost-teenagers, go to law school,and become a judge. We ran her off, and I, the perennial teacher's pet, was right there with the pack. I do believe we were one of the best things to ever happen to her. Heck, the woman became a respected judge, after all!

Oh, but back to the good things about fall-- watching the leaves change colors has always been one of the best things about my favorite season. When I was getting ready to start first grade, my mom let me pick out a new pair of shoes. I chose a brown pair of zip up knee high boots. Brown, mind you! Me, the lover of all things blue.

If you could be a vegetable, which one would you be? Why?

Potato. I'm pretty plain, but you can dress me up and take me anywhere!

Didn't I tell you she was great! Thanks, Ang!
Be sure to check out Ang's website and her ETSY store to see more art made by this awesome sculptor!


Maggie said...

What a joy this was to read! Love the thoughtful questions and answers. Love that the seventh grade teacher was run out of Dodge only to become a judge.

Deb said...

Fabulous interview Mallory. Isn't Ang a wonderful person - such a great outlook on life. Of course she would have had to be the perfect choice of person. :o)

I love the part about running the teacher out of dodge too - gotta say though if she became a judge, you'd just have to wonder what affinity she might have had with kids anyway!

angelinabeadalina said...

Hey, Mallory, thanks for the terrific questions and for giving me space in your blog :) I am a lucky woman to have terrific online friends (and I figure we'll all run into each other sometime or another in real life-- at least, I always hope things will turn out that way).

P.S. Deb and Maggie, I think we scared her, I really do, LOL. What's even funnier, Deb, is that I think (but not completely sure) she ended up doing juvenile or family court! Anyway, after we ran her off, we scared another one into dropping down to teach my little brother's 3rd grade class. Then, Coach Gardner arrived. His first words as he walked in the door were, "I'm not going anywhere." Maybe he had us bluffed, or maybe, just maybe, we appreciated his appreciation of his adversaries, even if they were just a bunch of 12 & 13 year olds. We adored him!

Studio Marcy - Marcy Lamberson said...

Mallory, I loved your interview with Angie. I have been a big fan of hers for as long as she's been beading, as she knows. Your questions gave me a little more insight into what makes her tick. Great job.