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Local Beadmaker Ready to Soar with Unique, Hand-Crafted Jewelry

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/Rosemary Cheslock

/Avenue for the Arts Market

Ever wonder what inspires local artists to build, inquire, or create? Rosemary Cheslock, the mastermind behind Glass Eye Butterfly, allowed us a behind the scenes look at her process, studio, and why she has been a vendor at the Avenue for the Arts Market for the last five years.

Her jewelry can truly be described as one-a-kind.
“I will make beads in one sitting, and then try to go back and never be able to make it the exact same way again,” she says.

Rosemary has always loved jewelry and attending art shows with her sisters. She gets her inspiration from books and magazines. Her time spent at art shows and talking to other artists about their techniques has played a part in shaping her one-of-a-kind designs. She creates unique pieces that you would not normally see “walking down the street.” The unpredictable nature of her work is what she loves best.

“You never know what you’re going to end up with when making beads,” Rosemary explains. “My favorite part is playing with different colors and techniques.”

Bracelets are her favorite type of jewelry to create because they are typically worn in view, unlike earrings and some necklaces. She markets her jewelry through her Etsy store and at work by wearing her pieces and selling them right on the spot.

After installing a torch and propane tank, a box to vent fumes, and moving in all of her bead making supplies and tools, Rosemary converted a spare bedroom into her Glass Room studio in her house in Wyoming, Michigan.

“Don’t let the financial side of beadmaking scare you,” Rosemary warns. “It’s a pricey hobby due to all of the equipment, but it is a lot of fun and very rewarding. I have met so many other bead makers like me from all over West Michigan and as far away as Louisiana.”

Rosemary is involved in beadmaking organizations such as Wet Canvas and Lampwork Etc. She has also attended bead expos and bead retreats where other beadmakers meet for a weekend, share ideas, and do what they do best, beadwork.  At her latest bead retreat she learned how to etch copper and make earrings out of cans. She uses these techniques along with her own handmade beads to create one-of-a-kind pieces.

“It’s so easy to network and get involved. Beadmakers are the most generous people with sharing their knowledge, time, and talents,” Rosemary says.

Her hard work and creativeness paid off because in 2006, Rosemary won first place at a Delphi Annual stained glass contest in the sun catcher category. She created a glass butterfly with a bead body that later became the inspiration for the name of her website,

Rosemary’s good friend, Debby Flynn, introduced her to the Avenue for the Arts Market, and the two of them have been selling their individual jewelry side-by-side ever since. Rosemary’s favorite thing about the Avenue for the Arts Market is how inexpensive it is.

“The Avenue for the Arts Market was my first attempt to sell to the public. Having a lower table fee allows someone to easily get started selling to the public,” Rosemary tells me during a phone interview. “The energy on the street and variety of the people who attend the event also make it a fun place to be.”

The Avenue for the Arts Market is an event that exhibits the work of forty local artists and organizations selling their homemade goods and fine art. You can find the event along the sidewalks on the 100 block of South Division on the second Saturday of every month this summer. These dates provide an opportunity for people of all ages to visit a community who is enthusiastic about sharing their ideas and artwork.

To learn more about Rosemary Cheslock and view more of her work, you can go to her website or You can also contact her at [email protected].

To meet Rosemary, head down to the Avenue for the Arts Market June 5th, 2010 from 4 until 9pm!


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