They have continued to take classes to learn new techniques in jewelry making and lampwork beads. They are members of the International Society of Glass Beadmakers (ISGB) and have sold jewelry and beads online and at craft fairs.
Mary not only uses Walter's lampwork beads to make her jewelry----she also uses sheets of copper to create her own organic 'fold form' and 'torched patina' designs. Other unique design materials are vintage 'cookie tins' and birch bark. She also incorporates beads and other components made by talented artists from around the world. Mary's jewelry submissions have won her the People's Choice award three years in a row at the Madison, WI 'Art Glass and Bead Show'.
Walter went to his first bead show in 2008, the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee, and was totally surprised by his reaction to the experience. After doing some research and internet browsing he purchased an entry level torch and bead annealing kiln and the necessary glass rods and shaping tools to set up his own lampwork bead studio in 2010. Walter opened an online store on the Etsy web site in 2014 and later started selling beads on numerous Facebook sites. Recently he has started to use dichroic glass and silver glass in his beads. Both glasses bring a lot of color, sparkle, and variations to the bead design.
Wally G Beads consists of the husband and wife team - Walter Gross and Mary Redman. Mary has been making jewelry for 13 years and Wally has been melting glass for 9 years. Together they started Wally G Beads after retiring in Shawano in 2016. They were both born and raised in Shawano but moved away for school and work for forty years. They met in 1976 and married seven years later. Mary was a medical social worker for over 30 years and Walter was a computer programmer for the last 20 years.
Mary and Walter have always been involved in arts and crafts in various forms. Walter started working in stained glass in the 1970's. Mary started taking jewelry classes in 2006. She encouraged Walter to learn to make lampwork beads so she wouldn't have to purchase them. Walter started making lampwork beads in 2010.
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