Mary Ann Helmond has an honour's Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Waterloo and a Bachelor of Education Degree from the University of Western Ontario. Presently she is a full time high school visual arts teacher in the Kitchener area, who also teaches fashion design. Since her school is not quipped to teach lampworking, Mary Ann shares her passion for glass with her students by using the pottery kiln for fusing glass.
Mary Ann's first encounter with glass art came when she was vacationing in Anchorage, Alaska. There she met a lampwork bead maker who was selling buttons with matching beads. Immediately the design potential was evident to Mary Ann and she investigated how to learn this newly found art form. She started up her torch in August of 2005 and has been learning, designing, experimenting and dreaming about glass ever since.
In the summer of 2006, Mary Ann made her first signature murini. Mary Ann liked the look of the signature murini and made it her business name: MA Beads. Mary Ann sold her lampwork beads for the first time as MA Beads in Waterloo at the Arts Festival.
In March of 2010 Mary Ann developed a design for a peacock bead. Inspiration for
the design came from the subject matter and curving lines of Art Nouveau. Many
variations on the peacock theme were then explored and the peacock line of beads
is now Mary Ann's signature design.
Mary Ann also volunteers her time on the Special Programs Committee at The Clay
and Glass Gallery. This is Canada's national gallery for the silica arts. Occasionally
Mary Ann demonstrates the art of lampworking at the gallery and her work is also
for sale in the Gallery Shop (click here to go to Education programs at the Clay and Glass Gallery) at http://www.canadianclayandglass.ca/Education.htm
Mary Ann has experience with colour analysis and personal wardrobe planning.
She enjoys interacting with her customers to give them advice about colour and jewelry styles. Design challenges are viewed as creative opportunities and Mary Ann will make custom orders upon request. She strives to create pieces that are elegant but also wearable for every day.
Thanks for taking the time to read my biography. I hope you enjoy looking at my work.
Mary Ann Helmond
Chronology of Mary Ann's Bead Creation Appearances
2007 Nov./Dec...........Minimalist necklace and others in “A touch of glass” Grand Magazine.
2009 Mar./April..........A bead pen was featured in Grand Magazine.
2010............................"Queen of Shiba" necklace accepted in Convergence II juried art show.
2010 July....................Placed 2nd in the Viewer's Choice Award at ISGB Gathering.
2011 Winter................Peacock Beads featured in “Annual Women In Glass” The Flow Magazine.