About Shirley

"Go To Your Studio And Make Stuff". I took Fred Babb’s advice long before I ever had a studio. As a child growing up in Connecticut, I often brought home leaves, plants, rocks, and shells that I found on various outdoor "treasure hunts". I would turn them into posters, jewelry, or whatever else caught my fancy. I was always the happiest when I was either outside in the middle of nature, or at home "making stuff".

My earliest relationship with glass came about when I began collecting and trading marbles with the neighborhood kids. When I discovered that I could super-heat the "clearies" (by throwing them onto the coil of my parents' caged space heater from the ‘60’s), place them in ice water, and end up with crackle-glass marbles, I began a whole new "line" of jewelry. All this at the tender age of 9 - how I kept from burning down the house is beyond me.

Ah, but mucking about with glass wasn’t quite enough. The following summer, I took a clothing construction class at the local Singer store and thus began my obsession with fabric, thread, and yarn. After years of making clothing and creating works with crochet, cross stitch, crewel embroidery, rug hooking, and needlepoint, I discovered the world of quilting. This is where I developed my sense of color – glorious color!

Many years later, an afternoon stroll in the Cow Hollow area of San Francisco provided me with my first Fred Babb encounter. I came home with a canvas bag proclaiming his prophetic words. The concept of studio was foreign to me, but it had a nice sound to it. A short time later I learned how to create earrings with beads and wire, and a whole new world of jewelry making opened up to me. Fast forward a few more years - I started making those wonderful glass beads that I had incorporated into my jewelry. There I was, back in the world of glass again, loving every minute of it!  I gained a total appreciation for that word "studio", and Jumping Jack Glass was born.

Fiber called out to me again while I was selling my glass and jewelry creations at a show in 2008. I came face-to-face with the world of felting, and fell totally in love.  Of course, being as obsessed with beads as I am, I just couldn't leave my fiber creations "naked" - it's a rare occasion on which you'll see one of my bags or vessels not adorned with beads.

Here I am, over a decade later (my, how time flies!), and I've been hit with a new obsession.  I began acrylic painting after being mesmerized by several hours of YouTube videos.  I swear, you could double the number of hours in a day and I still wouldn't have time to execute all the creative ideas in my head.  I now have two studios - the "glass lab" and the "wet lab".  The "wet lab" doubles as my felting and painting studio - and you never know where you'll find me at any given moment. But it's almost certain that I'll be "making stuff" in one place or another, even if I'm not in one of my studios.


Shirley the Teacher 
Shirley taught glass beadmaking classes at the Bay Area Glass Institute from 2004 through 2010.

Introduction to wet felting workshop: Chinook, WA
Wet felted vessel: Fremont, CA
Wet felting over a resist: Bead & Button Show 2015
Wet felted vessel: ISGB Gathering, New Orleans 2016
Wet felted shoulder bag: ISGB Gathering, Las Vegas 2017

Shirley the Student

Shirley has studied with the following artists
Michael Barley - beadmaking techniques                                                                 
Lucio Bubacco - soft glass sculpture                                                       
Vittorio Costantini - soft glass sculpture                                                      
Bronwen Heilman - beadmaking and vitreous painting techniques
Diana East - beadmaking and sandblasting techniques
Kate Fowle Meleney - beadmaking techniques
Gail Crosman Moore - beadmaking techniques
Akihiro Okama - beadmaking techniques
Sharon Peters - beadmaking techniques
Astrid Reidel - blown hollow glass beads
Johnathon Schmuck - glass coldworking techniques
Jim Smircich - beadmaking techniques
Janine Stillman - fluid painting techniques with liquid enamels on glass
Loren Stump - soft glass sculpture, paperweights, murrini construction
Nancy Tobey - borosilicate glass beadmaking techniques
Heather Trimlett - beadmaking techniques, core vessels, glass buttons
Pati Walton - beadmaking techniques
Sharon Costello - nuno felting
Irit Dulman - eco dyeing and printing
Fiona Duthie - felting surface design techniques
Jennifer Field - 3D needle felting techniques
Marion "Jewels in Fiber" - Cavandoli knotting techniques
Cheryl Jordan - quilting
Vilte Kazlauskaite - nuno felting
Robert Dancik - mixed media techniques in jewelry
Kate McKinnon - jewelry making techniques
Gail Crosman Moore - encaustic painting and porcelain clay techniques for jewelry
Aja Vaz - metal clay techniques
Francesca Watson - soldering techniques