Birgitt Hellemann is a fused glass jewelry artist living in San Francisco.
I arrived in the United States from Hamburg, Germany over 20 years ago. All of the jewelry is handcrafted by me and I have been doing this for the past 18 years. The endless combinations of colors keep my interest fresh and inspired. I enjoy the process of bringing glass sheets into the studio and seeing the transformation into translucent and colorful pieces. My greatest satisfaction is when women tell me how much they enjoy wearing my jewelry.
In the studio, the glass is cut to various shapes and sizes, then laid up in four to six layers for each fused piece. The pieces are kiln fired to a temperature of approximately 1500 degrees Fahrenheit. After the desired temperature is achieved, the glass must cool in the kiln for an additional length of time. The total firing time, including cooling, takes about 10 hours, then it’s time to finish each bead and begin putting all of the pieces together. I take the time to embed wire links in each bead before firing begins. Fusing the links into the glass insures a permanent bond and no glue is necessary. All findings, the jump rings, clasps and ear wires are made of sterling silver.