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New “Pyro Beads” shop opens in rural Greenbush

Two of a huge selection of glass Pyro Beads made by Nancy Peterson.

This is a striking hand-made necklace created by Nancy Peterson. (photo by Mavis Gonshorowski)

The owner of “Pyro Beads”, Nancy Peterson, is shown at her new shop, located at 25370 County Road 7, north of Greenbush. (photo by Mavis Gonshorowski)


“Possibilities are endless … you have to use your imagination and let it go!” Nancy Peterson said with enthusiasm.

It was the middle of December 2018, when Peterson put the final touches on her shop, “Pyro Beads”, located just four miles plus a skip and a hop north of Greenbush at 25370 County Road 7.

Stepping inside this quaint 30 x 30 foot structure with an inviting front porch, one will be treated to a huge variety of Nancy’s talents. Her biggest inventory is that of Pyro beads.

Trays full of already-made beads await to be added onto pendants, bracelets, earrings, whatever one’s imagination leads them to.

“I have an area in the shop where I make the glass beads,” she stated. “Every bead is hand-made; there are no two alike. The technical term is called ‘flameworking’.”

Flameworking is a process of creating glass beads by winding molten glass around a mandrel (metal rod). Using an oxygen propane torch to melt the glass, Nancy begins to heat the rod of glass and at the same time heat the mandrel. The glass begins to soften and forms a gather (accumulation). She then touches the gather to the heated mandrel and winds the glass as the rod is rotated, making a glass bead on the mandrel. In many instances she adds designs to the primary bead by using more hot glass. Next comes the annealing process where the bead is placed in a kiln to prevent the glass from cracking as it cools. Once it reaches room temperature it’s removed from the mandrel, cleaned, and is ready for use. The melting point of glass is 1800° Fahrenheit.

Nancy said she plans to continue to teach classes – different ways of jewelry making and different techniques.

Another of Nancy’s specialties is carving out designs on animal skulls using a Dremel rotary tool.
Her shop is also stocked with many other for-sale items.

“Pyro Beads” is usually open Mondays through Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

To contact Nancy Peterson, you may either text her, go on Facebook, or call 218-242-3653.

To see the complete story, read the April 3 issue of The Tribune in print or online.

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