“I like to tell people that I live in a world of color and light and band-aid,” Sheila Beckham told The Oconee Enterprise during a tour of her business, Idle Hour Glass Art in Watkinsville.
Beckham’s passion for glass began in his childhood church in Lithonia. She sat on the bench with her family and watched the light reflected through the stained glass windows.
“The sun was shining in those windows. It would reflect on the floor and I loved watching the color move across the floor, ”Beckham said. “I walked past and touched the glass. I’ve just been fascinated by it ever since.
Although Beckham discovered this passion very early on, it took a while for him to make a career out of it. In the late 1990s, her husband bought her a glass art kit, but she put it on a shelf after her life as a teacher, administrator, and principal of the high school in Canada. Oconee County took over.
Once she retired in 2014, that passion resurfaced.
“While I was cleaning the mechanical room in our house… I found this box that contained the glass and took it down,” Beckham said. “I opened the box and not a single piece of glass was broken. So it was like that sign.
A few months after taking a refresher course in glass art, Beckham opened an Etsy store to showcase his work. She sold her glass art and some of her husband’s woodwork.
Beckham still has the Etsy store, but before opening the studio in Watkinsville, the Etsy store got “a bit big.” Her products were shipped across the United States and she gained some international fame, sending her products to the Netherlands and Australia.
Beckham decided to move the business to a larger studio because she wanted to add an educational component.
“I needed space. It was not to sell more. It was to be able to have the opportunity to teach someone else how to do stained glass, ”Beckham said. “I like to teach. For me, the joy is sharing that and looking at someone’s face when they do something and show it to the light for the first time… The expression on their face is worth every minute of teaching.
Beckham opened Idle Hour Glass Art in October 2020
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