Tag Archives: beads

A dabble with glass

Sorry it’s taken me ages to post this, Royal Mail has been very slow at getting my beads to me and I wanted to be able to show some pictures with this post, so as I got them after work yesterday in the dark, I could photograph them this morning (whilst it was still a bit dark, hence a bit of flash used) to blog now.

Last thursday I went to the house of Lorna of Pixie Willow to learn how to make lampwork beads in a one-to-one session (if you want a go yourself, just drop her an e-mail). It was a bit of a whim thing to be honest, I wanted to have a play without buying all the stuff and potentially burning my house down, it wasn’t too expensive and it was lots of fun! I worked my way quite quickly through the different processes, so in a 4-5 hour session I made more than we were expecting….

Firstly Lorna showed me how to wind the glass around the mandrel to make a basic bead. Here’s hers on the left and mine of the right (bet you can guess which was my first attempt!)

Then dotty, both raised and melted in (again mine on the right)

Then building on the dots to make flowers (mine are much lamer than I remember!)

Then I learned how to put deliberate little bubbles in by poking the molten glass- this looks pretty effective and is probably my best bead.

The swirly ones were a bit scary. Look how beautiful Lorna’s bead is!

Mine is pretty but it will take some practising to get the full effect….

Then we played with some frit and clear glass…

And finally I had a go with a lentil press which takes a bit of trial and error to make sure you have enough glass on it- but not too much! My design was a bit flawed (yeah white spots on white, great idea! Lorna’s is on the left as usual) but the process worked well. I know a lot of people don’t like using presses and they can be a bit tricky but I think this might have been my favourite part!

So I now really want to do this again, to the point where I’m eyeing up one of the starter kits on Tuffnell Glass. I would love to make the Pandora style beads as Christmas presents, and the lovely Georgie has offered to anneal them for me since a kiln is so far off my list of spending priorities right now. I’m actually thinking I may completely give up resin in the new year because of the fumes (and Resin Obsession closing), to focus on other crafts such as my patchwork. If I also take up glass it will mean I can work with the patio doors open without getting cold! Also when I’m all settled and set up I’m thinking about getting a HEDGEHOG to live in my workroom, and s/he won’t want to be living in a cold, fumy environment.

Very exciting, and my workroom is out of bounds for decorating right now, argh!

Still in Ceske Republiky

Coming back to you all very soon, I just thought I’d share a picture….

Obviously I had to go to a bead shop!

Spotlight on… Emma Gerard

I spotted these fantastically realistic glass versions of jelly sweets on Etsy at http://emmagerard.etsy.com and had to share with you- aren’t they brilliant?!

Make 50: Week 46

This week’s make is a submission for the Upcycle Christmas competition run by Folksy. The Carnaby bangle is made with plastic beads from a charity shop and will go up for auction for Sue Ryder Care in a few weeks time.

On another note I am at Bungalows and Bears in Sheffield this Saturday afternoon selling my wares, and also at Rawlins Community College, Quorn, Leicestershire on Sunday if you wanted to pop in!

Interview with… LEJ Jewellery

lej1 lej2

 LEJ Jewellery is Jo- though I’m not sure what LEJ actually stands for or symbolises- it’s a mystery! I particularly like the combinations of colour that Jo uses in her work as well as her eye for great beads!

lej3 lej4

Who are you and where do you come from?
My name is joanne, i do many craft such as cross stitching, card making, jewellery making and i have recently started glass fusing and knitting. I live in lancashire with my husband and 2 lovely children.

What do you do in your spare time other than craft?
Spare time? whats that? no seriously i like going for walks and just enjoying the quite.

Please tell us a little bit about what you make.
I mainly make jewellery, my style is novelty although i do make some fashion pieces too. I love to make something which the chances of someone else having is slim. I have recently sold 2 VW beetle charm bracelets from one of my shops and have had an order for a spider charm bracelet. Plus pigs are always popular.
 
What do you enjoy making most?
I have to say bracelets as they are what i have the most of. I think lampwork beads are my favourite beads at the minute for making them with too.

What part do you dislike the most?
Having to wait until the kids go to bed before i start, i would craft all day if i could. It’ll probably be easier once my youngest starts school next year.

What are your main inspirations for making a piece?
Sometimes i’ll see a piece in a magazine which i like ie. colours or style and then i will change it so it is more my piece. I also love fairies and angels and a few of my pieces tend to be designed with that feel.

Do you plan out your designs or do you get stuck in straight away when inspiration strikes?
More often than not i will just put all my beads out on the living room floor and go from there, once everything is out i can see what works together and what doesn’t.

What are you currently making?
I am currently making some beaded curtain tiebacks, i have just made a hello kitty set and i am now going to try and make some boy themed ones.

Do you make custom orders?
Yes, i welcome any custom orders.

Where can we buy your work?
My work is available from my website – www.lej-jewellery.co.uk
My misi shops – http://www.misi.co.uk/store_info.php?user_id=467
My folksy shop – http://www.folksy.com/shops/lejjewellery
and my coriandr shop – https://www.coriandr.com/shop?seller_id=435

Interview with… The Children’s Jewellery Company

 

Harriet’s designs are made with children and their parents in mind, what a child might choose to wear, as well as what their mum or dad would like to see them wearing. They are simple and classic in the way that they are put together to appeal to a wide range if age groups.

 

Who are you and where do you come from?
I’m Harriet, originally from Honiton in Devon but moved around a lot now back south in Taunton.

What do you do in your spare time other than craft?
I have 2 children and a business, I have no spare time.

Please tell us a little bit about what you make.
I make children’s jewellery. Each piece is designed to look like children’s jewellery, with small beads and clasps for little necks and wrists. They are also made with safety in mind using only acrylic and wood beads (no glass or high lead crystals) super strength softflex wire, and tripple crimping each item. I also make bespoke flower girl jewellery for weddings to co-ordinate with the brides chosen colour scheme and style, this includes hair accessories and earrings.

What do you enjoy making most?
The rose necklaces, I still think they are so pretty.

What part of jewellery making do you dislike the most?
Trying to get thick softflex through little crimps, or trying to close crimp covers without marking them!

What are your main inspirations for making a piece?
My own children and what I would like to see them wear (one boy and one girl) and just pretty beads, if I see some I have to buy them!

Do you plan out your designs or do you get stuck in straight away when inspiration strikes?
I tend to sit down and let it happen organically. This can be an expensive way of doing things as I have made some terrible things, but I like to experiment, so you don’t know until you try. I know other designers plan and draw out their designs that’s not me, I just start threading and see what happens.

What are you currently making?
I am trying to make some spring inspired pieces, but I am struggling to find the right beads I want in my head.

Do you make custom orders?
Yes I am currently working on four flower girl jewellery sets for a wedding in March. They are having the whole shooting match so lots of work but should look stunning. Wedding Ideas magazine are hoping to do a feature on it.

Where can we buy your work?
On line at www.thechildrensjewellerycompany.co.uk

Interview with… Crafted Gems

 

I owe my first magazine article to Caroline,  she gave me the contacts, knowledge and confidence to give it a go and now I have had 2 articles, and I would say it really helped me kick start my book writing too! Not only is she a talented writer, but she makes amazing lampwork!

 

Who are you and where do you come from?
I’m Caroline Cash and I live in Cheshire with my husband and son.

What do you do in your spare time other than craft?
I’m a full time mum so I don’t get a lot of spare time. I do like watching american crime shows like NCIS and CIS:NY when the little one is in bed and having a girly natter over a coffee while the little one is at Nursery School.

Please tell us a little bit about what you make.
I mainly make lampwork beads. Each one is made by hand at a bench torch. You melt a glass rod in the flame and wind the melted glass round a mandrel dipped in bead release and once made it need to be put in a kiln to be annealled to remove stresses from the glass. I also make a bit of Jewellery out of wire and beads.

What do you enjoy making most?
I like making both. Beads need to be made around my little one so when he is at Nursery or when he’s in bed as I need to pay attention to what I’m doing. Jewellery on the other hand I can make while he’s painting or playing with his toys. I quite like making jewellery while watching TV in the evening with my Hubby.

What part do you dislike the most?
Cleaning beads. Once the beads have been annealled in a kiln, the mandrels need to be soaked in water and the beads removed. Then you clean them with a diamond coated bead reamer to remove all traces of bead release. I use a dremel but cause it needs to be done in water- it ends up everywhere and I’ve knocked the bowl over myself countless times, lol.

What are your main inspirations for making a piece?
I use seasonal colours a lot. My mood can also effect the colours I use and I can get inspiration from anywhere, clothes in the shops to pictures to places I have been.

Do you plan out your designs or do you get stuck in straight away when inspiration strikes?
I have an ‘ideas’ book that has pages and pages of bead ideas, but everytime I sit at my torch, I end up just making what comes to me,  I get a lot of my bead ideas while I’m sat there. It’s a case of ‘I wonder what this, this and this will look like’. Jewellery-wise it’s a mixture really. I try to sketch out ideas but most of the time I just end up going with the flow. I’ve had a few of my jewellery designs published as tutorials, so I make lots of notes while I’m making in case I write it up as a tutorial.

What are you currently making?
I can make up to 4 sets of beads in a 2 hour session so they are not really long term projects. I do have 2 unfinished chainmaille projects next to my laptop. One needs a clasp (i’ve not found the right one) and one because I didn’t make enough jumprings to finish it. There is also 3 wire coils ready for cutting to finish the chainmaille so i need to get my Koil Kutter out and cut them.

Do you make custom orders?
Yes, as long as it’s one I feel comfortable doing and it’s a style I know I can do. For example, I wouldn’t take on a commission to do floral beads as they are not my thing so as long as it’s my style I will. The same for jewellery.

Where can we buy your work?
I have a website, www.craftedgems.co.uk, an Etsy shop, www.CraftedGems.etsy.com and a Folksy shop www.folksy.com/shops/CraftedGems

Spotlight on… CraftedGems

Caroline is a regular contributor to magazines such as “Bead”, and she’s been a great inspiration to me. I thought I’d show you some of her great creations! Her beads look so tasty, I wish I used glass in my work, but I think they’d completely put me to shame! Her lampworked beads can be bought from www.craftedgems.co.uk or www.craftedgems.etsy.com

OmniaCrafts: Lovely new beads!

beads from omniacrafts.etsy.com

beads from omniacrafts.etsy.com

I got my new coffee beans beads today that I requested on Alchemy on Etsy and I am very pleased with them! Here they are with a coffee pendant I am sending for the September giveaway on Modish. I think I might add one as a charm, though my original intention was to embed them 🙂