Mad about beads...

I've been collecting beads and making jewellery since I was a child. The bead shops I visit remind me of the old fashioned sweet shops with their juxtaposition of beautiful colours, shapes and textures. A few years ago I visited the famous glassworking island of Murano in Venice and have been fascinated by lampworking glass ever since.

 

Although I have a BSc (Hons) and maintain a keen interest in science, since taking a career break for children I have also become more interested in the arts.  I started with a City & Guilds in Jewellery (Silversmithing & Design) and then in 2006 I did a professional grounding course in glass beadmaking with Diana East in Leicester.  Since then I have attended classes with many international lampworkers such as Dora Schubert, Caitlin Hyde and Lucio Bubacco.  In 2009, I was highly commended for my piece called Metamorphosis in the British Bead Awards and in 2010, I was awarded a scholarship by the International Society of Glass Beadmakers and attended their Gathering in Rochester New York.  Whilst there I did a sculptural class with Wesley Fleming, volunteered for the ISGB, visited the Corning Museum and also attended some fantastic workshops, presentations and galleries on everything to do with glass beadmaking.  Currently I am studying Art and Design at Writtle College, near Chelmsford in Essex.

Lampworking (Flameworking)

Lampworking is an ancient process where rods of glass are melted and wound carefully around a steel mandrel to form a  bead using a hot flame. The bead is then decorated further by adding more glass, metals, frits and enamels and can also be manipulated with various tools and heat to create beautiful designs. Glass rods come in hundreds of colours and are made in Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic, America and in the UK. My beads are all kiln annealed for strength and durability and the holes carefully cleaned (unlike many cheaper imported beads that are mass produced).

I am a member of Glass Beadmakers UK
I am also a Self Representing Artist (SRA).  This is a body set up by Melinda Melanson for artists specialising in glass who create and sell their or their immediate family's work. SRA members never sell mass-produced beads under this logo.  I am now also a Self Representing Artist Jewellery Designer (SRAJD).