Post archive

Studies in Art & Design

I have gone back to college to study Art and Design so have removed my online shop for a while whilst I concentrate on my course.  I have been doing drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, assemblage, textiles and graphic design and am thoroughly enjoying myself. When I can, I am incorporating some lampwork glass into my projects and have recently made some African mask beads for a cultural studies project.  I am in the process of setting up a new art blog on Tumblr and will post details when I am ready to make it public.

Due to other committments I am no longer the co-ordinator for Essex Lampworkers and as none of the other members were able to take over the role the group has disbanded, although there is a glass community growing at Glass from the Past at Barleylands in Essex.

Essex Lampworkers

Our last two meet ups of Essex Lampworkers have been a great success.  The first being at Red Flower Glass in Colchester and last Sunday's was at Glass from the Past at Barleylands.  The meet up at Barleylands had the highest attendance yet and I met lots of new people.  We had Sally Carver (Redhotsal) on the torch demonstrating (she didn't even want to stop for lunch!).  Saw some beautiful handmade lampwork beads, swapped tips, ate cake and had a lovely time.  Our next one will be in June.

Lucio Bubacco Course

In September the infamous Lucio Bubacco from Venice came to teach in the UK at Diana East's studio.  I was lucky enough to get the last place on his 3 day sculptural course.  He is a true glass master and had the whole class mesmerised by his incredible "performances" of sculptural figures and mythical creatures.  I managed to purchase one his scorpions that he demoed.

Visit to Vittorio Constantini in Venice

In August 2011 I visited Vittorio Constantini and his wife Graziella in his studio at Venice.  They were very welcoming and I was lucky enough to see his private collection of sculptural beetles, butterflies and sea creatures.  His workbench is fascinatingly untidy and covered in lots of interesting things.  He made my son and daughter a miniature cat and frog, showed us how to blow a glass bubble and demoed an amazing octopus sculpture.

GBUK Essex Meet Up on 19th June at 1pm

I am having a meet up at my studio on Sunday 19th June from 1pm onwards.  It's basically a meet-up of Essex lampworkers, mostly GBUK members but other lampworkers are welcome to attend.

There will be an open torch session and I will be showing my collection of beads by American beadmakers (they are really amazing).  We will also be having a Show and Tell table, a bead swap (if you'd like to take part it doesn't matter what level you are at, please bring one of your glass beads wrapped, with your details), and if you have some tools or glass to swap or sell.

Had a great time at the Flame Off in April, did the Caitlin Hyde class, watched lots of fantastic demos, and caught up with friends.  Acquired the most amazing Japanese monkey bead by Marshall Hyde, here's a picture...

A Belated Happy New Year!

I hope that anyone reading this had a relaxing christmas break and have started the new year with a fresh sunny outlook.  I suppose one of my new year's resolutions should be to update this blog more often but another one is to spend less time on the computer so I will need to find a balance between the two!

I have a new Complete Beadmaking Course starting on Monday 31st January 6pm until 9pm which runs for 4 weeks
. I look forward to meeting and introducing lots of new people to lampworking this year. 

Bead Magazine Article

Check out my Reader's diary on page 25 in the Dec/Jan Edition of Bead Magazine.  I have written about my trip to the Gathering in Rochester, New York.  There are lots of glossy pictures of beautiful beads, people I met and places I visited.

Chelmsford Arts Trail

I'm taking part in the Chelmsford Arts Trail which runs from 11th-26th September.  My venue is Interior Angle, Twenty3 Wells Street, Chelmsford, CM1 1HX.  I have a display cabinet in the gallery and the collection is called 'Infinity' which explores repeating patterns and interlinking designs in high contrast colours.

My trip to the Gathering in America

I had an amazing time at the ISGB's Gathering in Rochester, NY.  Met lots of fantastic people who also happen to be talented beadmakers and lampwork artists.  Feel very lucky to have the experience and have come back sooooo inspired!

Saw some Blaschka models at the Corning Museum of Glass (Octopus) and other beautiful glass, also saw some great beads (bottom pictures) in the Perspectives exhibition.

Scholarship for the ISGB Gathering in New York 2010

I am so pleased to be the recipient of a scholarship to go to the International Society of Glass Beadmaker's Gathering in Rochester, New York in July 2010.  I'll be doing a sculptural class for 2 days with Wesley Fleming, visiting the Corning Museum of Glass, doing voluntary work (not sure what yet) at the Gathering and attending lots of workshops, demonstrations and the famous Bead Bazaar.  I shall come back thoroughly inspired!  Thanks so much to Carole Morris (BSGB), Jean Power (editor of Bead Magazine) and Ray Skene and Diana East for supporting my application.

If you are a member of the Bead Society of Great Britain, I'm in the Spring 2010 edition (newsletter 99) on pages 4 and 5 which popped through my door this morning.

We had the first GBUK Regional Group meeting at my house at the end of March which went very well.  Most people had a go on the torches and we talked about glassy things.  There should be a few pictures in the next edition of Hotstuff from GBUK (Glass Beadmakers UK).

I'm off now to photograph some focal beads (including a few frogs) which will be going on the website in the next couple of days.

See my work at Chelmsford's Civic Theatre

My work will be displayed at the Civic Theatre in Chelmsford from 6th April until 4th May.  Most of the work will be for sale and there will be a display of Metamorphosis so you can see them up close.

Had a table at the Essex Bead Fair last weekend.  Was nice to meet both old and new customers, shame the weather was so terrible!

Have volunteered to be a Regional Network Co-ordinator for GBUK (Glass Beadmakers UK) for this area.  Our first meeting is on Sunday 28th March.  If you're a member of GBUK or are thinking about joining you are welcome to come, email me for more details.

British Bead Awards, Metal Clay and New Online Bead Shop

I'm thrilled to be a finalist in the first British Bead Awards for the Lampworking category.  The entries were judged anonymously so I couldn't write about it on here before.  I'm going to the Big Bead Show at Sandown Park in Surrey tomorrow.  Can't wait to see the other entries in both the lampwork and other categories.  My entry is called Metamorphosis and as you can see is the life cycle of a frog.  The frogspawn bead was a nightmare to make, it kept cracking and I had to make 9 of them before I was happy with it!

Last weekend I passed my Metal Clay Level 1 Instructor Certificate in Art Clay Silver.  I had a fantastic three days with Pat from Pajed in Witham, Essex and am hoping to do my Level 2 next year.  I've recently been making some silver hollow beads which will eventually go on the beadshop when I've refined my designs.  So many ideas....too little time!

Today I have added the new bead shop to the website, there are categories for Focals, Beadsets and Spacers but there are more categories to come in the future.  I've recently been making large lampwork hollows and raised repeating flower designs.

Must dash as I've got lots to add to the beadshop...

I'm a Virtual Artist... also you can try lampworking in my new studio!

I've been accepted by the Arts Development team at Chelmsford Borough Council to be on the front webpage of their Virtual Gallery  for 3 months, alongside some other artists from shoemakers to sculptors.  After the 3 months my profile and pictures will be put in their permanent collection.  You really should check it out as there is some interesting stuff on there.

I've started training in the new studio!  I'm offering taster sessions in glass beadmaking (using a dual-fuel torch) of 2 hours for £30.  This includes any materials used and lots of useful training helpsheets on subjects such as Setting Up A Studio, Working With Glass, Cleaning Bead Holes etc  You can keep any beads that I demonstrate and all the beads you make will be annealed in the kiln and posted on to you.  I'll be putting a page on the website about it soon but contact me  if you'd like to book in the meantime.

My Volcano bead (mentioned in a previous entry) got a highly commended in the Beads & Beyond lampworking competition and was pictured in the May edition.  Here is another picture in case you missed it first time.

I'm back again...

Sorry, I haven't written for a while but thought it best to wait until I had something interesting to say. 

I've had a strange few months and have lost both a Nan and a Grandad quite close together, they were very fortunate to both be in their eighties but I still miss them all the same.  Luckily I've had the new workshop/studio to distract me.  My husband and I have been working weekends for months to get it ready.  We recycled some timber and chipboard from an old factory and used the timber for a studwork wall and the chipboard for worktop.  My husband welded together lots of angle iron into workbenches and has installed electrics and water.  So a huge thankyou to my him for working so hard (probably the prospect of a tidy house for once) and to my stepfather for helping with the electrics and plasterboarding.  Here are a couple of photos, the first is of the lampworking area and the second is my silversmithing bench.  I do wish I'd taken the pictures before I put all my stuff in there!


My collaboration with Sue Wheeler for the ISGB and Bead & Button Convergence project unfortunately didn't get into the final selection.  We worked so hard on it and learn't alot from going through the process.  We were up against alot of internationally renowned lampworkers and beadworkers so it wasn't surprising that our entry wasn't in the final 40, also it was our first, if not very ambitious competition!  We enjoyed working together, and bouncing ideas off each other immensely and hope to again in the future.  Here is a picture of part of the completed project entitled 'The Fire Within' which was inspired by the Four Elements.




Happy New Year

Happy New Year to everyone!  I've got lots of new projects on the go.  I'm in the process of building a new studio which will more than double the amount of workspace I currently have.  This will mean that I can do lampworking and silversmithing in the same area and I can then convert the old studio into an office. I may even get a tidier house!

I've been experimenting with metal clay in the last year and am hoping to come up with some interesting workable designs for silver beads.

I'm about to send off my entry for the 'Convergence' project entitled 'The Four Elements' which is a collaboration between the ISGB (International Society of Glass Beadmakers) and the Bead and Button magazine.  I've been working on this with the talented beadworker Sue Wheeler of Daisy Beaders.  We're hoping that our entry will be accepted and then it will be included in a brochure and touring exhibition at some of the beadshows in the US and will then be auctioned off for charity at one of the shows. This is a version of my Volcano Bead which is similar to one of the focals in the piece. It is a distorted core bead using Effetre glass and crushed goldstone. Hope you like it!  I've entered this one in the Beads and Beyond lampworking competition.


African Beadmaking Workshop

Spent the last weekend at a Bead Society of Great Britain's workshop which was on African beadmaking.  It was run by John Haigh at Little Hidden Organic Farm in Hungerford.  John made a kiln using bricks and clay.  We smashed and powdered different coloured glass bottles and added them in layers to home made clay moulds which were then fired in the kiln so that the glass could fuse together.  We also watched videos of brass bead casting using the lost wax technique from his trips to Ghana.  It was a really interesting weekend and a real contrast in techniques to my lampworked glass beads and silver casting.

Inspiring Course with Diana East

Have just spent a fantastic 3 days at Diana East's studio learning some amazing new stuff like sandblasting, engraving, off-mandrel, lots of enamelling and murrini making.  Saw her make a fish murrini and then put it in an incredible aquarium bead.  I met some really nice people including Red Hot Sal and lots of other people from the Frit Happens forum.  I feel really inspired and am still buzzing!

Also have just been accepted for membership by the Guild of Essex Craftsmen so will be doing my first proper show for two days at Cressing Temple, near Witham in Essex on the 24th and 25th August.

New Additions to Shop

Have just added a few more items to the Jewellery Shop, including some earrings and pretty focals on sterling silver snake chain and some larger focals on leather thong choker.  Am still trying to get the hang of my new camera.  I have a long way to go yet but am reading up on it as we speak!

If you've found this page, hello and welcome!

This year is already zooming by.  In early January I went to Rome to celebrate my 40th birthday and last Sunday I came back from a week's skiing in Slovenia.  There was so much to see in Rome and 3 days was not enough.

Check out this cute car from Rome (old Fiat 500)

Here is a picture of the Vatican at dusk and also part of one of the mosaics inside it's vast museums.









Slovenia is a beautiful country but it did rain for a few days which is not what you expect when you're skiing.  Still, not too many bumps and bruises and I still have the use of both my arms and legs so I can't complain.

I've been working on the website this week and next week I hope to get the hang of my new camera so I can add more items to the Jewellery Shop.  It does look a little sparse at present but I assure you I have lots more items to go on it.

Speak to you soon...

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