I promised to put some items on Etsy when the Oxford Art Weeks Exhibition finished, so I have. I was just having a look at my listings and realised that all but one of them mentions purple in the description. Now my children know that purple is one of my favourite colours, but I do make beads in other shades. In fact my kiln is currently sporting a delicious range of sky blue, turquoise and aqua green. There are even bracelets, necklaces and pendants in those colours waiting patiently in my stock box, but I’m keeping those for the Creative 4um exhibition at New Brewery Arts which is the 9th-23rd June. You see there is a plan, shocking I know, but I am actually going to try to have a coordinated display. Now it’s the half-term holiday next week, so no bead making, and I must submit my entries on 2nd June, so how many blue/turquoise beads can I make with only one more making day to go?
I would just like to say a huge thank you to everybody who came to see us at Great Rollright for Oxford Art Weeks. There was a tremendous response, and so many lovely comments. All the exhibitors worked so hard and the standard of work was stunning. I have had an amazing week.
Next week I shall try to put a selection of my remaining stock on Etsy, and then I must make more!!!! The Creative 4um Exhibition at New Brewery Arts starts soon, I have so many ideas and so little time.
I really cannot describe how excited and nervous I am at the moment. I am taking part in my first formal exhibition next week as part of Oxford Art Weeks. I am part of a group exhibition in Great Rollright and have been working like mad trying to pull together as much stock as possible, but still it feels like I have hardly anything to show. Still, tomorrow I set up and then the truth will show. Shall I be making more mid week to replenish my display (If only!), or shall I be skulking away at the end of the week having learned a few hard lessons?
From a beady point of view 2014 has started in the most frustrating manner possible. My kiln has been broken, it objected to being unused over Christmas and wouldn’t fire at all. Whilst strictly speaking you can make beads and kiln anneal them later, I never have, so it’s been a bit of a worry.
2014 should be a wonderfully beady year though. As well as selling my jewellery in the New Brewery Arts Gallery, and small local shows, this year I have signed up to take part in two exhibitions, one The Pop Up Gallery in Cirencester, the other is at Great Rollright, as part of Oxford Art Weeks. I am very excited, but I do need to make something! Lots of things actually.
I am therefore very pleased to say that I have just managed to replace the relay in my kiln and it is now working! So tomorrow will be a very beady day. I’m going to have to buy some more mandrels now to make all these beautiful beads on……. and if only I could replicate this pink one I would be very happy.
I’m never quite sure about green. I like it, but I’m sure somebody once told me they never wore green jewellery so I’ve avoided making too much. There are such a range of colours though, warm, cold, bright and cool and in the past few weeks I have had several people ask me for green which has been quite a surprise. Acid green and lime green have been requested, which I think of as quite spring like colours. The pendant above was sold the day after I made it. It is a beautiful clear green called Oz and it is decorated with Multicolour Frit, which does exactly what it says, turns a multitude of colours, depending on how you heat and cool it. There are creams and blues with purples and browns, but then who knows if you like those colours?
I’m starting to get quite excited about having more time this Autumn to devote to my beads. I’ve booked two Christmas Fairs so far, and I’m starting to think about what I want to have on my table. What colours shall I offer? Shall I have lots of bracelets and necklaces or should I try something different this year? Cufflinks, Pickle Forks or Honey Spoons…..?
I’ve also started to think about the patterns and styles I want to use and it made me stop and think about sources of inspiration. I spend a lot of time admiring other people’s beads and occasionally I will try a style, mostly from curiosity. Can I figure out how they created them, and achieve something similar? It becomes a mini detective story, which usually ends in frustration or a happy accident. However, it is mostly colours and colour combinations that inspire me. I’ll see something and wonder how to translate that into my beads.
This bead was the result of a trip to the Planetarium at @Bristol. When I went there earlier this year I came home wanting to create beads that reminded me of space, and the subtle colours and swirls. Somehow these colours spoke of black holes and galaxies.
Finally Spring is warming up, but it’s taking it’s time. For me, my lampwork has had to slow down to accommodate a new job but I’m adjusting and my mojo is gradually returning.
At the weekend I was asked one of my favourite questions about my beads. “Do you paint them?” It always makes me smile and shows how little people know about lampwork and glass. It’s my favourite question though because it opens the door for me to talk about it. That’s where my mean streak comes out. I usually pick up a flower bead and explain that it is all formed from hot glass. That each petal is normally composed of three layers of dots which are then super heated and poked to draw them together. I explain that I then encase the entire bead and that’s how I create the tiny bubble in the centre, and I look into their faces……. Wonder, confusion, glazed incomprehension, it’s different each time but hopefully by then they understand that this is not a simple art/craft but something that takes skill and learning.
My most favourite customer is the one who says “Wow”. Not just because they appreciate what they see but because they see past the jewellery to see that it’s different and unique and something they won’t find just anywhere.
People are like lampwork beads, totally individual.
I haven’t posted here for a while. I have been busy with Etsy and haven’t had many beads I wanted to share. Then life gets mad and I get distracted again.
I’ve been thinking about Flowers a lot this week. Weddings, Funerals, Mother’s Day, Spring, trips to the Garden Centre! So I spent some time looking for new flower inspiration and created a treasury on Etsy, then spent even more time on Frit Happens and found a tutorial for Watercolour Style Flowers. Now if you’ve known me a while you know I do occasionally paint in Watercolour and love the gentle colours you get and the flow of it.
These beads are my first attempt at this style and although I need some slightly different materials to get a more subtle look they’re quite pleasing.
I think with this cold weather spring really has left! I’ve been practicing raking and did some rather nice leaves. I was quite surprised with the blue shadows on the black glass but it’s actually rather a nice effect and helps to highlight the peacock shine from the leaves. More experiments next week on those I think.