Sunday, May 12, 2013

My Shed/Studio/Shed

I was asked by the very lovely Catherynne Kessell (she makes beautiful jewellery) about where and how I make my lampwork beads.  So this post is to show you around the world of Beadscrumptious Beads ......  My wonderful, amazing and totally gorgeous husband (have to write that because he actually reads my blog) made me a beautiful shed/studio/shed because he was sick and tired of finding all my tools/toolboxes/kiln/beads/everything scattered all over the kitchen.....oh and sick of me moaning if he left his toolbox around ..... well what can I say with all of my things, there just wasn't room for his as well!

Let me take you on a little tour of the inside of my shed/studio/shed ......

The first thing you see is my bookcase.  This is now jam packed full of books, sketch books and magazines.  Lots and lots of inspiration for those moments when my mind has gone blank and my hands refuse to make what my brain is telling them.
In the back corner you can just about see lots of very brightly coloured sticks.  These are the glass rods I use to make all my lampwork beads.  I store them upright in metal cutlery holders from Ikea.  Not very fancy I know, but space is limited in my studio and when I am working I like to be able to reach over and easily grab a new glass rod.  In an ideal world I would have them all colour coordinated in easily accessible tubes but this works for now.


I was running a little low on glass when I took this photograph.  The press that you can see is for silver coring beads.  I haven't used it for a while ... As you can see there is the odd item of artwork made by my children.  Since this photo was taken I have acquired three puppets made from recycled materials and a picture of a chicken by my youngest son.  I can't see my glass rods at the moment ... if I have time I will take a picture.
To the right of my glass rods are a few tubs of frit (crushed glass) in some very pretty colours.  When you are making a bead and it is nice and hot you can roll it in some frit, re-shape the bead and when it cools the frit blend will add some very attractive patterns/colours to your bead.  I will save this for another blog post. 
My studio is gradually being taken over by artwork made by my children.  They made these at school from recycled materials and they are fantastic.  A pink elephant and a shark.  They are very proud that I have kept them safe in my studio.  It does however, create a few difficulties trying to grab a glass rod quickly.
I have mentioned in previous blog posts about making lampwork beads on mandrels.  These are the metal coated rods poking up out of an old plant pot.  The pot is filled with sand and works very well as a mandrel holder.  The rods are all coated with a special substance called bead release.  I make the beads on top of this coating and when they are cooked I place the rods in water and simple twist the bead off the mandrel.  If I made a bead directly onto the metal it would stick permanently to the metal rod.
Moving along my workspace we come to my baby!  My duel fuel torch, bought for me one Christmas by my very lovely husband.  I have a Nortel Mega Minor and I love it!  It is a great little torch and does everything I need for now ..... I have two arm rests to help keep me steady when I am doing any detailed stringer work and some foam pads for my elbows.   I also still have my first torch ... The Hot Head that my son is going to start using.
Finally, we have my kiln tucked away in the corner but within easy access so I can pop my beads in when I have finished making them.  Underneath the kiln you can see my oxygen concentrator.  My torch is fuelled by oxygen and propane.  Over to the right is the bench I use to make jewellery and polymer clay.  It is actually covered with polymer clay at the moment and looks like a complete mess ..... I took this photograph a long time ago ....  My notice board is now overflowing with inspirational cards and pictures that I have collected on our holidays.  Particularly from Barcelona, one of my favourite destinations at the moment.  It is beautiful there....
These are some of the photographs lurking around on my notice board.  I am a keen photographer and am always taking millions of photographs ... too many!  I try to capture every moment and I love colours.  I will save this for a future blog post too, otherwise I will be rambling on for hours.....
I have given you a very brief tour around studio.  A place where I spend the majority of my time making beads, singing along to the radio and posting messages on facebook and twitter.  I should have added a few pictures of my chickens too because they are usually sunbathing in the doorway or pecking in the flower bed under the window.  My cat comes and sits out here with me as well.  I feel like Dr Doolittle!
I will finish this post with the picture my youngest son made of a chicken ......
Sarah xx


  1. Wow what a fabulous work space :-)
    So bright and spacious too and exactly what I imagined it to be like with pretty little windows.

    I love that you have got your children's work around you workspace. I will be the same when I get my space too.

    Does it help to have inspirational pictures up where you work then ?? xx

    1. Thank you Catherynne. It is a nice place to work especially with my chickens and my cat keeping me company.

      Yes, my shed/studio/shed is starting to look like an art gallery dedicated to my children....they move in everywhere!

      Yes, inspirational pictures as everywhere ... it is the colour combinations that I draw most of my inspiration from. It is good fun! xx

  2. Very clever and creative! The Shed looks simple and attractive at the same time! The idea to use the roof for planting is amazing. Delightful post!

    1. Hello Mary, thank you very much. It is a lovely space to sit and work. xx

  3. I love seeing the space you work in and all your bits and pieces. Especially love the chicken picture and the puppets. I miss having things like that made for me now that my girly is all grown up. And what fun that your son is going to start using your old torch!