Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Creme Caramel

I also sell my beads on Folksy which is essentially a British version of Etsy.  It is an online craft store where artisans sell their handmade items.  The great thing about both of these online stores is that you can be assured (most of the time) that you are purchasing items that have been individually handmade by very handworking artists.  I say most of the time because as always there are the odd few that slip through the net attempting to sell wholesale items. 
This set of beads is called Crème Caramel. When I took these beads out of the kiln I was really pleased. The internal swirls of avocado and chocolate all encased within a light amber coloured glass that reflects the light beautifully.  I have blogged about these beads before but decided that they needed some more publicity ..... they are lovely!
This photograph shows the swirls beautifully.  I originally intended for these to be an autumnal set of beads but there is definitely a summery feel about them too.  Perhaps it is the richness of colour produced by the chocolate swirling through the amber glass. 
Beads have always held a fascination for people and have been used for many different things.  My beads are no exception.  A selection of my beads are sold in Kiki's Craft Store in Scotland.  Here they are purchased mainly for decorating textiles.  I sell to jewellery designers, hobbyists, collectors, all kinds of people and I always ask for photographs of their final pieces of work (blog post coming soon) because I am really interested to know what they have made with my beads.
Of course, you don't have to do very much with my beads to enjoy their attractive allure.  All you need is a silver chain.  Pop the beads onto the chain and you have an instant piece of pretty jewellery.  The great thing about this is that you can take the beads on and off and match them to your outfit or mix and match the beads with other bead sets.  There is a great deal of potential ....
This set of beads would definitely suit being placed on a sterling silver chain.  Sometimes the simplicity of a design can be all the more stunning! 

All of my lampwork beads are handmade by me in my studio in Somerset. I am a professional lampwork artist and make all of my bead to a very high standard. All of my beads are kiln annealed to ensure long lasting strength and durability and all of my beads are thoroughly cleaned to remove all traces of bead release.
I have included 7 beads in the set. They range in size from 14mm by 9mm beads to 15mm by 10mm beads. The bead hole is 2.5mm.
All of my lampwork beads are securely packaged in a gift box. I pack them very carefully because a great deal of work goes into creating these little treasures
This set of beads is available to purchase from my shop on Folksy.  I ship worldwide.  If you click on the photograph a link will take you straight there.
Sarah xx


Monday, June 17, 2013


Hello, I have spent so much time making beads lately that I haven't had the time to write about them.  This set of beads are part of my new collection of Entangled Beads.  The glass has taken on a wisp like effect .... almost like ribbons of glass entwined and entangled together.  The effect is beautiful and gives the beads a stunning amount of depth.  They are irresistible! Once you start looking into the beads you get lost within all the fascinating mixtures and tendrils of glass.  I should have called them my crystal glass ball beads .... you gaze into the bead and see all kinds of wondrous things hidden within the depths of the glass  ..... oooohhhh where did that come from?   It is true though!
This isn't an easy thing to photograph but I do try my best for you .......  I get as close to the beads as I possibly can before everything gets blurred and distorted but I still can't manage to capture the depth within the beads.  Still, this is something to work on .....
I wish I could write paragraphs about my inspiration for these beads but this is one of those sets that have developed over time and just come from working with the glass.  A technique I have stumbled upon whilst trying to make a specific set of lampwork beads.  Sometimes this happens and sometimes from this great ideas can emerge.  There is another problem with this though.  There have been instances where I have been asked to make the same bead set again.  This is not always possible because I have used the glass on my desk at that specific moment in time, in a certain order and in a certain way and try as hard as I can I cannot make them again.  It can be quite frustrating but proves that my beads are one of a kind (OOAK) and truly unique. 
In case you hadn't noticed ..... I have a thing for hot pink and turquoise at the moment.  The colours really compliment each other and I can't get enough of them.  The only problem is the cost of the pink glass.  It is incredibly expensive and worth every penny ....
What can I tell you about these beads?  There are 5 beads in the set. I have used the same combination of glass for each bead but every bead is OOAK. My beads also look fantastic strung from a sterling silver chain. The advantage of this is you can swop and change the beads as often as you like to create individual jewellery statements. If you would like some ideas about what to make with my beads please visit my blog : Jewellery Making Tutorial

The largest bead is 19mm across by 12 mm thick to 12mm by 10mm. The remaining four beads are approximately 12mm across by 11mm thick.The bead holes are approximately 2.5mm.

This bead set is available to purchase in my shop on Etsy.  All you need to do is click on a photograph and a link will take you straight there.
Sarah xx


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Pretty Flowers!

I have been very busy over the last couple of weeks but I did manage to spend some time in my studio making this set of beads.  I have been making floral beads for years now and over the last six months I have been experimenting with different flower petal designs.  I want to make the petals more realistic (if that is possible) and this is part of the journey to achieving this.  I do have an obsession with flowers and have far too many photographs clogging up the home computer .... but that is another story!

I spent a great deal of time developing the central core of these beads to increase the depth. This is a comment that is regularly made about my lampwork beads.  There is a lot of depth to my beads and each time you look at them you see something different.  I only wish I could capture this within a photograph!   My lampwork beads are made from multiple layers that have all been completely encased in a layer of clear glass.  The encasing layers add to the depth because they magnify and distort the underlying layers.  I always ensure that the encasing layers completely cover the beads all the way to the bead hole.  My customers can be assured of high quality beads with no messy layers where the colours have bled into one another. ..... I am very fussy about this!

This bead set is available to purchase from my shop on Etsy.  If you click on a photograph, a link will take you straight there.

Sarah xx

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


I made this set of beads a few years ago.  I really liked the colour combinations and the way in which the ivory base reacted with the transparent green and blue.  It produced a gorgeous almost watercolour effect.  A couple of weeks ago I was looking through my selection of beads for inspiration and stumbled across this set of beads and remembered how I wanted to develop this watercolour effect further ...... so I did .....
I made these beads in pretty much the same way as the first set.  I used an ivory base and added a strip of transparent blue and transparent green.  I super heated the bead to help invoke a reaction with the ivory and them mixed things up a little with my faithful set of pliers.  The bead was re-heated to make a round bead and to create the puckered ends around the bead holes.  I have a thing about bead holes .... you may have guessed.   I prefer them to be finished to a very high standard.  I like my bead holes to be puckered and rounded in towards the bead hole.  There are no sharp edges to my beads they are finished to a very high standard.
Whilst I was making these beads I thought to myself "I wonder what these would look like if I sculpted a design onto the surface of the bead?" I had a go and instead of melting the colours into the glass, I created this ribbon sculpture on the surface of the bead.  It looks quite effective.  I love the way the glass moves when you heat it just right.  It is very fluid and keeps this illusion when it is cooled.  It gives the jewellery designer many different ways in which they can string this bead to great effect.
This was a great set of beads to make and I will definitely be developing the sculpted ribbon bead in more detail (so please don't copy this design).  I have plans to make a whole set of these beads in various different colours, designs, etched and not etched ..... the list is endless ..... my sketch book is full of ideas .... pages worth!
This bead set is available in my shop on Etsy.  If you click on a photograph a link will take you straight there.
Sarah xx