Tuesday, August 6, 2013


This bracelet holds some lovely memories of when my workspace was my kitchen. Every evening once I had packed my little children off to bed, out would come the work mate with my Hot Head torch attached and away I would go into the land of beads ..... My kiln was set up in the corner of the kitchen so I could set my beads to anneal overnight.  I would spend every evening trying out new designs, colours, types of glass, learning how they react together and just disappearing into my own little world.....

Not much has changed really .... except that now I work in my shed/studio/shed, my children are slightly larger and I am now developing my own designs from scratch.  It is still very exciting ..... and very rewarding to see the jewellery that people make using my lampwork beads.  

I remember making these beads.  I used to give myself a little challenge by selecting a few colours to work with based on something from a magazine or a book.  I have this lovely book all about underwater sea creatures.  It is beautiful (I love my books) and I love to have a peek through the pages for colour inspiration ..... Therefore, I chose Effetre pale blue, grass green, pea green, ivory, transparent emerald, aqua and a tiny piece of CIM leaky pen.  I thought that by restricting the colour palette it would focus my attention on the design ... sometimes this works .... sometimes it doesn't though .....

I started by making a barrel shaped central core using either pale blue or transparent emerald.  I gradually built up the bead by adding different colours on top of the central core until I had a rather large lozenge shaped blob on the end of the mandrel.  I added some slithers of different colours and pulled the glass whilst it was molten to distort some of the underlying layers.  Then using gravity to shape the bead I rounded off the edges of the bead holes.  When I was happy with the shape I pressed the bead against my marver and flattened the bead to a tabular shape.  Once I was happy with the shape I added the surface decoration to the bead.  To be honest, I think I kept it all quite simple using raised dots to mimic bubbles and underwater plant life .... it was good fun!  You can't always tell what your beads are going to look like until you remove them from the kiln but this time I was really pleased because they came out of the kiln exactly as I wanted them to.

I was really pleased with the internal swirls created when I distorted the molten glass.  It created the effect of swirling seaweed trapped within a glassy ocean.  The surface of the beads are very tactile and the raised dots give the impression of water droplets still clinging to the surface of the beads.

I had decided before I had finished making the set of beads that they were going to be part of a bracelet.  A very bright and vibrant bracelet.  The tabular beads measure approximately 1 inch and because the design is so busy they needed to separated by plain, simple beads.  The finished bracelet measures 8 and a half inches and is finished with a sterling silver toggle clasp.    

This bracelet is available to purchase from my shop on WOW Thank You.  If you click on a photograph, a link will take you straight there.

Sarah xx

Friday, August 2, 2013

Lavender Moss

Hello, I have been lost in the beautiful British summer over the last couple of weeks.  I did have a bad spell of not being able to make a single round bead, my creativity had vanished somewhere in the ether and I can't help it .... once that sun comes out I just can't focus! It must be the excitement of actually having good weather .... I know I harp on and on about the weather but really it has been truely depressing over the last 12 months ...... well until now!

My laptop was also on it's last legs so my very wonderful husband (he reads these) and he is the most amazing husband in the whole wide world ... bought me a very nice shiny new one.  It is great! It starts straight away.  Usually I can make breakfast, hoover the house, put on a few loads of washing, make five sets of beads and then the password request will appear.  Not now though .... this machine is instant.  I must admit, it takes a while for me to get used to new technology (unlike my kids) and I have taken ages to transfer my work across (... might also be due to watching The Returned at the same time... totally addictive) but I am finally ready to go.

I have been very good at promoting my shop on Etsy and to be honest I am wondering if it might be more sensible to concentrate on having one shop. I currently have a shop on Etsy, Folksy and WOW Thank You.  Folksy is basically a British version of Etsy and my original thinking was to advertise myself in both places and spread the word about Beadscrumptious Beads around the globe ... a little.  What I am not good at is promoting my work on Folksy.  So, I thought I would rectify this today and post about this pretty set of lampwork beads.

This set of beads was made using a very pale green coloured glass.  It is a very subtle and calming colour so I needed a contrasting glass that was rich, vibrant and "in your face" to balance things out.  The colour I chose was CIM Lapis, one of my favourite coloured glass and beautiful to work with.  The contrast between the two colours is very striking so I was careful to keep the design's simple.  By doing this I have managed to keep the calming influence of the pale green glass.  A great deal of thought goes into these beads you know ........ 

Since writing this post I have decided to close my shop on Folksy for the time being but you can purchase my lampwork beads from my shop on Etsy.  If you click on one of the photographs a link will take you straight there.

Sarah xx