Tuesday, 10 April 2012


Every artist, crafter or designer needs to experiment with ideas and techniques in order to get better and to develop their work. It's something I teach students every day at school and even try to encourage them to take chances / make mistakes. If they don't give things a go how will they ever know how to explore ideas and experiment? ....and ultimately how to get better.

Since January I've been 'playing' with new ideas and trying out new products....here are some of the results of my efforts so far. I've still got lots and lots of other things to try out :)

Monday, 9 April 2012

beads to bracelets

You might have seen posts on here or facebook about the new beads I've been making, well over the bank holiday I've been turning them into bracelets....that was until I ran out of toggle clasp findings :( 2 are completely finished but the others will have to wait a while until I can get to the shops for more sterling silver.

I've been refreshing my skills and getting used to the heat within this flame as its different to the torch I'd previously been hiring. Now its time to try something more tricky and to get reading more of my Corrina Tettinger book- aka the lampworkers bible!

Using all that black and red got me thinking....so here's what I tried and I am so pleased with them. I didn't expect them to survive but now I know it works I'll give it another go.

Sunday, 8 April 2012


Spring has sprung and in typical British fashion it's raining on a bank holiday weekend....here we are in the middle of a draught as it's not rained for so long and just as everyone has time off the weather is rubbish.
Right I'll stop being quite so British and not mention the weather again!

The garden is full of cheerful flowers which are half hiding my metal duck sculpture, the nursery is selling young strawberry plants (I'm hoping they fruit either side of my current plants....you can't have too many fresh strawberries in summer can you )and in place of a monstrous bamboo I've bought a budlia to plant.

Each yr I try to find unusual Easter eggs to give to my family and this yr spotted the eggs with other sweeties in the chocolate yum yum. On Thurs I took them over to my sister only for her to laugh, run into the kitchen and give me the same egg in return :) great minds eh
Happy Easter everyone :)

Monday, 2 April 2012


Back in feb I went to the Essex bead fair and bought myself new beadmaking equipment. It hadn't taken me long to get fed up with Mapp gas and after running out of bottle 2 I realised it was going to be more economical to buy the proper tubing and regulator so I could use a full size bottle. Who knew that this would be so tricky though? I took myself to b&q and bought a mini bottle thinking it would make my life easier as it was small enough to carry, yep I'm a little weakling ;) however I'd not banked on the fact the fittings didn't go with my regulator!!! It took several hrs to realise it though and a few fb messages, tweets and phonecalls! Then good old dad came to the rescue telling me I had a bottle of propane in the shed!!! Typical huh.

This eve I finally got round to a lengthy play on the new equipment and refreshed a few basic skills of dotting before giving a new implosion bead a go. I saw it demonstrated a few wks back at a lampwork day at Glass From the Past in Billericay. The 1st go was too small to see the full effect and the 2nd didn't attach properly to the mandrel :( you can see it in the picture as a large disk with dots.

Oh well now for try number 3 as my mandrels are now ready to go again :)