Tuesday, 27 January 2009

What a coincidence

Recently I have been finding myself inspired by colour. I'm experimenting with several methods of putting colour on metal and revisiting all my beautiful enamelling books. Last night I remembered about this little bowl I enamelled on a course some time ago with the hugely talented Dorothy Cockrell. I gave it a dust and took a wee photograph ready to share on my blog. So you can imagine my suprise today when my mum comes to my studio to tell me that Dorothy is in the shop with her beautiful bowls!! I wanst sure at first what she meant but could not hide my suprise when I saw it was Dorothy Cockrell!!! Needless to say the work she had brought in to show me was stunning, but I still cant quite get over the coincidence. Is it a sign...??

Monday, 26 January 2009

Have you heard of Handmadeology??

This is an amazing new website - and aims through Articles, Blogs, Videos & Tutorials to teach artists how to successfully sell online. You really need to check this out HERE!!

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Flame Off 2009

Have you booked your ticket to the Flame Off? Following the success of last years event Tuffnells Glass are doing it again! Held over two days on the 17th & 18th of April there are demonstrations from some of the hottest lampwork artists around, including Sarah Hornick & Julie Ann Denton.

I am excited as I have been asked to run the Art Clay Silver classes which will take place on Friday & Saturday. These classes are suitable for beginners and last for 3 hours so you dont miss out on the torching action.

As if that wasnt enough excitement a Flame Off Artists Competition is also running. To enter all you need to do is send a picture of your work. The judges will pick the winner on the 28th of Feb. The only scary thing is the prize - you will demonstrate your bead in front of around 200 people!! All levels of experience are welcome to enter - are you going to give it a go?

Read more about the Flame Off 09 here.

Friday, 23 January 2009

A Quiet week....

I'm quiet this week as I'm away with my family. But I just thought I'd share with you this beautiful Lentil bead made by a student on my BronzClay class last week. I just LOVE the patina on it! It seems that the items at the bottom of the firing pan turn a lovely golden colour, where as the pieces toward the middle and top are more likely to turn shades of purple or blue. There is a lot of information out there on the BronzClay - and its excellent. I'm reading over all of it once again, but because I havent yet encountered any problems with firing etc I'll be sticking to whats worked for me so far. I am however looking forward to getting home - and continuing to experiment.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

New Beads & Frogsongs Starburst Tutorial

LinkHere are the beads that I showed a picture of in a big pile sorted into sets. The bottom left set are made using Frogsong's Starburst And Nebula Style Beads Tutorial - I really like them but am aware that now when I make a bead straight from a tutorial I feel its not really "me" - a good thing I guess as it means I may just be starting to develop my own style (pink, dots & pansies by the looks of it)? Its a great tutorial though and this is only one of many beads it shows you how to make!

Over on Frit Happens there is a thread where we share our first and our last beads we made. Its to see how far we have come - and looking at the progress of Artists in the UK is really inspiring! I thought I'd show you my first few beads - hopefully in the two years or so I have been doing this I have come on a bit too!

Monday, 19 January 2009

Shiny Bronze Clay Bead

Usually when I work with the Bronzclay I like to fire it and leave it with a patina. I thought I'd polish this lentil bead up to see just how it looks. Its been made as a class example - I think I still prefer the patinas you get on the Bronze but have something in mind that I think may look better with this highly polished finish. Its a personal preference - what do you think of it?

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Bronze n' Beads

Well, I am afraid I cant show you a beautiful finished Bronze Cuff - I CAN however show you this one! I think I know what happened - it fell off the cuff bracelet I shaped it on (cheaper than a oval bracelet mandrel) and cracked in a few places.... I thought I had repaired them - but it looks like I didnt. So - I'll make it again, taking care not to let it fall off. If there are still cracks then I think I'll give up on the idea of a bronze cuff......I am seriously tempted to make a silver one though........

On the plus side I have had a few hours on my torch this week - and I made some beads!! I'm surprised at how bright and colourful they are (unlike my mood) but maybe I am drawn to making them as they cheer me up. January is a gloomy month and I need some sunshine! If you have ever liked the look of my beads and wondered where to buy them online then watch this space ...... :D

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Beads n' Blogs

Here is a pretty bracelet made by Alison of Ali Bali Jewellery featuring some of my beads. Seeing your beads made into jewellery is always lovely - and seeing it featured on a Blog is even better. In fact the only thing that beats it really is seeing it on TWO blogs - this bracelet caught the eye of the the authors of fantastic blog Autonomous Artisans. This blog has so much eye candy that I'm now a follower. If you have time its worth checking out both of these Blogs as they are well looked after, and make for a really good read!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Bronze Clay Cuff

With a BronzClay workshop coming up I have been working with the bronze again. I thought it would be nice to encourage larger pieces to be made - which is for me the real joy of the bronzclay - you can open a packet think big! This Cuff is not yet fired - or even fully finished, but I thought I'd share it anyway. I hope to fire it on Tuesday - but it means a day off my torch so we shall see. If it works and looks good finished then I can see me making more of these :)

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Competition Beads

The winners of the Beads & Beyond lampworking competition have been chosen (but not announced) so entrants are now able to share their beads. These were mine - they took me a long time and even though they are not perfect I was thrilled with them. They havent been featured in the magazine though and I wasnt shortlisted so I can only assume nobody liked them as much as me :D With that in mind I'd love to hear what you think!

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Happy Days!!

I'm very very happy today as for the first time in weeks I can get back on my torch. The holidays have been wonderful and I have enjoyed spending time with my family immensely but my fingers are desperate to create!! For the past two nights I have struggled to get to sleep as I have had so many ideas buzzing about my head - Class Ideas, Designs for my Masters, New Projects .....I honestly dont know what to work on first! But for today anyway - its torch time! So hopefully I'll have some lovely new beads to share with you tomorrow! Is anyone else as happy as me to get back to their routine ?

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Introducing Linda Lawrence

I was browsing my flicker pics and was so blown away with these beautiful hearts from my contact Linda Lawrence that I just had to share her work with you! I have been drooling over her work on her web site www.lindasbellabeads.com am working my way through her blog which is full of great ideas - for example she has a list of bead making challenges for each month : January being to make beads only from white and clear and February being Hearts of course!! Her bright and cheerful work has brightened my day!

Have you discovered any inspiring artists recently?

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Welcome 2009!!!

Well Happy New Year everyone!! I hope you had a good one!! I had a quiet one watching the fireworks from Edinburgh Castle from my window!! I wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 2009!