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Friday, 27 February 2015

Amazing Necklaces at the Alverstone WI Craft Group

Selecting beads

More selecting beads
Yesterday I had the great pleasure of taking my beads etc. along to a lovely group of ladies from Alverstone WI. Alverstone is a very pretty village, sort of near Sandown  and oddly, a place I have not been to, despite living on the Isle of Wight just about all my life. I had a really enjoyable morning and  more importantly, I think the ladies did too. Two hours just flew by in a flash. I'm particularly pleased at how everyone created a necklace that was delightfully unique and wearable. I love the way colours and shapes were combined in so many different ways.
Thank you, Sue Lax for organising it.
A present for a daughter

Favourite colours

A finished creation

and another super necklace finished

threading tiny seed beads

A clasp and ring and then all finished

Taking care not to let go of the ends!

A present for a daughter who loves pink

Beautiful shades of turquoise

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Forthcoming Events - 2015

Open Studio Weekend 2013
Handmade Stall at West Quay Shopping Centre, Southampton
 - Saturday 21st March 2015
-9am -6pm
- First chance to see me and showcase my latest Spring 2015 collection in all its glory!

Isle of Arts Affordable Arts Fair at Ventnor Winter Gardens, Isle of Wight-
 - Monday 4th May 2015
 - 11am - 4pm
- Looking forward to this event in a beautiful location.

Isle of Wight Arts Open
- Friday 17th July - Monday 20th July 2015
- 10am - 5pm daily
- I love this event because its a great opportunity to demonstrate exactly how my beads are created and made into my unique jewellery.
Mauve Bracelet Spring 2015

Open Studios Weekend 2014


Saturday, 21 February 2015

A Useful Pattern

Pattern from Pinterest

Original Handmade Bead Summer 2014

I love Pinterest! It's such a straight forward place to search for inspiration and ideas. Here's a good example, I found this pattern last  Summer and used it to create this bead. The jewellery I made with these beads didn't prove particularly popular, I think probably because the colours were a bit restricting. However, I really liked the design and decided to develop it. At Christmas I used the design more successfully with cream with metallic spots. This Spring I am really pleased with how it has evolved in the white and soft turquoise beads in my Spring 2015 collection.

Necklace Summer 2014

Bracelet Christmas 2014

Necklace Spring 2015

Bracelet Spring 2015

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Spring is on its Way! My New Spring Jewellery 2015

Earrings in Pale Green and Brown Transparent Glass

Long necklace of speckled flowers
White and Turquoise Mid Length Necklace

One of the lovely things about making beads and jewellery is that I am always looking ahead to the next season. The next season in this case is my favourite, Spring! So here I am in February and the first part of my Spring Jewellery Collection is finished.
This first part combines the freshness of white with soft turquoise opaque glass. The other part is pale green with pale brown transparent, with the impression of fresh new leaves and buds.
For the white and turquoise, I've combined spots, dots and a sort of spot, swirl pattern I first developed last Summer. For my pale green, I thought it just had to be flowers, particularly bell flowers.

My new jewellery can be found on my website and also in the Quay Arts shop in Newport

Spot, Swirl Pattern Necklace

Friday, 6 February 2015

What makes my Beads and Jewellery different?

I'll start with an analogy, perhaps a bit of a grand analogy, but never mind. Leonardo Di Vinci  was certainly a great painter and leaves me in wonder at what can be created by the human hand. However, if I am completely honest I don't like that style of painting and on the whole it leaves me cold. When it comes to the great artists, Matisse is definitely more my thing, especially his 'cut outs', I love them. I feel comfortable with them and  love how they were created. I have the same feelings about lamp work beads.

Over the years I have seen all sorts of lampwork beads created by others. There are bead artists that produce the most amazing, complex beads. They have skills way beyond my capability. Although, I can admire the skills of these beadmakers, they are not beads I have any interest in or aspire to make myself. The problem comes when these beads are used to make jewellery, jewellery made from these beads tend to be a bit heavy, clunky and frequently gaudy. Would it be rude to say, they lack style? Perhaps I'm being a little vain, but I like my beads because they don't try to be individual pieces of art, but instead they work together. They are wearable, they focus on colour and simple shape and design. They are invariably not perfectly round or symmetrical, those traits I leave to perfectionists and factory beads, mine are handmade and distinctively mine. I always make jewellery that I would like to wear myself. Myself as myself now, myself as a younger woman and yes, myself as a older woman.
I aim at the holistic look of a piece of jewellery, I have my three classic designs of discs, bubbles and spikes and these continue to evolve. Other designs change from season to season and year to year.

Of course I do learn new techniques, but not all do I use and others I experiment with and then adapt to fit in with what I want. I can honestly say, I have rarely been inspired by other bead makers. Instead I prefer to seek inspiration for new shapes and patterns from other sources. Lately,  I have found Pinterest a marvellous source for this. When I get the chance, a trip to an art gallery is often useful too. Another common and fashionable source of inspiration for many artists is their 'surroundings' and 'natural world'. I do live in a beautiful location near the sea and have a garden that makes me happy, but ultimately that's all it and making beads needs to do, just make me happy.