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.