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Thursday, 30 April 2015

Affordable Arts Fair at Ventnor Winter Gardens

Just a short post this week, as I'm busy getting ready for the 'Affordable Arts Fair' at Ventnor Winter Gardens this coming bank holiday Monday Monday 4th May 2015 - 11am - 4pm.
I've been making some pendants combining lamp work and fused glass, I'm hoping to get them ready in time for Monday. Here's a little preview of them fresh out of the kiln.

Fused glass and lamp work combination

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Trying Something New

Cylindrical Beads within Transparent Outer Glass Beads

For the last couple of weeks I have been experimenting with a new style of bead. It's sort of a bead within a bead.

First I made a cylindrical bead and then used the hollow bead technique over the top. This was quite successful and effective. The biggest difficulty is getting the bead even and preventing the transparent outer bead from collapsing onto the inner bead. Hopefully, it just needs plenty of practise.

Cylinder Base Beads

I got really ambitious next, I decided to try and create a loose bead within a transparent outer bead. It took a good few sticks of clear glass in practise, as the beads continued to fuse together. On the ninth attempt I achieved it.

Tricky to see, but small orange bead within clear glass bead

Unsuccessful Attempts

In conclusion, although I quite like the loose bead within a bead, there's a few impracticalities with it. It's success rate at the moment being one and the difficulty in cleaning out the bead release being another. I may go back to it at a later date. However the original cylinder base bead definitely has possibilities. It's effective on it's own and definitely has scope to develop further.

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Friday, 17 April 2015

My Perfect Place

Summer house April 2015
A perfect place to chill out after a walk
Earlier today I found a lovely post on Facebook entitled 'She Sheds, Women's answer to the Man Cave'. The sheds are beautifully decorated little places to escape to.

It got me thinking about my shed, or as I grandly prefer to call it, my 'summer house'. It's not a beautiful shed, it's not stylishly decorated. In fact it is messy, cluttered and far too full of stuff. It is the place where I make my beads. But oh, it is so much more than that. It is a little protective capsule of a place. In a world and a life that is always changing, it is a place that stays the same.
View through the door

The other day I was listening to someone explaining what meditation was. They said it wasn't necessarily a person sat crossed legged with eyes closed, making 'om' sounds. It could be simply being in a peaceful state of mind. Well I would say my shed is the nearest I have ever got to meditation and being at peace. When I walk through the door I feel my body and mind relax. The radio or audio book is turned on, the kiln is fired up and very quickly the only thoughts in my head are to do with beads [and following the audio story, of course].

Making Beads

And Toby dog finds it relaxing too!

Thursday, 9 April 2015

The Return of Red

Considering my favourite colour is red, I think I've done rather well to get to April without making some red beads. The truth is it's done me good to use a different range of colours and tones. I have enjoyed and been pleased with what I have created using aqua, white and mauves. However, with the sun shining and everything buzzing with life in the garden, when I go to the summer house, I keep getting drawn to the red sticks of glass. I suppose it's a little like wanting a fresh salad rather than hearty casserole on a warm, sunny day.
Anyway, I picked out my favourite red and then experimented with earth colours - dark brown, wood, cream and a new one called fossil. I really like fossil as it has a lovely swirly, marble effect. The one down side with 'fossil' is that it is very expensive, so I have to think of ways to use it sparingly but still effectively.
Red with 'fossil' spots and small plain 'fossil' beads

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Black with Smudgy Flowers Beads

I do like black, so I made these beads. Although they are black, my intention was to make them summery with soft smudgy flowers of lavender and pale pink. I was aiming for sort of Chinese chrysanthemums. I didn't quite achieve this, but I'm pleased with results all the same.