Friday, 29 February 2008

Release your inner goddess...!

Hmmm.... another Frit Happens bead swap has been organised. This time we are swapping goddesses. Have never made one before, even though I've been itching to give it a go and signing up for the swap is the kick-up the bottom I need. Anyhoooooo... this is my first attempt at a goddess.

and from the side...

and rear...

Not as voluptuous as most so I need to work on getting some "flesh" on her. I also couldn't remember as I was finishing this one off whether they should have heads or not!!! Anyhow, I think we have until the end of March until we are assigned swap partners, so I can get plenty of PPP :-D

I also made this bead while I had the cobalt and turquoise glass to hand....

A pressed lentil, approximately 36mm from hole to hole. I think this may have my friend Georges' name on it :-D

Thursday, 28 February 2008

There is a Pleat Bead challenge running on the Bead Buddies forum. I had a go making some a couple of weeks ago (Tonbo Dama, the Japanses Glass Artist, features them in his book), and Sooz thought it would be an idea for those who could be tempted to have a go. Everyone is doing really well. It's great seeing the colour combinations people are trying.

Also, if you like beads, like working with beads and are a serious beader, get yourself along to the Bead Buddies forum (link below). They (we!!) are a great bunch.

Frit Happens Tree Bead Challenge

We had a tree bead challenge set on the Frit Happens forum back in January. This was fortunate, as I was harbouring an addiction to tree beads.

This is the bead that went in the swap to Vicki...

... and these are the beautiful beads I received in return!

You can see more of Vicki's work at Pure-Shore Lampwork (link below)

I'm a tree hugger

I love trees. If I'm ever feeling down or lacking inspiration, apart from making sure I eat tomatoes(!!), I like to go for a walk where there are plenty of trees. When we lived in Hertfordshire it was Epping Forest or Broxbourne Wood. Here in France, we are surrounded by forest. It's incredible.

I spent much of autumn watching the leaves change colour, and wanted somehow to capture this in my beads. Between October and December there was a lot of green, amber, gold and brown in my beads - beautiful autumnal colours. Then one torch session while practicing my stringer control, my mind kept wandering to my glassy friend Claire. Claire is "Rowanberry Glass Art" and makes incredible tree beads, amongst many other beautiful things (link below). Trees are wonderful for stringer control, so with Claire in mind I made my first tree bead.

Tree beads are something I'm now working on developing into my own style, so with pictures of my first and latest shown, you can see how the style has so far developed.

You can see more beads on (link below).

When I became a glass addict...

I was introduced to the art of lamp-working during a visit to my husbands parents house in the summer of 2006. My father-in-law asked me one evening if I wanted to "have a go" so off we trundled. It was fantastic. Watching molten glass is quite mesmerising, and being able to use the heat and gravity to manipulate I found to be very relaxing. Having two young daughters, I wanted a hobby which would allow me to have some "me time" and lampworking was perfect. I've always been artistic, sketching and painting and working with colour, and being able to transform some of that onto a glass canvas appealed to me as it felt both exciting and challenging. I voiced this to my husband and he was all for it... so long as I did a class with someone who would teach me the safety basics (the thought of propane and a naked flame concerned him slightly) so after finding a teacher and completing a course one weekend in late November that year, James bought me a starters kit for Christmas and an addiction to glass began.

My first ever bead!

This is the first set of beads I made - I think I gave this pendant to my sister.

And these are beads made 11 months later following my class with Sarah Hornik!!

I've been able to attend courses with some wonderful glass artists - Pauline Holt at Jazzy Lily was my first teacher in November 2006. In 2007 I was able to spend a day with Dora Schubert and also Sarah Hornik (websites below).