Sunday, 29 May 2011

So I have spent the last few weeks experimenting with big beads on varying mandrel sizes.  I have become abit obsessed with this style of putting one design inside another.  This seems to work better with the smaller mandrel size, this pink bead has a 5mm Core.

Whereas this one has a much larger core and you can see that the flowers are less effective although that is only my opinion as I have had some lovely comments about it.

So next up I made some murrine flowers and anenomes and made up a couple of more beads with small they are.
Those anenome murrine made me think of seascapes so next up

So what next?  I started to build a bead of petals and then added a line of colour which I cut into and realised that it made a flower shape to

So I made a bead using this band of colour rather than petals....

Then it made sense to just do a flower since they looked lovely just by themselves....

so the journey continues........................

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Its Official, I am open!

 So the day was getting closer and the reality of actually having a working studio that visitors to the village could come and have a peek at was finally beginning to sink in.   Ian and I spent the week before sorting things out for the 'big' day. 

The biggest job was putting up the Gazebo which of course wouldn't quite fit into our alley.  It had to be suspended over the roof, that is obviously why I married an ex Theatre Rigger as it went up in a flash and was decorated with bunting that I hadn't even known he had bought!

I had some professional signage done for the Quay to let visitors know where I am and two signs for the bottom of the alley.

Because the walls are hundreds of years old literally the nails of course refused to cooperate so Ian decided to glue them on and this took some time!  But being a village he had lots of people stop and chat and ask him what he was up too!  All publicity is good publicity even if it is your husband glued to a wall for half an hour!!  Our neighbour Danielle has commissioned a local artist to paint the walls and you can just see the boat in the right wall and there is a lovley big lighthouse waiting to be painted on the left.

 Then of course the task of clearing up the studio, somethings had to stay like my travelling Gazebo which is the huge bag at the end and of course the inflatable Kayak and oars in the corner which is what every lampworker needs and Millys basket which you can just see at the end there although she is not the best meeter and greeter to strangers so her time in the studio is limited now!

 All nice and tidy!  now time for the cabinets and displays.....

Outside we set up some tables and put out the sweeties!

My mum and father in law sent me this lovely bunch of flowers for luck so we popped them on the table and we were ready to go......
So smiles all round!!  Have you spotted Ian?  We had a lovely day and infact were to busy for most of the day to get the camera out!  Thank you to everyone who came to visit particularly my two lampworking friends Julie Haveland Beer and Amanda Muddimer it was lovely to see everyone and Manda, those Jelly Worms made ALL the diffence to my day?  Amanda owns and runs a fantastic lampwork studio in Barnstaple and runs courses from there (  and I am doing beginner and taster sessions in Appledore so there is now lots available for anyone who wants to have a go at lampworking in North Devon.  Amanda has alot of advanced courses to and hosts International tutors, I am doing a course later this year with Carla di Francesca and I did a course there with Astrid Reidel at the end of last year.

I am now open between 3pm and 7pm most days for visitors, my first afternoon was yesterday and I was thrilled with the amount of visitors. 10 people popped by, but it did teach me that  I will need to leave some of my more complicated experiments for the moring as I can't chat and make big beads at the same time!

So what have I been up to glass wise?  Playing with colour mainly and my big hole mandrels!  I also have a couple of ideas up my sleeve following a lively (sober!) chat in the pub this morning when I was dropping some more of my cards off there.  So look out for Anna's idea to hit the web!

I have been working on these glass wheels and am hooked!

They are large and the size means I have to be really on the ball as far as keeping them warm all over is concerned and I have had some very sad casulties!

This was one that suffered a thermal shock but I have glued it together and it is hanging in my window!  I still need lots of practice at the detail but I am happy that things are moving in the right direction!

 This gives you some idea of the size...this is a UK 10p beside this bead.

So that is all for now, thank you for reading and if you are ever in Devon or if you live close by and are reading this do pop by and say hello!  The address is 1 Victoria Crescent, Irsha Street, Appledore, EX39 1RS and if you would like more information on beginner and taster sessions do email me on

Jennie ;0)

Monday, 9 May 2011

Counting down to my Open Day!

So time is marching on and my open day this Saturday 14th May is nearly upon me and I have been making beads like mad over the last few days and really enjoying myself!   Which is good because home life is abit fraught with the potential of a massive leak in our house under the ground floor which may require major building work.   So when the going gets tough the tough run to their torches!!

I have been working on alot of large beads, these babies measure up to 4.5cm in diameter!

I love these bright colours and am really pleased with the results and they look fab just hanging on a leather or cord thong. 

I have always been lucky enough to sell alot of the 'pandora' style 5mm beads and was trying to find a twist on the origninal idea when I started expermenting with a raised bubble to create something different.

Some of them are created with Double Helix silver glass to create the patterns......

Others I have used my handmade Murrine in......

So how do they look on a bracelet?  Well it would be a lie to say they stand upright like this on a bracelet that is not full but if your bracelet is snug with beads these bubble beads will stand proud like the one in this shot.  I personally quite like the idea that they also hang and the suprise is there when you look closely at them.

And finally a little novelty!  I have updated the design for my hollow beach beads and added some 'sea' and a little jellyfish within the bottom of the bead and leaving the top hollow with a couple of barnacles and then filling it with sand from our local beach.  I could however fill it with sand from anywhere in the world I would just have to fly there first!!

So here is the Beach!  And a picture of Milly and her Friend Paddy have a romp on the sand!!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

It is Studio will be Open on the Saturday 14th May!

After months of trying to sort out a new studio I am happy to say that I am now settled in. I am officially 'opening' on Saturday 14th May and will have my cabinets full of new beads to celebrate the occasion! I would love to see anyone who wants to come down and say hello, have a look at my new workspace and of course look at the beads! Please feel free to spread the word and bring friends too!

Appledore is a lovely village to visit with lots of gallerys, pubs and of course beautiful views over the river. My studio is up an alley (Victoria Crescent) opposite the side entrance of The Beaver Inn in Irsha Street so why not make a day of it.....we are close to Westward Ho! to if you fancy a walk on the beach!!

I will be posting on a regular basis new product to my websites and I will also be open for visitors from the 14th.....hope to see you then!
And if she is good you might  meet Milly too!!


Sunday, 27 February 2011

Glass Wheels with Windows!


So a week of experimenting........  I have been practising some dragging techniques to create different patterns on beads and experimenting with a fairly new glass from Double Helix, Helios which when worked produces metalic sheens of pink, gold and purple but difficult to photograph to its full glory.

Having spent a day layering colour and dragging away I had a handful of beads that I was pleased with  and had experimented with layers of different colours and thought I would do the same the next day, after all colour combinations are pretty endless.  

This plan lasted until I woke up at 3am  the following morning, does anyone else do this?  I am fast asleep then wake up dreaming and thinking about glass and beads!!  I  found myself wondering what it would be like to put some clear glass into the mix to create windows in the bead so when worn sideaways it would have extra interest.   Then I had to curb the urge to pull on clothes and rush to the torch and cannot sleep for the excitement of wanting to experiment!!!

So here are a selection of that inspiration....very much work in progress at the moment.

  I love the size of these wheels,  you can see by the size of my fingers how big the bead is!  Sorry about the quality of the photos I took these shots quickly in daylight so I could write my blog tonight.  

The large bumps around the outside of the bead above look clear but it has a thin layer of double helix Clio in there which gives them an opal effect if viewed from on top.   The bead has a base of clear glass but whilst working it fumed in the flame and created this rather lovely seaglass effect.

 This bead I did not 'fume' so the clear remains clear giving an interesting pattern from the side.......

 And I just had time to experiment with some clear coloured glass too......

I love this effect but I am away from the torch for the next couple of days so I guess I will have a disturbed sleep with all the ideas that will bubble away during that time!!  I am going to experiment at creating more patterns with the clear so the bead has a two dimensional feel depending on when and where it is viewed.  Will keep you posted.

Thank you for reading my blog


Oh yes and lest I forget  Milly I think has plans in paw that she is not sharing with us.................