Sunday, 31 August 2008

"Taveta" Pendant and more Fossil Beads

Taveta is the latest baby elephant rescued by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. He is just 8 months old, and his mother probably died in a poacher's snare. Thanks to the DSWT, Taveta is now safe and being cared for with his new family in the elephant nursery. To celebrate his rescue I have made a special "Taveta" pendant, which will be auctioned on Ebay this week.

"Taveta" is a beautiful pendant comprising one of my fossil beads. The bead has a base of black, and I have trailed a twist of grey, black and silver around it, which resembles elephant trunks to me! I've added a special Taveta elephant charm, in sterling silver.

So, this is your opportunity to grab yourself a wearable piece of art glass, and at the same time help a worthy cause.

100% of the selling price for this auction will be donated to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

I have added more beads to my Fossil Collection this weekend, and here are a couple of my favourites;

I hope you like them. Enjoy the remainder of the weekend, and don't forget to bid for my Taveta pendant and help the orphan elephants. Thank you!

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Sweet Dream Necklace

I'm very excited to be able to show you this fabulous necklace that Nia has made, using a set of my implosion beads.

I thoroughly enjoyed making this set. The deep blue transparent glass contrasts well with the soft white, and while implosion beads aren't the simplest technique to master, this set just seemed to come together. I must have been in the zone that day!

Nia has matched the beads with amethyst, which she explains "is believed to aid restful sleep and promote intuitive dreams" - swarovski pearls and crystals, and Hilltribe silver.

Nia is a very talented jewellery designer, and you can see more of her work on her website and on Etsy. She has a Flickr album too, full of her gorgeous creations.

Charm Pendants

No new beads this week, but I have been making some jewellery. I've had all the components for making these pendants for ages, and I'm really pleased that they turned out exactly as I'd imagined them in my head. It so often happens that designs in my head don't translate well when I try to produce them in practice, so it is always something of a surprise when they work!

These are best worn on a longer chain, or leather cord, and these are both on 24" long necklets. I love the way the charms move when they're worn, and the slight tinkling of glass on glass. The beads are quite dainty at around 13mm in diameter, so not heavy enough to do each other any harm.

I've listed them on my Folksy Shop, but it will be a wrench if they sell as I'm rather fond of them!

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Fossil Collection

I'm still in "Fossil Zone", and I had a very productive day yesterday experimenting with different colours and effects. I absolutely love making the complex twisties that are the basis for these beads. Not only are they an excellent way of practicing heat control, they are also tremendous fun. I like to set myself little challenges, such as making the thinnest twistie, or the thickest twistie or the longest twistie. I just like to play really!

I will be listing these beads on my website some time over the weekend.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

I'm Website of the Week!

Gosh! I have been featured in the Spotlight slot over at

It is a really nice article, and I'm so pleased they have chosen my Bora Bora beads, because I absolutely love them! Those are them on the right-hand-side. I was so excited I took a screen grab. I've never been featured on someone else's homepage before!

They have also mentioned my fossil beads and included a photo of Mesozoic. They have described my designs thus; "whilst traditional in origin they are wonderfully contemporary". I am always interested to discover how other people perceive my work, as I'm highly critical of it myself, and it is impossible for me to view it objectively.

Pop over to Dichroic Glass's website for some great articles, and tutorials. It is an excellent resource for what's new in the world of glass. It's really flattering for me, as a lampworker, to be featured on a website that is mainly concerned with glass fusing.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008


I have just discovered It's still in Beta at the moment, but it's set to be a contender for Etsy. While Etsy is a US marketplace for all things handmade, Folksy is based in the UK. Hurrah! At long last there is a UK site where we can sell our handmade items in £ sterling!

I have set up a Bumpy Beads Shop on Folksy, although I have yet to list anything there , but it's good to be prepared!

There are some very talented crafters selling some beautiful things on Folksy, and it strikes me that this is yet another site where I will end up parting with more money than I end up taking! I love these;

Ah well, there are no pockets in shrouds.... :))

Sunday, 3 August 2008

More Fossil-inspired Beads

Ideas are like buses. You don't get one for ages, and then several arrive at once. At the moment I could spend every waking hour at my torch, and I still wouldn't have enough time to turn the ideas in my head into beads. Lack of torch time is a continual source of frustration to me, and so I have to make the most of the time I do have. Unfortunately it's not unusual to find that I sit in front of my torch, after waiting for days for the opportunity, only to find that every idea I've had has fallen irretrievably out of my head. Argh!

I've learned to jot my ideas down, so that on my empty-headed days I have somewhere to refer to. It certainly seems to be working at the moment. Here are today's offerings;




Saturday, 2 August 2008

Fossil Hunting

I happen to think this bead is one of the best I've ever made, and so it's definitely a "keeper". "Keepers" are those beads that you know you could just never sell, no matter what. I had a lovely session at the torch yesterday, and just before I finished, I decided to have a go at producing the bead that had been in my head since returning from holiday last weekend

We spent a fabulously sunshiney few days in Cornwall, and it was lovely catching up with friends. However, on the way to Cornwall we took at detour down to Charmouth in Dorset. We'd visited there last year, and I'd been eager to return. Charmouth is on the Jurassic Coast, and is the perfect place for fossil-hunting. So, armed with our hammers we set off to to find our own prehistoric relic. It's fairly easy to split the rock between its natural layers and find impressions of ammonites. It's not quite so easy to find an entire ammonite that has been washed out of the rock. But this time we did! It is tiny, measuring just 8mm in diameter, but perfectly formed. It has an irridescent sheen to it and I find it completely breathtaking.

As you can see, there's still a fair bit of sediment attached to it, but I'm too afraid to clean it up for fear of it completely disintegrating. What a tragedy it would be for it to have survived for 65 million years only for me to dissolve it in a bowl of water!

Anyway, back to my bead. (I can bring any conversation back to beads, I assure you...) Sometimes I see something, maybe a colour, or a shape, or a texture, and I can't settle until I've attempted to recreate it in glass. I've been like that since we unearthed the ammonite, and then yesterday my muse was in the right place to create something organic, and suddenly this fossil-like bead had created itself before my eyes. I can't really take the credit for it, because it honestly just sort of... happened.

So now I've awakened a new creative streak, and my head is buzzing with how I can take this in different directions. I'll let you know how it goes!