Thursday, 27 October 2011

Polymer Clay

Unfortunately it was a couple of months before my class and having done a lot of research on the net I discovered that polymer clay can be made to look like glass beads and is a lot less expensive to set up.

Have a look at these:

Aren't they fabulous!

Having bought a small kit when I was in Bath I settled down to have a go. I started by making some plain beads and tried to put some holes in them so that I could string them. It wasn't easy - they kept going out of shape. Fortunately there is a wealth of information available and I think that this website is probably the best

There are tutorials for every aspect of polymer clay making.

I discovered that Fimo gets squidgy when warm so if you put it in the fridge for a while it hardens and then you can put the holes in the beads without them losing their shape.

It's amazing how quickly you find that you need this tool and that tool before you can make anything. I needed the following

Pasta maker - makies it easier to condition the Fimo and mix the colours
Blades for cutting
Acrylic roller
Assorted cutting shapes

This book:

was recommended several times by various different sites and as I hadn't done any colour mixing before I bought a copy. To be honest although I found the book interesting I found that most of the projects used an awfully large ammount of Fimo.

I started out by making these tasting tiles

I'm pretty sure I followed the instructions correctly but when I took the tiles out of the oven I found that they were very brittle and snapped very easily.

I then made these

I found they used a lot of clay and I couldn't work out how I could easily re-produce a particular colour without going through the whole complicated process.

Personally if you're new to polymer clay, I'd give it a miss. If you are interested yu can also find out a lot of stuff that is in the book on Maggie Maggio's(co-author) website:

I found it used a lot less clay and you could get some great colours using this method:

You can see the full instructions here:

I had great fun making these and the colours are easily re-produced.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Lampwork Beads

Back in the summer I visited a few artists during the Open Studio weekend. I turned up to a bungalow in Cowes and followed the signs round to the back garden where there was this cute little house made of wood. I was welcomed in and there was this lady called Anna who was busy making glass beads. I was the only person there as it was quite early in the morning but she was happy to explain what she was doing and I was fascinated. I asked whether she did tuition but unfortunately she didn't.

She has a website and I see that she has won a competition recently with these georgeous blown glass beads.

I decided that I would really like to have a go at this hobby so I did some research and found out that a lady called Becky Fairclough from Chameleon Designs was doing tution not far from where my mum lives. So I booked a 2 day beginners course which would provide all I needed to know to start the hobby at home if I liked it.

Becky has a wesbite and has a very unique style. I will write some more and post some pictures in a later post.

Sunday, 23 October 2011


I am very lucky to be living on the Isle of Wight and surrounded by the sea. There are always opportunities to go beachcombing and I love looking for seaglass. I have started making some jewellery incorporating some of my finds and have added them to my Etsy store.


Saturday, 22 October 2011

Bitten by the jewellery bug

I'm a big fan of charity shops and to add to my handmade ceramic beads I started looking for jewellery that I could break up and up-cycle into new jewellery designs. I also visited Purple Moon beads who are over in Ventnor. It is a small shop but they have some useful glass chips and seed beads at a reasonable price.
This is their website they seem to specialise in chainmaile which I haven't tried yet.

Using some more of my ceramic beads and my up-cycled beads I have made some more creations, of which some I wear and some I am going to put for sale on this blog and in my Etsy store.

Beads Shops in Bath

We hunted out two bead shops that I had looked up on the internet before we went away. Good job I did as 1 was a little out of the way.

The first one was Bijoux Beads, we found them to be a bit posh and very expensive. I didn't really appreciate the notice about not being able to take pictures either.

The other was Shiney Rocks. They had several necklaces for sale which had lovely colour combinations and really 'talked' to me. I thought that they would be relatively simple to make and purchased one so that I wouldn't forget what it was like. How many times have you seen something you'd like to make and then forgotten about it later?

The necklace was made using 4 strands of coloured wire - which they sell. As they do jewellery classes I was sure they wouldn't mind my using their idea especially if I bought the materials from them, so I asked which gauge wire was used and purchased several colours.

Here is a necklace and earrings I made using this design.

I also purchased a Fimo Soft Clay Kit as I fancy having a go at this.

Weekend in Bath

Had a weekend away trip to Bath with the same friend who introduced me to jewellery making.

Because it was a last minute trip and wishing to save some of our pennies, we ended up staying in a 12 bed mixed sex dorm in a hostel - my first time..... needless to say we didn't get a lot of sleep!

I really liked Bath, it's architechtually beautiful and has lots of lovely shops!

We visitied the Abbey and I was inspired by the colour combinations of an exhibition of tapestries. The quality was amazing!

I took some quick snaps as I was sure the colours would inspire me in my jewellery making.


Friday, 21 October 2011

Spotlight on Kristi Bowman

I am fascinated by the work of Kristi Bowman. I love the rustic textures she uses and the rainbow patina on her precious metal copper pieces.

She currently has a special offer on her work and is offering a chance to win a pair of these adorable earrings.

Checkout the details in her blog here:

Thursday, 13 October 2011

My first piece of handmade jewellery

Of course having made all of those lovely ceramic beads it would be a crime if I didn't make them into something to wear. The Old Post Office had a jewellery workshop evening so I joined them and made this necklace, bracelet and earrings. I used some lovely large brown glass beads, some small square green beads and some small pale peach beads to compliment the pistachio beads that I had made.

The pistachio beads had quite large holes so I made some silver spirals and glued them each end of the bead so that they would sit better on the wire. I used a toggle clasp to fasten the necklace and used elastic for the bracelet as I think they are easier to put on.

I have quite a few clothes in that lovely lime green colour so will be wearing this set often!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...