Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Jewellery lessons

Over the last 5 weeks I have been attending how to make jewellery lessons on a 1to1 basis with Val from Harvest Moon. Also known online as the Isle Of Wight  Bead Company.

I've really enjoyed the course. It cost £10 per session plus the materials.

Week one was a simple loop using headpins. I say simple but there is nothing simple about getting it perfect each and every time. I had lots of practice when I made this lovely charm bracelet using Indian glass beads and a pair of matching earrings.

Week Two was a double ended loop. First a simple loop on each side of the bead in this bracelet

and then a wrapped loop in this one.

Week Three was all about wirework.Val showed me how to make all the elements in this necklace including the clasp.

Week Four more wirework, this time I chose to use copper wire which I think sets of these beads of blues, greens and purples. I purposly went for a random look to this necklace as I tend to make very regular designs. Large intricate loops create this necklace. The beads are also wire wrapped with a spiral loop.

Week Five involved Tiger Tail. Firstly I made a bracelet using crimp beads,covers and gaurdians for a professional finish.

Next was a necklace, again using crimp beads and covers and finished off with callottes.

Finally to use up those little left over bits of Tiger Tail I made a pair of earrings.

Many apologies for the quality of the photo's, the light was really bad today.


Saturday, 28 July 2012

Frit Happens Monthly Challenges

As you can see the sun is shining again today but yesterday it was a little bit cooler and I was able to do some torching.

I finally got round to finishing my beads for the Frit Happens Monthly Theme Challenges.

The colour challenge was Effetre transparent Light violet. I made a large round hollow bead and 2 smaller oval beads and decorated them with Double Helix Triton stringer which when reduced has a lovely metallic shimmer to it in shades of silvery blue.

The monthly theme challenge was Sugar and Spice. I really struggled with this one and not may other people have posted yet I'm guessing others had the same problem.

I came up with these discs in shades of amber and coated them with clear and iris oramge frit to resemble sugar.

Both of these bead sets have been added for sale in my Etsy store.

I also had a play with one of my big hole mandrels and created this disc.

and an organic bead to match

Thanks for looking


Thursday, 26 July 2012

Too hot to torch!

Whilst it's lovely to have this heat wave, I wasn't able to get to the torch yesterday so have been making jewellery instead.

I made these little flowers using some gorgeous silver glass I hadn't tried before. It's Double Helix Aion 2, not dissimilar to DH Helios. It has a lovely sheen to it.

I had in my mind to make a pair of earrings that I had seen on Etsy (sorry can't find them now). They didn't work exactly as I had hoped but I still like them, and unusual for me the findings are gold instead of silver.

These are another pair of my Persian Delights earrings, this time in green and made with sterling silver earwires and headpins from Faith at Abyjem. She makes some stunning jewellery.

 I liked the organic bead I made a while ago so much I decided to make some more.

That purple one is gorgeous and I've made them into some necklaces.

A bit of fun.

I had in mind a stacked bracelet using some orphan beads and this lovely yarn made from recycled sari silk from Carolyn Saxby Textiles

Unfortunatley I cut the memory wire a bit too short and the yarn keeps shredding all over the place, so not a big success. Back to the drawing board.

 Thanks for looking


Monday, 23 July 2012

Copper patina components

I've been playing with copper effect patina and added these components to my Etsy store. They will make a lovely addition to your jewellery, earrings, necklaces and bracelets.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

A bit of a dilemma and Sunflowers

I am having a bit of a dilemma. When I first started this blog I was so interested in what I was learning I wanted to share everything I discovered. Whilst that has not changed I am finding myself wanting to keep things to myself for a while or not being able to show what I am working on because it can't be shown before a certain time or might be because I am working toward a competion.

So, I am struggling to show the beads I have made on a regular basis but will be more of a 'as and when'.

There has also been a lot about copying lately and this is another reason why I don't want to share some things until I have perfected them.

This is an example. I have been working on a sunflower bead design using enamels. At the moment I have taken this as far as I want to go. I may pick it up again at a later date when my skills have improved some more. So here is a catch-up.

Friday, 20 July 2012


I had a request for a hedgehog bead. I got a bit carried away and made 3!

This one's my favourite.

It's time for another colour challenge on FH. This one is Trans Violet 041. I've added some stringer decoration with DH Triton. I was a bit disappointed as the reduction on the first bead I made virtually disappeared. I don't know if it was the kiln wasn't hot enough when I put it in or it was in the kiln too long.

First time I've made beads using this size on the oval bead roller.

The bead in the middle is hollow and big!

TAG and Double Helix testing

The monthly theme challenge on CP is monsoon, I confess I don't have much in the way of inspiration for this. Usually something comes to mind straight away but apart from something to do with Monsoon the clothes shop rather than buckets of rain as we have had enough of that lately. So bright and cheerful with lots of sparkle got me playing with TAG (Trautman Art Glass) and Double Helix glasses to see what I could get out of them.

I also love using my disc roller and this was good practice.

With most of these beads I highly reduced them to get the irridescence to show itself.

From the left to the right Double Helix Electra: I seem to remember this had a lovely sheen on it when it went into the kiln, sadly it was missing when I pulled it out. Maybe the kiln wasn't hot enough, I must admit I rarely wait for it to come up to temperature before I start putting beads in.

Double Helix Gaia:  This has a lovely oil slick blue to the green, really nice.

TAG Golden Emerald: A pale green in the rod, this glass has turned an oil slick opally pale green.

TAG Montreux: This one looks exactly like a puddle of water with an oil slick in it. Yum.

TAG Zeus: Disappointingly this has no oil slick at all. A lovely golden colour in the rod, it now has an opaque sheen to it.

According to the tips and tricks on Tag http://www.taglass.com/working_ips_ricks.html Zeus should make a great electric purple over red and a peachy colour over gold ruby. As you can see from beads 6 and 7 this didn't happen for me.

TAG Cezanne: I tried do the reduction with no oxygen at all as I couldn't seem to get anything to happen. Didn't work though.

TAG Lake Geneva: another gorgeous greeny bluey shiny oilslick.

DH Helios: no surprises here a lovely shiny golden colour.

The next two weren't silver glass. Effetre Cobalt Blue 060 and Light Tourquoise 034.

The disc in the top photo was TAG Dali Lama, I didn't have much luck with this.

A while back I visited a stain glass studio to see if I could cadge any offcuts. This is some of the pieces I was given.

I had a go at making some beads using them.

As you can see, there was a lot of pitting on the sides. I am going to etch them, I think they will have a sea glass quality when done.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Sundays torch time

I didn't do much in the way of torching Sunday evening as I like to watch Once upon a time on tv.

I am really pleased with this bead though

I've added it to a snake chain and will be adding it to my Etsy store in the near future.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

A new necklace

I've finally finished this necklace which I've been working on for a little while. I'm really pleased with it.

Early start

I was wide awake at 6.15am this morning and as I knew I had to do a supermarket run this evening I decided to get up and do some torching.

I've been playing with Clio again. This started out as such a lovely bead and then I completely went and ruined it. Forgot to put the clear layer between the transparent orange and the Clio and came up with this blue colour.

Isn't it the most ugly bead you have ever seen? Saying that I made a bead ages ago that I thought was horrible and some of my family thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. So you there's no accounting for taste.

This is much more like it.

More silver glass, this time DH Triton, still over reducing so yet more practice needed.

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