Bead Shop Update: Wednesday, 14th September, 6.30pm BST

So, I’m back with the details of the bead shop update and some images of the other new beads I’ll be listing, aside from the sawdust fired beads I shared in the last post. The update will be happening this Wednesday, 14th September, 6.30pm BST. There are lots of new designs, including some new sets. I love the interaction of the glazes on these:

hazy-meadow-wheel-set-1

jewelled-primitive-barrel-set-golden-yellow

striped-primitive-barrel-set

primitive-scroll-set

sun-up-mini-tube-set

And this, above, is one of my current favourite glaze combinations.

sun-up-lantern-points

See?

There are a lot of new earring charms.

verdant-layers-bullets

dusk-over-snow-bullets

sun-down-bullets

escape-to-the-tropics-long-drops

tattered-industrial-drops

multi-glaze-numbered-industrial-drops

old-gold-textured-banded-drops

tribal-striped-lantern-drops

lagoon-and-egg-shell-pods

rosy-sky-shields

And that is just a few – believe me! I’ve also done some autumn. I don’t tend to do seasonal beads but, while I prefer summer, there’s something irresistible about the colours and forms of autumn.

autumn-leaves-group

seed-heads-group

seed-heads

But if that’s not for you there are some more colourful things.

moth-wings-group

There’s a scattering of head pins –

faded-shades-carved-porcelain-heapins

And the sets of earring pairs are making a return –

earring-pairs-a

along with more tubby cones…

glowing-embers-and-copper-tubby-cones

cognac-and-green-tea-chubby-cones

I think that’s most of the categories covered. Here’s a link to the bead shop. This lot will be up in the shop tomorrow at 6.30pm BST. I’ll leave you with a few more pics of more new things…

molten-ombre-cone-pair

red-copper-and-aqua-textured-discs

stick-stack-connectors-earthy

 

watercolour-wing-charms

Sawdust Firing Love

Several weeks ago I went to do a sawdust firing with Jenny Barton (Enigma Pottery), whose classes I attended a couple of years ago to refresh my ceramics knowledge.  It was the first time I’ve tried sawdust firing and a one-off session, so, in the weeks prior to doing it, I spent a good amount of time reading up on the process. Sawdust firing, if you don’t know, is a low-fire technique similar to pit-firing, but done in a brick built kiln or some kind of metal container (which is what I used), rather than a hole in the ground. The kiln is packed with sawdust and other combustibles, which surround whatever it is you’re firing. Amongst this, other materials can be included to create different fumes which produce different effects and colours on your work. This might include salt (and anything salty!), oxides, dried plant matter, different woods, different metals, etc… Once you’ve got everything in, you set light to the top of the sawdust and let it burn away slowly.  There’s no glaze involved: the look of the finished ware is entirely dependant on the chancy business of how the materials in the kiln burn. So, for some time, I was walking around looking at everything, thinking, ‘Will that burn?’ and ‘What will it bring if it does burn?’ I got a bit fixated..

sd-bone-beads

I’m mad about the results. I feel I can enthuse more because there’s so much chance involved, so I can’t claim that much credit. I had been pretty apprehensive about what would happen in the firing. I feared that everything would just get oxidised and turn black because there’s so little surface area on a bead. Don’t get me wrong, there are amazing studio ceramicists whose work is largely focused on using and adapting the blackened surface that can be achieved on sawdust fired ware (and, the wholly black beads I got are lovely); I just wanted to try all the things at once and, hopefully, get lots of variety.  So I was pretty thrilled to discover all these rich colours and subtle details as I cleaned the ash away from the beads. Thrilled to the point of thinking, ‘Oh my goodness! I just want to do nothing but sawdust firing all the time for the forever now!’

sd-buds

One thing I did contribute was a hell of a lot of burnishing. I feel a little giddy when I reflect on the hours which I spent rubbing away at these pieces. And then, once they were out of the firing, there was a whole heap of polishing and waxing. It’s crazy time consuming, but the finished surface is so nice.

ad-burnished-rounds-1

(Just perfect for Autumn, hey?)

ad-burnished-rounds-2

In my reading around the subject, I discovered a way in which I can actually carry on doing sawdust firing on a smaller scale – which pleases me very much!  I had been in two minds about it, but now it seems I’ll be able to make more, I’m ready to part with some of these. I’m still havering on pricing, given how long it took me to burnish and polish some of them. There are also some more kinda matt sawdust fired beads which I didn’t burnish and they will be cheaper.

sd-cones

Which means it’s update time! And I’ve just finished a large load of my regular fired, glazed beads too. I’ll share some pictures of those here in the next day or so, once I’ve got some taken, and I’ll confirm details of the update. It will be next week some time. In the meantime, here’s some more sawdust fired lovelies…

sd-head-pins

sd-spindles-1

sd-spindles-2

sd-pebble-nuggets

sd-little-logs

sd-tusk-charms

sd-carved-and-faceted

sd-pods

Oh, I haven’t included a link to the bead shop! Here’s one now!

Keeping Up With All The Things… new jewellery

So, for the last couple of weeks I have primarily been sat in my airing cupboard/metal studio, making tons of rings (and the odd earring). I know, I still haven’t managed to share any of this much mentioned metalwork. It’s been such a thing, and I feel I have this whole great epic tale to tell about it all. I shared a few pieces on Facebook a month or so ago, but I have made much more subsequently. All this means I’ve found little time to make my ‘regular’ beaded jewellery, and there’s been no bead making either! I’ll have to pull my ceramics finger out shortly because I’ve booked to do a one-off sawdust firing class later on in August and I need to get stuff prepared for that. As for making the regular jewellery, well, I’ve been fitting in a bit off it here and there. I’ve finally collected all these stray makes together and got them listed on Etsy today. Here they are…

bedouins 4 border crossing 1 entanglements 1 fallen nest 1 flight across the desert 1 for your sake 1 keeper of secrets 1 I meant for you to have it 1 leaf litter 1 market day 1 storm rolling in 1 the dancers what other body 1

Here’s another link to Etsy.

Right, time to get back in my metal hole….

Smitten Charity Jewellery Auction, in aid of Mind

For the last couple of years I’ve participated in a fabulous fundraising event, donating jewellery to be auctioned to raise funds for different charities. It is organised by Claire Braunbarth of Smitten Beads, with able support from Lindsay Phillipson and Kate Floate, and goes by the name, So Good I’m Smitten. And, all the jewellery that is made and donated is created by Smitten customers using some of the lovely beads that Claire sells. In 2014 we raised over £1200 for the The Alzheimer’s Society, and last year over £1800 was raised for Macmillan Cancer Support. This year’s charity is Mind, the mental health charity. As you may or may not know, it’s a cause that means a great deal to me; and, with NHS mental health services being ever more stretched, underfunded, and cut back, alternative sources of support are particularly vital right now. The auction takes place online, on a dedicated Facebook page. It’s really easy to participate; you don’t have to sign up or join anything. You just need a Paypal account to make your payment/donation – and a desire to own some lovely jewellery. You can see an album of all the jewellery that is available here. As you’ll see, the reserve prices are set at a very affordable rate. The auction starts today (15th July) at 5pm and runs until 8pm on Sunday evening (17th July). Here are the pieces I’ve donated. I’ve mixed in some of my ceramic pieces with the Smitten supplies.

SGIS bracelet lagoon feathers circles SGIS pendant necklace pendant on bust moorish

Here’s another link to the event page. And, again, a link to the auction album where you can place your bids. I do hope you’ll hop over and take a look!

More New Jewellery

Just a quickie to share the stack of new pieces that I just listed on Etsy. There’s a crop of new stacked totem type pendants. I haven’t made any for a while; they’re such fun to design.

Where Will I Wander 1 And All The Stars Were Gone 1 voodoo 1 Her Promethean Way1

tiny totem 1

This last one – the most mini – may be my favourite. I foresee more being made along the same lines. Here’s a more substantial piece, which I’m also rather taken with.

Trouble and Mischief Is All You Live For 1

And now the earrings. First of all, this trio, each pair featuring these lovely long sticks/spikes which I made when I was doing all my recent glaze-y experiments.

The unclaimed Wild Stretches 1

Give Me All Mountains 1

where is your comforting? 1

I also broke out some amazing lampwork beads that I’ve been a’hoarding. My hoarding seems to be at its worst when it comes to lampwork. These ones are very gloooooowy.

star stuff 1 kingfishers 1

And finally, a last few pairs with nothing to link them but loveliness!

citrus 1

limpets 1

palm-vines, ferns, and peperomias 1

Several pairs have already skidaddled out of the shop, but the rest are available here.

Some (Relatively) New Jewellery

I really should have written and shared this post a week or so ago, but I got sidetracked with the bead shop update (re. which: Thanks to everyone who shopped! I’ve just posted everything out!). I have yet to share these earrings that I added to the shop a week or so ago. So, this is a quick post to do just that!  A couple of pairs have sold but the rest are available on Etsy.

Across The Very-Marble Of This Place 1 all that remains 1 An Older Friend, The Sun 1 cressida 1 hell ain't half full 1 Life gets everywhere 1 sun spots 1 This Knowing 1

Finally, to mix things up, a lone bracelet –

works and days 1

I must make more new bracelets and necklaces – a job for this weekend, I think. Anyhow, for more pics and info on these, head to the shop. Ciao for now!

Bead Shop Update – Thursday, 30th June, 6.30pm BST

Dear God, it has been a horrendous week here in the UK. It’s taken something to shake myself out of staring into the middle distance, muttering about ‘hell’ and ‘handcarts’. But things have to go on and I have a new batch of beads for the taking. So, I’m going to update the bead shop tomorrow night (Thursday, 30th June) at 6.30pm (BST). It’s not quite as large an update as the last few, but there’s still a good amount, including *LOTS* of earring charms. I had so much fun combining different glazes with the last lot that I did, that almost as soon as I’d sent those out I made up stacks of different shaped charms to experiment with some more. They fall loosely into three different shapes. There are these bullet shaped ones (I’m not really happy with the term but I can’t think of another, suitable name).

vivid horizon bullets

Sun Up Bullets

red and black crackle bullets

Then there are some long skinny drops –

serenghetti long drops

grass green and nut butter turquoise long drops

turkish delight long drops

And finally, there are these kinda dagger/lantern shaped pairs.

glowing embers daggers

heather in the distance daggers

moorland daggers

That’s just a taster – there are lots more of each shape. Another new thing – these bone beads. Well, there’re not strictly bone-shaped, more flared tubes. What would you call them?

earthy bands bone set

striped bone bead set 1

olive band carved bone set 1

And here’s a set with one tube and lots of rounds. I have to share it here because it’s one of my favourites.

neutral bone set 1

I’ve made more of these concave charms…

astral concave earring charms

…quite a lot more…

molten red and old gold concave earring charms

And revisited these crescents connectors I made a while ago.

norwegian blue crescent connectorsaurora and old gold crescent connectors

These tubby cones were also popular last time –

olive and red cones spring candy cones

And there’s a few more pairs of cones, including these.

misty mountain cone pair

What else? Oooo – hold the front page! – I made three more pairs of these moth wings in different colours!

moth wings 1

There’s also the regulation crop of head pins.

celadon crackle and old gold pod pins 1

frayed crackled bud head pins 1

Aside from all these, there’s a number of mixed sets…

softly, softly set 1

dark steely set 1

Randoms set 1

several lots of scuffed, faceted porcelain beads,

scuffed faceted porcelain nuggets (blue, red, navy)

and a selection of other miscellaneous earring charms…

stylised porcelain seed pods

sundown conical earring charms

I reckon that’s everything. So, 6.30pm BST, Thursday, 30th June, 2016. And ! here’s a link to the shop !

 

New Earrings

Just an ultra quickie to share a crop of earrings that I’ve just listed on Etsy.

Brutalists 1

The more I look at these, the more I love the charms – so different and so cool. Yep, the more I look at them, the more I can be content with the possibility that they won’t sell.

Precious Stain 1

I have similar feelings towards these, especially the lampwork – so soft… and blueberry-y…

Saints, Blood, Milk, Honey 1

The Moon Hurt No One 1

Sentries 1

These last ones really need a better photo to capture their loveliness. I do love me a skinny earring…

The Little Thin Things, Paul 1

What The Fair Left 1

Then You Win 1

Plenty of neutrals in this batch… just so hard to resist…

Those Grand Old Ladies 1

And that’s it for this little lot. As I said, they’re available here. In other news, I’ve actually taken some photos of my silver stuff so I’ll back back to share some of that some time soon. Happy weekending!