New Beads

Oh dear – poor old blog, I do neglect you sometimes. And you’re going to get slightly shabby treatment now too. I listed a heap of new beads last week. Lots and lots of them – by far the biggest shop update I’ve ever done!  A good number have sold but there’s still a lot of choice.  Anyway, I should have blogged about them but i had to do a post for Art Bead Scene, so I blogged there about them. Now, lazily, I’m just going to copy that post and share it here too…..


Oh boy, have I been busy!  As you may know if you regularly read this blog, I got a kiln fairly recently and have been making ceramic beads.  Prior to that, for a short while, I was getting my stuff fired at a local potter’s place.  I’m now falling into a production cycle of firings that results in large batches of beads.  I may be wrong, but as I understand it, many ceramic bead makers use a kiln that is a bit smaller than the one I chose (now christened Bertha).  So, my production cycle involves spending an age making up heaps and heaps of greenware to fill up all that space, ready to be bisque fired.

As you can see, I could actually get much more in here but I can only wait so long! I opted for a larger size because it was not that much more to get a kiln three times the size of the very smallest.  Also, I was bothered that I wouldn’t be able to get many beads racks in glaze firings if I went for the small kiln.  But, the drawback is that it takes a long time to get a batch of beads completed. It also means that I end up with a massive mountain of bisque that needs glazing, which can be a bit overwhelming.  All this aside, I’m still loving the whole process. It was very good to get this greenware cooking. Did I whisper, Go, Bertha, Go!, as she whirred into action? I may have… . Then, after four glaze firings – two different stonewares and two different earthenwares – I finally had my batch finished.  And then it was time for the dreaded photographing, editing and listing, which has taken much of this week. I finally got all these new beads into my bead shop last night.  Anyway, time for a photo feast. Like I said, there were rather a lot of them…

Lots of earring beads, including lots of my point pairs…

and a range of polka dot porcelain spears.

I’ve been experimenting with making breastplate pendant connectors,

along with lots of other pendants:

And I’m still obsessed with all things seed pod and lily-like:

I have tiger stripe beads in a rainbow of shades, including these:

And plenty of these pennant sets –

I decided to go in for the whole Marsala thing – and bought too many Marsala-y glazes. Some worked better then others….

These roses have been very popular so I made up plenty of sets; here are just a few:

And, of course, there’s always a call for birds:

I had lots of fun selecting palettes for these sets:

And here’s a last few bits:

These are just a few from that mountain in the kiln, so if you’re interested in seeing the others, click here.

As I said, many have sold – thank you, lovely customers –


but there are still plenty available!

Art Bead Scene team member’s challenge blog hop

Once again, the editorial team (or some of the editorial team!) from Art Bead Scene have decided to take on the monthly challenge. Here’s the challenge image.

Amapolas-News of spring and other nature studies 1917

Amapolas, 1913

Illustration published in News of Spring and Other Nature Studies

by Edward Julius Detmold

I have to admit that this one had me a little stumped. It’s been a hectic (for me) week and I left my makes till the last minute. So, yesterday saw me scratching around, desperately trying to put something together. For some reason, I was quite set on making earrings. I’m not sure what my problem was. There are a couple of obvious tropes – poppies and butterflies – but the things that appealed to me most in this image were the windswept-ness (nope, not a word) and the slightly faded, washed out colours. The poppies and butterflies I had in my stash were too crisp and stylised to work, so I tried focusing on the colours. As ever, Brandi’s palette post was a great help. I tried pulling together various elements using the different shades Brandi picked out, but I was still struggling. Finally, I remembered some suede poppies that I got some time ago. In the same box I found some lovely wooden oval shaped buttons, that matched the grey-brown in the palette. I stacked up some bead caps to form the poppy centres and – lo! – I had the makings of a pair of earrings. But I’d forgotten something – guess what? Art beads, of course!  I tried sitting a number of rondelles on the top of the buttons but they were all too big and too busy. Eventually, I reached for a pair of lampwork spacers that I’ve had for ages. They were just right: and a beautiful shade of deep olive green. Unfortunately, I’ve had them so long, I have forgotten where they came from….. Sorry!

poppy earrings 1

Perhaps art beads should be playing a more prominent role but, really, after all my troubles I decided they’d have to do.

poppy earrings 2

To compensate, I managed to come up with another pair. I decided to swerve the various reds and worked with some of the more muted, earthy shades, the greens and browns. I’d already been playing around with a pair of bronzy-brown Scorched Earth leaves. I teamed them with some of my own ceramic roses.

rose leaf earrings 1

The roses had actually been kiln casualties.  I glazed them with one of the most crazy glazes I’ve ever encountered (I hadn’t used it before). Anyway, it broke up in a very strange way, leaving the roses largely a creamy colour but with a subtle marbling of plum, which is a good match for that in Brandi’s palette.

detail rose

It’s quite a pleasing effect and I might have listed them if they hadn’t also adhered themselves to the wires on which they were hung. Still, I kept hold of them and now I had the perfect use for them. After sitting some dainty dusky pink and white picasso rondelles on top of the roses, I made the wires into connectors. I hung the leaves below them with more czech glass and some little porcelain beads.

rose leaf 2

Looking at these pieces, I seem to have travelled some way from the inspiration, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. So long as the process leads to results with which you are happy, then the inspiration has served its purpose.

Be sure to have a look at what everyone else has come up with:

Art Bead Scene

Rebecca Anderson – Songbead

Tari Sasser – Creative Impressions in Clay

Heather Powers – Humblebeads