I have been working on a few characterful sets recently. This one is all about ladybirds…
I particularly like the design because of the little green guy going the opposite way to all the rest!
I have been working on a few characterful sets recently. This one is all about ladybirds…
I particularly like the design because of the little green guy going the opposite way to all the rest!
A set of charm beads that can be worn on Trollbead necklaces and bracelets that is inspired by my favourite flowers, colours, natural landscapes and imagery.
I wanted to make a versatile set that could be worn with anything and had really rich and eloquent colour palette.
I love sunset and sunrise colours of the sky and different light effects, the natural landscape, rock formations, the movement of water, and anyone that knows me knows I love my flowers! These set of beads embrace all of those things. Basically I just sat there at the torch and just went to town with no constraints. It was very liberating and therapeutic!
Some of the beads are reminiscent of petals, some depict actual petals, some have elements of cloud patterns and others just indulge a colour and run with it. Every bead is there for a reason and tells it's own little story.
There are little touches all over the place and accents of metallic gold to bring a little plushness to the set here and there.
This last set of pictures is all about my favourite bead of the lot. This petally blue one. There's got to be a 'special, special' bead in any set and this is it for me. It was inspired by the petals of the agapanthus flower pictured above which is one of my all time favourite flowers. I love love love this bead. It is sitting next to my baby dragon silver bead at the moment and is very happy indeed.
Many thanks for taking the time to read my blog xx
Sugar and spice and all things nice. This charm bead set is frivolous and fun. Spring has sprung! The Easter bunny's hopping about and all is right with the world!
I've been having a lot of fun with tricksy colour combinations and unusual designs. It actually started with this flamingo jumper.
I decided to use the colour theme as the palette and see what happened.
There was a kind of sea foam greeny blue, a rich yellow, a candy pink, a lilac, a more puce pink and a tiny hint of grass green here and there.
I wanted them to look like candy or jelly beans and even did one with twirled candy stripes! Coming up to Easter they seem quite fitting!
Many thanks for reading my blog xx
New for 2018. Bespoke necklaces, made to measure. Each bead can mean something special and particular to the wearer. Choose your colours, choose your shapes. The only limit is the imagination!!
This particular set was inspired by this pot of tulips!
Thank you for reading my blog xx
I was dabbling about the other day making some beads for the BOC (Beads of Courage a fabulous charity that needs loads of support,) and started doing some little character girly beads. I got quite carried away!
There are going to be loads more where these came from I can tell. Any name ideas you have, let me know!!
It's sort of apt with the suffragette 100 year anniversary in a way and a bit of fun too! Go girls!!
So many colours! All the 'paintbrushes' lined up...
Thank you for reading my blog. x
I was very chuffed at Christmas because my Mum bought me a lovely Trollbeads silver fish for a present, so while I had a bit of time over the holiday, I thought I would make myself some fish themed beadies to go with it.
Had a loads of fun doing this one! I love fish!. My latest hobby is tropical fish aquariums which I do with my son Tom. At the moment we have two aquariums, but are planning the third...
A little close up of my favourite bead. I love the blue/green combo and the sense of depth that you get with this one...
I love this fishy ceramic that I found the glaze colours are really lovely. Some good ideas here for the next set of fishes...
Many thanks for reading my blog xx
I have always loved the concept of a 'Winter White' outfit!
It's not very practical but all of those lovely mixtures of cosy cream knits, pure white and maybe a touch of silver grey it my favourite kind of look during the chilly months. I love all that layering and I think it gives a feeling of sophistication but understated elegance.
White and black beads are always a good neutral option and go with this look well, but over the holiday I thought about making a set of beads for me to put on my Trollbead bracelet and necklace that used a more subtle colour palette and I was so pleased with the results.
If you look up 'winter white' on pinterest you will find lots of lovely pictures of winter white fashions and clothing combinations so I wont put any here, but some images that help bring my idea to life and served as inspiration for my work at the torch are shown here.
You may remember that a little while ago we had a bit of a cold snap and had snow here for a little while. I think this is what started me off on the idea. This was a couple of views out of my window on the Sunday morning when I woke up. I love the creamy hues merging into oyster as the sun comes up paired with the ever so subtle bluey white of the snow.
For me the idea is all about the juxtaposition of the cold with the warm. Pure and crispy icy whiteness reminiscent of deep and crunchy snow underfoot or the ice cold wind whipping past your face, combined with an overcast and heavy sky that offers a silver grey atmospheric contrast, all that joined with the warm creams of fluffy blankets, log fire warmed cheeks, cashmere cardigans or the biggest latte coffee held in both hands that brings warmth into your bones.
I added swirls of clear for lots of magnification, and to suggest the idea of solid ice...
I was really happy with them all in the end so can't wait to wear them! The only thing I might need now is a new 'Winter White' outfit to go with them!!! Hee Hee!
Many thanks for reading the blog xx
OK - so from time to time you get a project that you just cant say no to. One of these came my way just before Christmas...
Let me introduce Missy a lovely little tricolour tortoiseshell cat. One of my lovely customers (the same lady that gave me the reptile and snake beads job), asked me if I could recreate Missy's fur in a set of beads!!
Well! I didn't know if I could make anything remotely acceptable but thought I would give it a whirl. I remembered a technique that I used for the set of garden beads (from the "How does your garden grow blog" for the 'Sunlight Through Hazel' bead pictured above) that I thought i might be able to use as a start point so I started there and played around a bit.
I had quite a few sessions at the torch trying to get colours and textures right and eventually I felt like I was getting warm. Here is a bead from the final set with Missy's picture!
The added factor (which makes it quite exciting) is that orange glass looks blacky brown when it is hot so when I had the bead in a semi molten state and started to build up the texture, I can't tell fully where the orange sections end and the black sections begin. The real finished look of the bead only becomes apparent when they come out of the kiln and are cool.
Thanks to the lovely Cerry as always for giving me a great piece of work and a wonderful challenge. Many thanks for reading the blog xx
While we were in Greece last summer we had two fantastic sailing guides Mihai and Monika. They shared with us their favourite place 'Ormos Polis' which is one of the most tiny and beautiful coves in the Ionian.
Beautiful crystal green water , coupled with all kinds of sea life, pools and little caves made it a magical place to spend a wonderful couple of days.
I promised back then to make Monika a special bead that would remind her of Polis Bay forever. Well finally I am about to send it off to her. I hope she likes it.
It was important to get that lovely sea green colour right, and I must admit I did not get it right first time!!
I started with a core of ivory glass for the rocks and then used layers of transparent green and blue glass to build up the feeling of the deeper water. I used some fine silver foil to bring the reflective quality of the water to the bead and then worked on the details of the colour changes as the water becomes shallower towards the shore.
The last picture is of Tommy having a final chill before we jumped back on the boat to go off to the next destination!
Could do with a bit of that sunshine today in England, bloomin' freezing right now!
I have been playing with some little floral fresh looking beads to make some necklaces and bracelets. Sometimes the simplest of things can be really effective.
The emerald green, white and warm yellow combination really looks great with a nice crisp white linen shirt, and the clear glass adds to the sense of freshness and clean-ness and clarity!
For ages I've been wanting to post a little 'how I make' video. For anyone that is curious as to how my beads come to life, this 4 minute video will do the job...
Here are some close up pictures of my finished flowers.....
I wanted to create a handmade silver ring design with a bold statement. The 'Warrior' ring signifies strength but also resilience. I wanted the wearer to feel strong, empowered and brave. Chunky silver jewellery always does that job for me but I wanted to accentuate this feeling even more! The ring has a substantial weight to it and it is built using a 'wrap-around' style.
The detail is provided by three sterling silver balls which are attached diagonally to the top of the wrapped part. I think it has the impression of armour in a way, and also reminds me of the Orion constellation in space which has the three bright stabilising stars that form Orion's belt.
All of the work I do uses traditional silver-smithing techniques. I use hand tools and tried and tested methods*. These methods are not speedy, (the ring from start to finish took a good few hours,) but I think you do end up with a superior product that looks fabulous and feels fantastic to wear. I just wanted to show some of the stages that take place in order to transform a flat lifeless piece of sterling silver sheet into a finished dynamic piece of jewellery.
The whole process is incredibly stimulating and fun for me. Here's a sneeky-peek into the kinds of things I get up to when I'm making one of these babies. So with that in mind, here's a 6 minute movie that shows you some of the elements:
My boys say that my voice sounds far too relaxing on the tape (!)...so I guess an alternative way you could use the video is to close your eyes, drift off, and have a 6min nap - could be equally therapeutic for you!!!
(I will try to sound a bit more perky in the next one boys!!!)
It's my first try at 'vlogging' so forgive me if it is not as 'slick' as it could be. (I'm just a beginner ;-)) but I hope it gives you a flavour of what's involved:
I do love doing this work. Right from the beginning the intrigue starts...I measure my clients fingers and start to understand what they might like, the designing bit is exhilarating as I start to feel the piece come alive in the drawings, and the 'making' part itself is really fulfilling as we get closer and closer to the baby being 'born' as it were.
Please pass on my details to anyone who might like a nice bespoke piece made for them, I tend to get work on a 'word of mouth' basis rather than by advertising so any personal referrals are like gold dust to me!
Also, don't forget to click through to Facebook and 'like' my page if you would like to see my latest images and projects I have on the go. I value your support immensely.
*(Thank you as always to my fabulous tutor Janet Richardson who taught me all the right moves as far as silver is concerned..).
This is going to be a short and sweet one! Just showing some little sculptural flowers that I did a while ago...
I love the mixture of colour and textures..
Was really pleased how they turned out...
Thank you for looking at the blog x
My latest commission has been fantastic because I have had lots of freedom to create a theme and produce 3 different pieces for a complete set. I also got to flex my silversmithing muscles as I created a Fantasy style necklace to complete the set that is to be worn with one of my mega charm beads
Ok so the brief was to create a set of charm beads to wear to a wedding in Las Vegas!! There needed to be plenty of bling, which meant I could use lots of inclusions in my glass like fine silver droplets, fine silver foil, cubic zirconias and I could use lots of glass because she wanted the charm bracelet bit to literally be dripping off her arm; but the colour of the dress my client was wearing is VERY subtle a kind of almost pink but not too 'rosy'. A bit 'champagne' but not too yellow....
So the beads that I made could not argue with the dress at all and the colour palette had to remain really subtle otherwise the jewellery would completely overpower the dress!
Here is the dress and a close up of the fabric. You can see that what ever jewellery is worn with it has to work with the colours of the fabric itself and the colours of the shadows that naturally fall as the dress is in two layers. The holes are quite defined on the bare skin part of the dress as well which means that my client's skin tone will also alter the look of the colour too.
(My client has a good tan at the moment which means there is a more caramel look to those parts of the dress which needed to be taken into account).
This was the colour palette that we chose at the start of the project. Later on, we warmed it up with a bit of amber and caramel added in...
Here are the beads one by one with a bit of detail about each of them:
I bought in these Swarovski bricolette charm beads to complement the set. They bring an extra bit of sparkle to the bracelet...
Here is the finished bracelet shown from different angles. I took these pics in sunlight to catch all the sparkle I could! The bracelet is shown complete with a number of specially chosen Trollbeads and Redbalifrog silvers to finish it off to a tee...
And here are the earrings and mega charm pendant bead shown on a classic necklace and on the new Fantasy style necklace that I made.
We went very simple with the earrings. I chose some simple Swarovski Crystal beads and made them into earrings using sterling silver earwires.
This bead is over 20 mm in diameter. It's got lots of colours and spirals going all the way round.
I delicately put the necklace together using 100cm of sterling silver chain. I soldered the important parts that needed strength, then oxidised the entire piece and polished it back. I love the result! I can make more of them if required at a fraction of the price of what the big guys charge...
That's all for now. Thank you for taking the time to browse my blog... x
I have always loved dragonflies and I wanted to use them as an icon for my glass work as they stand for lightness, elegance, freshness and colour which are the kinds of values I want to imbue in my glass.
Meadowhawk was perfect as a brand name for my company. I loved the sound and connotations of the word 'Meadowhawk' on it's own. It's all about naturalness and the countryside and outdoors but more importantly a meadowhawk is a kind of dragonfly. We call them 'Darters' here n the UK.
For ages I have been working on a little side-project which is to get a nice design for a dragonfly pendant. Here's where I have got to so far....
Here is my workspace set up for dragonfly making...
Here are my dragonfly colours and tools...
First all I have to make a selection of wings.
Sometimes I make them totally clear, other times they have wispy bits of black in them and other transparent glass colours to suggest the little veins in the wings of a real dragonfly.
They don't look much like wings yet do they? Hee Hee!
This little guy has a bit of a stubby tail I think. But he's still cute
This one is the middle size one in the family. I like the way the metallic glass on his back has fumed onto the blue glass making a hazy green metallic effect....
This one is a bit bigger and looks rather elegant on:
I hope you enjoyed my dragonflies. More coming soon xxx
The other day I got a little commission request for a memorial bead, so I thought that it might be nice to show some of my memorial beads and explain a little bit about them.
When someone loses a close relative or a beloved pet there is a real need for some people to keep a little memory of them close to their heart.
I know this all too well as when my beloved Dennis died (our eleven year old chocolate Labrador) I kept his ashes under my bed for a year before I finally decided to do something with them. I just felt happy knowing that he was near me every night when I was asleep. It gave me the connection with him that I still really needed even after he had passed away.
It is possible to encase fragments of cremated ashes within glass and I have some beads that I've made in this way here to show you. By doing this a little piece of your loved ones can be kept near you at all times and any time you want to you can look at them and remember them. It's also nice because they give you a tangible reminder that you can actually hold in your hand and touch which is very comforting!
The memorial pieces don't have to necessarily be jewellery.
Men for example might prefer a little glass pebble that they can keep in a drawer or even in a pocket. or little bead on a string or ribbon which is simply intended as a keepsake rather than a bead to be worn.
That's enough chat. I will let the beads do the talking for the most part!
This is a colour-changing 'Silver Glass' pendant. You can see the little swirls of ash encircle the bubble.
Here is the same pendant with a matching set of charm beads.
The following items were individual charm bead commissions:
(There is a lovely swirl around this one)
This one has a kind of Galaxy/Space kind of feel about it.... It was made big enough to be worn as a pendant on a cord or leather thong. Alternatively it can be worn on the wrist like a regular charm bead.
This one was such a beauty, I couldn't leave it out!
The next set of beads are more 'Organic' in style and more natural and earthy looking:
This picture shows a pretty good close up of what's going on inside the bead. I love the design that the ash helps to make inside. Each one is so individual and unique.
The last set shown here are much more simple in style and the ash particles are more visible in some cases. These ones I like to call 'Clarity'. Even though they can be made in all kinds of colours I think blues, greens and purples look the best.
These show various levels of visibility of the ash. Some people like that the ash is almost fully hidden so only they know that it's there. Other's like it to be fully visible...
The little bubbles seen here are a natural part of the process...
This one is a pretty bluey/pink colour.
This one is an interesting mix of turquoise and amber transparent glass:
This one is a more pure watery blue with clear encasing. This means that you can see pretty good detail of the ashes particles:
I hope you have enjoyed having a look at these.
Best wishes to everyone! xxx
So just a few sunny days ago, I took the most glorious walk around the woodland trails at Cliveden which is a National Trust treasure of a place near me.
The woodland was full of these beauties. The air was so fragrant with their scent; it was quite magical!
I was captivated by the colour of the bluebells the mauve and blue tones merged almost imperceptibly but still I was aware of the two lovely colours and the many shades of those colours that made the bluebells so stunning.
Just had to try to capture the colour, depth and shading with the glass! I used layers of lilac, dark lavender, light blue transparent, intense blue transparent and touches of Thomson enamels, CIM jellyfish and crocus plus a bit of periwinkle opaque glass. I knew that in some frequencies of light the dark lavender and crocus changed the way it came across.
It sometimes looks mauve/pink and in other lights looks completely blue/grey.
This in the set under tungsten light. you can clearly see the gradation in the middle bead from lavender to pink, but in the next picture on the the same bead looks completely lilac. It's the same bead..Funny isn't it?
I was very pleased with them - so much so, that these little ones are keepers!!!
I know...... naughty aren't I ;-) ?
Here are some more glossy photos. But in order to light them up properly I had to use my studio lights which meant that some of the pink tones were lost. Anyone who has some really good camera knowledge could maybe tell me how I could have done it better and managed to retain the pinker hue?
(Incidentally, I also tried to photograph them in sunlight and a more dull natural light, but the vivid pinky mauve only seems to be visible with a yellower tungsten bulb.. I don't really understand why...)
Here they are individually:
This one was pinky mauve on the inside with a tiny dusting of enamel on the surface and the bobbly one was pinker inside and blue on the outside to get the dual tone.
I love the sparkly one below. It also has two layers. You can see as the light passes through it that the pinker/mauve shines through.
..And here they all are on bracelet with the photo that inspired them:
I hope you enjoyed reading the blog
Thank you x
This is going to be a really quick and snappy one!
I just wanted to get these little beauties logged onto the blog. The photos came out so great and the colours really pop!
Recently I've been working on my pinks and purples for a project and just had to do a set of simple charm beads that used the entire colour range!
I just love them all....
Making special sets for special occasions is something I love to get the chance to do...
This week I have had a great project on the go, making a set of charm beads and a matching pendant to go with an outfit for a wedding in July. I love doing the real one-offs and getting deep down into what is desired for the occasion.
Here is the dress
She is going to team it with a very light silver grey shawl or cardi and shoes in the same colour. It will look very elegant...
My lady wanted to bring out the bright cornflower/electric blue colour that is apparent on little patches in the pattern of the fabric and have a statement set of beads made especially for the day.
Here are some inspirational pictures from nature that show off this wonderful colour...
Of course there are delicate cornflowers, electric lightning bolts, the iridescent blue on butterfly's wings or beetle's wing cases. I wanted to try to create all the energy that this colour evokes with glass...
So I started to focus on the colours within the colour...
There's actually not one 'colour' here at all; there is a mixture of lighter bright turquoise electric blue, which then merges into bright electric purple at times and fades down into the deepest navy.
I needed to make the beads 'pop' in the same way and utilise these nuances of colour within the glass to bring the beads alive..
Here are a few close ups.
The wrap bead is the darkest of them all but the pure clear wrap allows the light in a bit. It has a flow about it and it has great tactility.
This one on the right is a kind of speckled design. I liked it because it also lets the light burn through but in a different way... There are 3 different shades of blue in this one!
This is the flower petal one.
Not really a cornflower, but still, so delicate and graceful..
I'm loving these silver droplet ones at the moment...
This one is all about electric currents and energy.
This one is my fave!
Made with that glorious silver glass again and a very light blue encasement! This one is a bit 'under-the-sea' ish.
And now for the pendant!
I definitely got that lush water-mouthy feeling when I got this one out of the kiln and straight away said to my customer that if she didn't want this one, there was no trouble as I would have it myself!!! (...But unfortunately, she loved it straightaway too!!)
The beautiful swirls of colour are dreamy. It's about 3 cm in diameter.
I made it so that she cold wear it on her Trollbead necklace, so it has a 4mm silver core like a regular charm bead but it is oh so much bigger...
This type of bead makes a real statement on the Trollbead necklace. They are so unusual. Guaranteed to catch the eye! Very versatile too; as they sit quite comfortably on ribbon or simply strung on cord or leather when one fancies a change..
The close up here shows the pendant in all it's glory.
And here are the charm beads on the charm bracelet with some silvers too..
As always thank you very much for reading the blog x