MEADOWHAWK JEWELLERY

one-of-a-kind handmade glass beads and bespoke silver jewellery by Chellie Purnell

Lotus

'Chellie6 Comments

This lovely set has just been finished.

The brief was for a calm watery set with a colour theme of teal and aqua.

I wanted to create a set of beads with lots of texture but retain the flow and quality of water that would lend to the set a sense of tranquility.

They are called 'Lotus' because they remind me of the lotus yoga position which can be used for meditation and relaxation. I imagine someone completely serene and peaceful sitting, maybe on a warm airy beach with the sun going down.  (Not me though; ...anyone who knows me will know that me getting to that beach in that kind of chilled out state is about as likely as seeing an elephant on a tightrope on Maidenhead High Street.

Anyway, moving on... the set of beads is all about serenity and peace. Maybe they will transmit those vibes to their new owner... I hope so.....

Here are some close ups of the set. The nearest bead to the camera is a mix of teal and aqua glass with a wrap of reflective 'oil on water'  silver colour changing glass around it.

 This one is a light teal pure and clear bead with little fine silver droplets.

This one is more organic in feel. It has little silvered ivory petals inside a light teal encasement.

I was really happy about this one. It's very simple and has lovely clarity. It has a teal centre with a twilight blue layer over the top. It has a very interesting and unexpected effect when the light shines through it as the colours are perceived differently from different angles.

These last two pictures show the whole set of six beads on a bracelet with some silvers to set them off.

I like the light and shade in the set and the texture that I ended up with.The mix across the colours turned out great from greeny/teal to twilight grey/blue.

I hope my fabulous friend likes them...

Festival Beads - Spring Has Sprung Early!

'ChellieComment

These beads were a bit different for me. I wanted something light and fun and I fancied doing some more fine pattern work using dots and gravity. I love them!

Back along I did a series of five or six beads that I called the Festival Collection. See below:

I wanted to do something using a similar technique but using a much brighter, lighter palette, and as you can see the beads came out with a slightly different feel.

I chose some 'spring' like colours. Some vibrant brights and other pastel shades. I had to make the stringers really thin as some of the detailed dots needed to be really tiny.

This is a hexagonal bead with bobbles. Layers of white and colour gradually getting smaller as they get to the top. I love the zing of this one!

This lime and turquoise one is also very zesty....

This is a calmer pastel take on the Spring look. Delicate minty green, aqua and soft purple....

Lime green and white... Energetic, lively and bouncy....

Ooh I love this one! It grades from a deep (almost purple) blue to a limey (almost yellow) green. It's light and sunny; you really feels like you could get lost in it. The large ring of six dots on either side merge into each other in the centre to make a pleasing zigzag.

Blue sky thinking.... This one reminds me of ceramics. I used some CIM glass in 'ming' and 'electric blue' for this and because I heated it quite crazily the glass colours have spread to create a 'fuzzy' edge. At first I thought I might have messed it up, but I actually like the effect its made...

 Lastly, this one is quite unusual. It has a twist on one side and a swirl which grades darker and darker purple towards the centre.. On the other side there are some purple and black simple dots...

Finally, here they are (except for the purple one) on a bracelet. They look so zingy, peppy and lively together....

Thanks for viewing this blog xx

How does your garden grow?

'Chellie1 Comment

Hi all,

I just had to do a little blog about my latest project.

These ones have been so much fun!

It's been all around a garden theme! Those that know me know that I love the outdoors and plants, mud and rain, and green is my favourite colour! What's not to like?

I love working with green glass too!

There is so much richness and freshness in the colour; and so much variation too in terms of tone and texture.

 A lovely customer of mine has a beautiful 'garden' themed bracelet pictured here; and she asked me if I could make her some special beads to complete and finish it off...

She wrote me a great note, full of fab ideas.

In each case I have put her thoughts in the handwriting font so you can see where the ideas for the beads came from, and for each bead there are some pictures. (These were either provided by my customer herself, or found by me as I was researching the ideas.)

So my aim was to get a set of beads that fitted the brief; worked together as a set; and also fitted in with the existing beads that she owns.

It looked like quite a challenge. But because the ideas were so personal and unusual it was a really rewarding and great fun.

OK then, so here's how it went...

1.

So this one seemed straightforward enough, until I started it.... 

It turned out to be the most difficult of the lot!

I wanted to get the opacity of the leaves right and have the right depth of encasing to get the light and dark elements of the ivy right. In the end I must have done about 6 versions of this one... they just weren't behaving at all, and even after I'd got two good ones I still couldn't decide on the 'best' one so I am offering my customer 2 possibles....

 ...so this one is number two...

The second version has more creamy white in it and more defined 'leaves'.

 I like this one too.. I certainly couldn't decide. 

(I hope my customer can... or maybe she will just have to have both??...)

;-)

2.

....and 

I

had no idea how it would turn out either but I really like this one. 

It's got that pretty iridescence on the petals that only posh silvered glass can give... 

Ooh lushola! and it works so prettily with the greens...

3.

(I did think that this one was going to be nigh-on impossible when she asked me,) but then I had a little think on howit might work and it only took me three tries!! the first two looked more like encased algae than encased shoots but hey...

 This 'shoots' one turned out to be one of the most visually effective ones!

 It looks really good when the bead 'turns' on the chain as the clear glass magnifies the shoots in different ways.

4.

My lady had already given me a tip on this one because she envisaged it looking similar to the brown swirly 'leaf trails' bead that she had bought from me earlier on in the year (which is one her bracelet above) so I had a bit of an idea as to how I would attack this one! 

I started by making a turquoise blue and bright pea green twisted rod of glass with clear,  and then wrapped it several times to make the idea of the feathery 'flurry'. It's got a great 'lightness' about it I think; because of the colours, the ribbony texture of the strands, and the play of light through the bead.

5.

When I read this request I thought this would be the one that was a 'bridge too far' in terms of dooability (if that's a word ;-), but having had a go at it, it looked brilliant first time round and I will definitely use this technique for other beads in the future.

I used a very light amber core for this one and then used ultra thin strings of black and brown to give the impression of branches. I then surrounded this layer with flecks of lime green, yellow and pea green for the leaves. The overall result is just right. (I really want this one myself!!!)

Here all the set are together. I hope that she likes them and enjoys wearing them on her Garden Bracelet... 

:-))

I

LOVE

glass!!

Thats all from me for a bit.. Christmas orders beckon!! Eeek!

As always I welcome any comments and enquiries...

Feel free xxx

Welcome to my little world...

'ChellieComment

Hi there,

I've been asked by lots of people what sort of 'kit' you need to do this sort of thing. The answer is you don't NEED much but once you start, you can kind of get carried away with it (well it did in my case) and before you know where you are, you've filled up a room!

I thought it would be nice to give you a little tour of the workshop so you could see where it all happens....

The main place where glass gets melted and beads get made happens here where the torch is. I've put it in front of a window here, but I'm note sure it helps much. I think I can see the flame better when there isn't so much natural light actually.

So each bead is begun by winding molten glass onto the mandrel in a similar way. From then on the colours, techniques, treatment possibilities are endless for the glass which means that no two beads ever come out the same!

Then once the little beadlets come out of the kiln they go over to the other desk where I do pretty much everything else.

There are quite a few stages to the process. 

I tend to make finished jewellery from my beads whereas some people choose not to do the silver-work bit and just stick to the making part.

Firstly the mandrels still loaded up with a bead on each get soaked in a tepid water bath, with maybe a bit of fairy liquid for good measure. This loosens the bead release and makes the beads easier to get off the stainless steel sticks. I now have an amazing set of 'vice-grip' pliers (I think that's what they are called). I got them for Mother's Day and they make taking the beads off the mandrel a real joy compared to what it used to be like!

I sometimes get one that is a bit naughty and I need to get the hammer out.  Uh Oh....(If the hammer has to come out to get the bead off the mandrel it nearly always spells a quick demise for that particular bead, but

sometimes

it just needs a quick tap and the bead comes off the mandrel unscathed).

Then it is power tool time! Yay! I do love a bit of power toolage!! I clean the beads out manually with a diamond dust tipped file called a 'reamer', then (especially in the case of transparent cored beads) it is great to use a Dremel with a diamond dust tipped bit and scoop out all the residual bead release skulking in the nooks and crannies of my beads' holes. `once this is done the hole is as clean as a whistle and the light reflects into the bead so much more beautifully.

Next, lots of things can happen. I then use sterling silver findings and elements to put the jewellery together. Chain, other beads, cores, cords and ribbons are all utilised go into trying to do the best for the little beadlings, and show off their assets so that some lovely person might decide they want to take the little 'sparkly-pants' home with them!

I do the gift-packaging and notecards at this desk too.

So there you have it. A little guided tour of the workshop.

While I'm here I will share a few picks of bits I've been working on:

Scarlet/Black Poppy Ring Topper

Focal pendant to be worn on Troll or Pandora necklace

Smoke/Slate neckace and earring set

Mega colourful bracelet

this one is a beauty...

I particularly like the metallic bumpy bits!!! ;-)

Do drop me a comment or email me at:

chelleholly@btinternet.com if you have any particular questions or enquiries. Take care x

Saying it with flowers....

'Chellie2 Comments

Well the first orders are trickling in for Christmas.

This custom order was great as it allowed me to experiment with encased flowers (which I love!

First I made a number of small thin sticks of  glass called 'stringers' as shown below: The green one in my hand was used to make the 'stem' colour behind the flowers on some of the beads.

Next I had to set up a couple of critical bits of equipment for the task.....Do you see the silver cylindrical things by the sides of the torch... These are my special arm rests for delicate work; (which are two toilet rolls wrapped in silver foil!!) Very important and very technical as you can see!!!

God! Looking at it there, it looks like a right mess! All I can say is when I'm mid-project, the glass rods go everywhere (much worse than this) as you just tend to grab for the thing you need and then drop that and move on to the next; there's not much room for order when molten glass is in your hand!)

The close ups you are about to see all use the same method to make but the petal colours were different sizes and colours. The beads all started off life as a minuscule white mini-bead on the mandrel. Then I added a clear layer (quite thin), then the stem layer. Next, white was laid on to the bead to provide a backdrop for the coloured petals, then the petals. A bit of shaping of the petals was next. Finally a deepish coat of pure clear glass encased the whole lot... Ta Da!!!

This is either a forget-me-not or an iris depending on how you see it..

Little violet

pansy

primrose? (I know it should have 5 petals..)

briar rose

I think the red and pink is my favourite. (Something about the colour combo I think)

Here is the set all finished and ready to be a nice Crimbo pressie:

I know that in the end the Christmas build up will be chaos (it was last year), but if any of you lovely people have any particular requirements that you know of now in the way of glassy, beady presses, please let me know in good time as most pieces will take at least a week to turn around. (by the time I've made it at the torch, then kilned it, cleaned it, done the glass work, and then the silver work and mounting after).

I am planning to be at the Oldfield School Christmas fair again (if they'll have me). It's on the 5th of December which is a Friday from 6pm to 8pm in Maidenhead.

Maybe see you there... x

Endless Ocean...

'Chellie1 Comment

Glass and water, water and glass.., a mouthwatering combo any day of the week...

Waterworld....Do you remember that film?

Do you remember that AMAZING blue of the sea, and even better, soooo much sea going on for miles and miles? I know the film itself might be a bit cheesy but I really liked it (is that bad?) and these beads I'm going to show you remind me of that endless ocean feeling that you get from that film!

Ooh and better mention.... these aren't sold yet, so if anyone likes the look of them then they will be coming on to the Etsy shop soon. www.etsy.com/shop/meadowhawkglass.

OK. So this first bead is made with reactive silvered glass and then has a collage of layered colour on top to bring depth to it. (I really liked this one while I was making it and knew it would be pretty in the end when it came out of the kiln).

side view showing the greenier bits

side view showing the pretty star-shape made with the layers of watery glass colours

other side view showing the bluier bits

So bead number two is also made with silvered glass but a different type. We are more in the shallows and rock pools again (you know how I love a good rock pool)!!!

this bead has a ring of bubbles just on the one side

And lastly we are back in deeper waters. There is a bit more turbulence here and you might think you see something green and glowing but the next time you look from a different angle it feels like its gone! 

The bubbles of air alternate around this bead creating movement in the glass under the surface!

light shining straight through the bead

the waters are still again..

Here are all three beads together as they might appear on a bracelet...

That's all for now folks. Better get back in that workshop.... xx

It could just be my impression but.....

'Chellie1 Comment

When you get a message like this....

"I was wondering if you could make some beads which are inspired by my favourite paintings..." 

well, my mouth started watering and the torch began to beckon..... oooh I thought; you've just got to have a go haven't you!?

Well, I was very taken by the idea but didn't quite know where to begin... I love it when someone asks me to do something that I'm not sure that I can do..All worried and excited all at the same time...

Now,  if you want to do a little quiz then 

don't scroll down yet!

Study the pictures of the three beads below carefully:

Which three paintings do you think these beads in the pictures are inspired by............ 

no peeking too far down the page mind, till you've had a guess!! 

(Clue: Think Impressionism and Post-Impressionism)

Have you had a guess? 

OK now we can scroll on     ;-)

ANSWERS:

The three fave paintings were:

Van Gogh - Starry Night

Klimt - The Kiss

Monet - Water Lilies and Japanese Bridge.

Did you guess right???

The fab request for the beads came in during the summer holidays, so I waited a couple of weeks for the kids to go back to school, having momentary google flicks to the millions of renditions of the said paintings to study them a bit, then I had a play..

VAN GOGH

This one I found the easiest of all for some reason. I think because the swirl of the sky lends itself to the swirl of the glass and the colours were clearly in my head so I could translate them to glass colours straight away. You know how much I love the night sky.... ;-). So here's the finished bead.

It was great to get that movement and the spirals helped me to get the impression of the brush stroke direction which in some areas seems pretty deep so I used plenty of clear encasing glass! Finishing them with sizeable bubbles, I hope adds to the feeling of a 'lightness of hand' which I think comes across so much in this painting.

KLIMT

This one I found crazy hard to do. (Loads of attempts)... I think it is because there are so many contradictions in the painting so there are many very different aspects all vying for their special piece of attention... Round female shapes and swirls, masculine blocks and straight lines (which don't really lend themselves to glass!) This is where I got to:

I liked the way the black and ivory section mirrored the section on the 'mans side' on the left and the way the glass webbed I got those kind of squarey bits I was after. Of course, the other main constituent had to be plenty of glittery gold to bring it to life.

MONET

Here is the Monet bead.  I wanted to get an idea across of the brush strokes and the watery-ness in the painting, the depth and the colours (Soooo many colours here to give credence to!!) I love the end result, but phew... I definitely kissed a few frogs before I came across this one sitting on my lily-pad!

I ended up looking at the texture and colours on the water (sort of bottomy-right in the painting), I really wanted to capture that beautiful almost iridescent blue there.

That's it for now folks as it is really late. (I've got more stuff to show you but it will have to wait till another day..)

Night x

Playing Snakes and Lizards

'Chellie5 Comments

Hi All,

So the other day I got a very unexpected and exciting request. Could I make a complete present (some special beads and bracelet) for a 21st birthday. Of course I could I said, (but did I speak too soon because this turned out to be a particularly CUSTOMISED custom order!!)

I learned that the lady in question looking forward to her birthday, was an avid reptile enthusiast and has many, many different animals of all shapes, species and colours.

Could I make beads that represented some of her

actual

animals? I didn't know, but I thought it would be a lot of fun trying...

So the adventure began...

First of all I got a CD of pictures passed to me in secret so that I could see what I was aiming for. I was a little apprehensive but....when I saw the wonderful patterns and colours I was blown away and I couldn't wait to start to see how close I could get to these in glass!

I spent a few days sussing out colours and textures:

Lots of questions whirled around my head. Some colours react better with each other than others so I did some 'test beads' to try out colour reactions. Also how would it be best to convey the very special textures on the lizards and snakes without distorting the patterns. To this end I got some great constructive criticism from friends and family.  (My boys are my best (or worst?) critics. I can never decide which!!)

Once I'd had a little 'play' with them it was time to get down to it, so the torch was fired up and the session began. People didn't see much of me on that day, but I was really happy with what I put into the kiln and I was even happier with what came out!!

So may I introduce you to the beautiful menagerie. (I must say a big thank you to Abi who has given me permission to use her pictures of her wonderful babies.) In each case I have popped in a picture of the animal with a couple of views of the bead itself.

1. 'Bubbles'

Well, Bubbles has to come first. I absolutely love this one. It is made with grey and an acid yellow in the core and then plenty of clear encasing and hints at texture with little bobbly bits of clear in a kind on randomised pattern.

2. Arya

Arya is lovely. She has a wonderful pattern and I wanted to do her justice. I used three colours and thinner encasing, so her texture would be nearer the surface.

3. Marbles

Marbles has a really interested organic looking texture. There are lots of colours here and a kind of dusty appearance so I used some frit in the core, and mica in the encasing to try and bring that to life.

4. Belle

Here is Belle. What a stunner with her lovely grey/green background and red spots! I loved the way that the light grey colouring seems to sweep around her body diagonally but the reddy/brown is more randomly placed, so I tried to attempt the same on the surface decoration of the bead.

5. Pascal

This one is called Pascal. How the light played on his body is really interesting. I'm not sure he is actually blue like this, but it really made a pretty bead. I did a bumpy version and a smooth to try out different ways.

6.Scorpio

With Scorpio, I tried to build a bit of that metallic shine that he has on his body to the side of the bead, but also create a nice contrast to some of the more 'busy' beads so that the bracelet as a whole had continuity

and

contrast.

7. Celery

Celery is amazing. I wanted to try and bring in the lovely almost iridescent shine that his/her scales have. So I used an antique cream core, encased it and then added lovely pearlescent fairy dust on the surface.

8. Lola

Now a little bird told me that this little beauty is somewhat of a favourite with Abi, so this one had to be 'just right'. Of course, because I knew this, she ended up being the trickiest one!! I hope Abi feels that it reminds her enough of her lovely Lola!!

9. Seraphim

Seraphim has a beautiful burning orange colour, but the individual smooth scales give a great effect, I wanted to try to capture that so I ended up mixing orangey glass colours and using a golden colour glass to add the tiniest dots which I melted in to give the effect of scales.

10. Mack Snow

Now, Mack Snow is another one of my favourites. His pattern is such a gift!! I knew from the moment I saw him that he would look amazing. He has an ivory core with thick encasing of crystal clear with 4 sets of adjacent dots going around his circumference. I added clear bobbles again for that important texture.

11. Spock

Spock is so sweet. I would love to meet him in person someday.. I started with a silvered ivory base. The most important thing to get with this one was his minute little black irregularly shaped speckles. I love this bead too. I still have this one, so if no-one nabs him soon I might take him under my wing!!

12. Stella

And...last but not least one of the most beautiful ones of all. Stella has a striking pattern of bright sunshine yellow and black. I would love to meet her in person too. It was a definite one to include, because those colours look so stunning next to each other and the colour combination is very unusual in a bead.

A selection of the beads on a Trollbead bracelet with some silvers in between..

Well, here are some of the beads shown together on a silver Trollbead bracelet, so you can get the idea of what they look like together. I have added some silvers here as well to show how it might look with a bit of shine in between. I soooo enjoyed doing them. They were tricky, but very rewarding.

And here was the finished bracelet all complete the day before Abi's birthday. We decided on a rubber and sterling silver charm bracelet because it was more fitting with the theme of the beads. (Not so 'pretty pretty' as it were)...All the beads were cored securely with sterling rivets and there are two sterling silver stopper beads on it to help keep the glass in place. There is plenty of space for additional silver charm beads or glass.

I hope Abi sends me a picture in the months/years to come to show me how it's grown!!

That's it for now. Quite a lot of excitement in the studio recently, I better get on and make my next ones and stop writing otherwise I shall be behind!!!

Take care,

Chellie xx

Starry Starry Night...

'Chellie2 Comments

Wow!

It's been a bit of a journey bead wise this last week or two.

You might remember that I had been asked by a lovely customer to make some "Night Sky" themed charm beads.. Well, I have loved the challenge and finally can show you all what I've been up to..

I'll start with a picture of them all in one, and then go into each one in detail...

This picture tries to show each of the sixteen beads as a summary.

OK. Details on the beads in the top line:

Details on the middle set:

 And finally the ones on the bottom row:

So that's what I've been up to. I've got to get straight back on it though because I have a few bits waiting now, as I think I got a bit caught up in all this Night Sky lark! I will let you know which other ones are available soon.

My next adventure are a set of rainbows for a very special lady and preparing for the stall at the Summer Fair on the 7th June. Wish me luck

Take care

Round the Twist!

'Chellie4 Comments
Been on quite a bobbly journey recently with all those rockpooly beads and the like.. 



Well after getting all the bobbly orders and off to their new homes I have been doing twisty beads. Can't seem to stop!



It's really funny how you seem to go in phases; everything I have produced in the last couple of days has had twists (or twisties) in them!





And... Am really excited as am going to make my first set of 'night sky' inspired charm beads soon. I don't quite know how they will turn out at the mo. but it's a lovely concept and can't wait to start. (..just need to do a few other bits first as always...).

Been looking at some images for ideas: 
Do make comments/suggestions of themes if you think of any. So far I've been thinking:

Starry, starry night:


Aurora borealis:


Comet

Nebula:


Meteor/meteorite:




Moonscapes:


Moon dust:
Also:

Moon Rock
Witching hour
Black hole
Neptune
UFO 

Now,... how these ideas might come to life as beads I do not quite know yet, but I'll be having a lot of fun trying to make it happen ;-)

Watch this space to see how it goes! Wish me luck x



Where the Dunes and Rockpools Meet...

'Chellie1 Comment

You might remember that a while ago I did my post about the Dunes and the like... Well more recently another lovely lady asked me to do a commission on some Rockpool style charm beads. I so enjoyed doing the work I just had to put some of the photos in the blog. 

There are more photos of the set on my Flickr page if your mouth is watering....

I can tell you that c, d, e, f, h, i and j are now sold, but the others (as of 30th of April) are still for sale.

And here are some of the individual beads in close up. They were such a delight to make! Thoroughly enjoyable!

These two look great together (l and k). Might be making their way onto my bracelet if I'm not careful....

This one is a little sea urchin

Last week I had a most pleasurable couple of hours helping a favourite customer marry up 'The Dunes' theme with the 'Rockpool' theme when she came over to the house and we created a new bracelet for her completely from scratch! A few cups of various hot beverages later, and here is the result...

Going from the clasp end they are as follows: 1. Lemon Grass dotty bead, 2. Rocky Bobble bead, then 3, 4, 5 are three beads from The Dunes set, 6 is a Rockpooly Sea Anemone bobbly bead, 7 is a Dune bead, 8 is another Grey/Green Dotty bead and finally 9 and 10 are two more from the Dunes set. She picked up a couple of silver stopper beads from me at the same time. (The bracelet and other silvers are the 'models own').

The whole effect is a bracelet that is full of interest and plenty of colour as it tones through from lemony green to marram grass green to seaweed green. There are gold tones, sandy tones and antique lace/white sand tones which give it some timeless elegance. The dotty beads add a bit of fun and contemporary fizz to it too. Yet, most importantly we liked where we got with it because the bracelet remains (usefully) to be easy to wear, and blends with many clothing styles and colours as the tones are still subtle and gentle.

close up of the Sea Anemone Bobble Bead

On the owner's wrist in natural light

Lastly, I thought I'd better get these in...

On the last sesh of the torch I was obviously in a really bobbly sort of a mood. I just couldn't stop myself!! As well as the sea urchins, sea anemones and rocky bobbly ones that I did, (most of which are now winging their ways to their new homes all around the UK), I also made this Purple Bobblishious bead pictured below. 

Of course I had to take the piccies with the bluebells as a backdrop for obvious reasons...

It's quite big (15.5mm by 7.5mm wide) and it is made to fit a Pandora sized bracelet as the hole through the middle is a little larger. I've just listed it in the Etsy shop if anyone likes the look of it ;-).

I just love the way the colours are magnified by the clear glass bobbles!

Well I should really sign off now,  otherwise I won't be up for school-run in the morning... Take care chaps!!

Enough of this British Weather - I'm going to Bead Land!

'ChellieComment

A lot later than I thought I would, I got round to making, cleaning, silvering, polishing and photographing some brand new beads. These were meant to be done just after Christmas, but hey, better late than never!


Some of this little collection will be making it onto the Etsy shop soon and others have been ordered for customers. If you see any thing you might like or maybe would like something similar just send me a message and we will sort it out for you!

In this blog I thought I would try to show you how the beads are born and how the ideas come to life. In many cases I might randomly pick a rod of glass and start melting a bead and it brings an idea into my mind, triggered off by a colour, a colour combination, the way the light moves through the glass or the texture or shapes that are created. Then I set off with gusto (and much excitement and anticipation, I might add) fixed on this theme trying to 'round out' that thought making the other beads in the series. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.. I might need quite a few goes till it looks right, but this is how many of the beads sets and individual focal beads get 'born'.

So here, I have tried to match up the finished beads and bead sets with the images that no-one usually sees; these are the images that percolate around in the brain while the beads are forming at the torch!



My first set is called 'The Dunes' This set reminds me of being back in Somerset on good old Berrow beach taking a walk to blow the cobwebs away in the sand dunes there. (It's very, very windy; ALL the time!) These beads have a lovely cleansing and calm feel about them, just as one might feel after one of those fresh walks.  They are very natural and organic, and I was trying to make something that was relatively 'neutral' so you can wear them without worrying that they don't coordinate with what you are wearing! These are clear-minded, worry-free beads!




The next set I will call 'Fairground Attraction'. These beads are really cutsie and small (they are just over a centimetre in diameter), but the colours have a wild abandon about them, like that amazing feeling of being let loose at a fairground for the first time when you are a teenager or when you go out on the town for the first time...AT NIGHT! There is neon excitement with these, electricity, fun and frivolity. Good things come in small packages!












...Now we are leaving the fairground, and moving to the Amazonian Rainforest for the next collection. I've had another request for some 'dotty doughnuts' this time with a green theme and here they are fresh and verdant and lovely. They will be called 'Rainforest Fresh'.  



There is something distinctly watery and lush about these. They say aloe vera, ferns, dew drops, crystal water and thick swathes of abundant leaves. They say juice and freshness and vivid green to the extreme!






A new set of black and whites will soon be winging their way to the shop. Black and white is timeless; so sharp and clean and neat! Humbugs, piano keys, dominoes, zebra stripes, polka dots!!





 











I went a bit candy crush crazy last time I was on the torch. These colours really remind me of sweets and candy in general. Cupcakes, sticks of rock, seaside games, donkey rides - the works!





















The next one is pink too but has an interesting mix of gold swirls too so it looks much richer like a gilt pink gates of a pink palace or something or a golden sunrise firing the pinky orange colours in all directions! Maybe a bit bollywood. Will call this one 'Pink Princess'.






The other colour I've been really into is this one! We have decided it's called 'cerulean' (thanks Kate for the heads up on that one!). It is SUCH A DREAMY COLOUR!!!










This is a Cerulean Kingfisher on the right. What a colour! It makes me go weak at the knees! On the left, to get you in the mood, is some beautiful cerulean water that that lucky lady's swimming in...OK now for the beads, now you have the colour in your head...











These trio are a similar sort of hue, but more rockpooly and seashoreish!








The last ones are a collection in an on-going theme for me. Organic, earthy rich tones like a forest floor or a mossy bank. Greens, purples, gold and deep red and brown. The warmth of the earth and the vibrance of the living things all rolled into one! This is the type of bead I love!!












Well, that's quite enough for one night. Sleep tight xx


Who's been a busy little elf? Last orders for Santa's Sleigh...

'ChellieComment
Hi all, I've got a beer by my side already this time so all set up to write the blog! 
(It is Christmas after all ;-))


SAFARI

The SAFARI beads are done!! Yay! I am sooooo happy with the outcome!


Been playing around with techniques for this set for a good while now, and I am very happy to say that I am finally satisfied with the results. 

(I went to town, somewhat with the photos so sorry if there are a few two many for your liking!)

This one is a TIGER BEAD pendant for a very special lady who likes her big cats!. It is strung onto waxed cotton and has pure sterling silver clasps and fitments. It's a lovely bauble shape. 
I hope she likes it.




These are the set of big hole beads for her charm bracelet. There are three tiger style beads each with their own very distinct, individual markings and two amber complementary beads which help give texture and separate them out a bit. One has a load of little bobbles in three different colour amber glass shades, and the other bead is a darker amber hue with little disc shaped cog-like bobbles going all the way round. I think that as the set of five they really hang together well.





On a bracelet they just look amazing. I was a bit 'mouth-watery' while I was taking these piccies, it was quite sad to see them go out the door really.... but I have to remember... business is business!!



BLACK & WHITE

Black and white is always a winner. It always looks so clean and fresh and elegant. I have been making a few little black and white pieces recently. Here's the first:


The set consists of a sweet little pair of earnings and a charm bracelet bead to match. 



The next set is a charm bead group of five. These always look so cute on a silver bracelet and the monochrome thing means that they will go with absolutely anything you are wearing and always look so pristine!





 PURPLE PARADISE (2)

I had a lot of interest in the purple paradise set shown in the last blog. So have been making more of that type. I have two bobbly ones (1,4) and three smooth ones. I have used some great colour changing glass laden with silver. Number 4 is actually quite metallic to look at with the naked eye, but this effect doesn't come out too well in the photographs.


Here is a close up of the number 4 one.
You can see the mirror like bobbles a little better on this one.


This one is really lush up close. The purple is really electric!



This pendant below, was made for a very special and wonderful, inspirational lady; my Mum! My Mum has a very serious weakness for all things purple, so I have made this silvered reduction glass pendant for her for Christmas! It is a really delicate cylindrical shape. It's about 2.5cm high and about 1cm wide. It has little iris purply/blue swirls on it and the base glass is an inky blue transparent purple too.




RAINBOW CHARM BEADS

These little beauties are also made with silver glass, but treated to a different heating and cooling technique. I'm so pleased with the way they have turned out. They shine up so great in the light.









These finally, are some little earrings I made with a very light shade of pink, lilac, clear and white. I love the way the light moves through the baby clear glass beads. They look so gentle and delicate!


Not sure I will get another one in before Christmas, so if I don't, have a really lovely holiday. I will try to get plenty of torch time in so I can stock the shop up in the New Year! Loads of love, Chellie xx


Coming down a chimney near you!

'ChellieComment

Hi everyone, Happy Christmas!!

The wrapping is just about done, the kids are off from school; this Christmas thing is really starting soon isn't it?.. I don't feel quite ready for it yet!! Maybe a Christmassy blog will get me in the mood…

Might actually get me a little Sherry to sip while I write…hang on…

(she goes to kitchen to get Sherry..)

Oh yes that's much better! (she has her Sherry..)

In the last few weeks I've been making beads for Christmas commissions and also making lots of presses for my friends and family too. (Funny that.. everyone has asked for beads this year…)

I thought I might pop a few on here to show you what I've been doing.

Right then first up:


 This is one of my 'spotty' sets. A little birdy said that they would like something in red and black. So this is the result. There is a little opaque core covered in clear encasing and then little random black dots placed all over. I did some earrings to match..





This pair of earrings were a special commission in particular colours for a Christmas present. I really love the way they have turned out.




I've got into hearts recently.. These turned out really interestingly, and they are really festive. They have  a base of ivory with a deep crimson red circle of six hearts around the middle… The red colour doesn't photograph that well I'm afraid..sorry!

I also did some cute little charm beads to go with the earrings.




This set is also quite Christmassy and similar to the ones above in some ways but very different in others. These have a pure white background and a more bright red colour to make the pattern. They are still festive but have a cleaner more modern look…. and they also come out much better in a photo!




These ones are real stunners! All purply and gorgeous! Some are made with silver reactive colour changing glass (1,3 and 4). One has gold stone glitter encased inside (2), and one is made with a clear purple pinky glass.

The bobbly one in the middle is my favourite!

 


This set is similar but more in the blue/green spectrum. Again my favourite is the bobbler one on the end!





The last silver glass set has really interesting colours. We have greens, blues and browns. I imagine that if mermaids wore beads, they would wear ones like this!!…





The next ones are for a lady who really loves pink! This pair of beads have a mixture of baby pink and candy pink. The first one has a series of bubbles all the way round and the second has a heart motif running all around it.


The earrings turned out to be a really lush mixture of the two colours in a swirly pattern.




The last two items are really delicate little earrings. One is an multi-shade opaque and white turquoise, and the other is a clear glass almost translucent blue pair with pretty see-through ghost flowers inside.

 

 










Well, there is still time to fit a few more bits in before Christmas descends. If anyone needs/wants anything then just give me a shout and I'll be happy to put something together for them. The shop is a bit understocked at the mo. (Sorry about that), been too busy with homey stuff. I will rectify the situation over the next few weeks!!

Happy Christmas again everyone. Have a lovely holiday!!

Christmas Gifts and Little Treats

'Chellie2 Comments
I'm really happy to say that the teal and purple set was just what my special customer was looking for. All the beads pictured in the previous blog have now been sold. It is a colour combo that I will do more of though so hopefully I will put some similar ones on the shop before Christmas (if there's time….)

Does anyone else feel like time is running away this year faster than ever in the lead up to Crimbo? It's crazy at the moment!
No - I have not done any Christmas shopping yet really,… bead making is just too much fun!

This week I have been catching up on beads, pendants and necklaces that customers have requested in the last few weeks. Some will be found in stockings on Christmas Day, and some are little treats that they saw in 'me little studio' and couldn't resist!

Today I had time to photograph them so thought I would do a little blogette to show you what Ive been up to!


 This one is quite unusual. it was hiding in one of my display boxes not made up into anything particular, when Charlotte found it and asked if it was for sale. "It certainly could be for sale.." I said, "but not in it's present state." So I set about 'shinying' it up with some sterling silver bits and giving it a nice glass and silver polish. Now it's ready for you Charlotte!





This one below was also spied in the studio and ear-marked for a pressie. Its a sort of lentil shape made mainly of silver glass with black stripes on it and a textured swirl on the front with a few dots thrown in for good measure. It's quite abstract in design. Almost modern-arty I guess!





This one is going to be a pressie for someone. It's made of colour changing silver glass and is bauble shaped. The colours in it are really lush. You can kind of get lost in it!





Up-close and personal view of the silver glass bauble. It looks like a far away nebula somewhere in distant space I think!


 Mandy - your Christmas pendant is finally ready! I feel like I have taken ages to do this one. This little pretty had been spotted on numerous occasions in the studio and I was asked if I could make it up into a nice pendant. To be more in keeping with her style though, she didn't want to wear it on a chain so we found some nice 'more modern/casual' cotton cord that has been teamed up with some 100% sterling silver findings beads and toggle clasp pictured below. She also wanted the necklace part to be a particular length (she is quite demanding ;-)).

I hope she loves wearing it; and even better she is getting it from her hubby for Crimbo!







The next one is another butterfly! (A few blogs ago, I did a few of these, and had been asked for another) This one is a pinky, fushia sort of shade with more bluey purple highlights and I managed to find a ribbon that complemented the colours really well.







This one is another colour reactive silver glass pendant and sterling silver snake chain. It has a really delicate shape.



Close up of the swirling colours in the pendant


The last one here is going to be another gift. Again we used the 'not chain' necklace and we felt it gave the pendant a more contemporary/elegant feel. The glass used is colour reactive on a cobalt blue base which has brought out this dreamy petrol blue and turquoise highlighted focal bead.

I teamed it up with this complementary smooth and shiny cord and finished it with sweet little sterling silver cord ends and a beautifully simple sterling silver toggle clasp. I hope the lady likes it. Shh can't tell you who it's for…



Close-up of the silver bits!

If anyone wants anything particular done for them or a loved one for Christmas, I might be able to squeeze a few more requests in. Just drop me a note, contact me through convo on etsy or give me a call if you have my number.

I love commissions they are really fun because it's great making something especially and individually for a person and knowing that they are going to get exactly what they wanted!

See you later x

Colour Combining - Purples and Teals!

'ChellieComment
Hi Guys,

Long time no see.
I have had lots of fun over the last few days!!. This time got lots of different Pandora/Troll style beads in purples and teals.

One of my lovely customers has asked me for some beads to fit her Pandora bracelet in a combination of purple and teal.

Well, there are lots of purples to choose from, so I have been on a colour adventure experimenting with different ones and using them in different ways to see what designs I can come up with.

The first colour combo is a sort of purply/blue mauve.


The one of the left is a reverse of the one shown on it's own above.
 The teal almost looks aqua because it has a white dot behind it.

This one has an interesting basket weave sort of pattern.

I really like this combination. It has a lightness and a freshness about it as well as a richness that comes from the purple. 

(Most of these pictures have been taken before the silver cores have been fitted and apologies for photo quality. They have been taken with the iPhone 'quick and snappy-like' so they don't really do the beads justice.)


purply, bluey, mauve combo



The next set pictured below are made with the second purple which is darker and more of a plum like purple. They really look vibrant in natural light and the teal somehow looks lighter because of the contrast I think.

Second set made with a more deep plum/wine
coloured purple
spaced out a bit to see the detail

The two pictures below on the leaves show the different ones in more detail.
From top left to bottom right:
1. Concentric petal rings
2. Narrow twisty
3. Game of two halves
4. Mirror Lotus
5. Shaded triangles
6. Ribbon Twist

From top left to bottom right:
7. Silver thread
8. Tortoise Shell
9.Teal on Purple ZigZag
10. Purple on Teal Zig Zag
11. Opaque Core Zig Zag

(12. Ripple Pools) 
 This one I absolutely love. I think it looks even more pretty in real life! 
The colours look like ripples in little pools. Cute!
Ripple pools (12) from the side. 

13. Whirlpool 

Whirlpool (13) from the side


The next set is going to be made with a deeper purple again
 which is more of a deep violet kind of purple.
 I'm hoping to make them tomorrow (or maybe the next day) xx

I have my eye on you!

'Chellie1 Comment

As you might have read the other day, one of my trickier customers... (yes Kate, it's you!) asked me to make her a spooky eye pendant.

Mmmm. it's trickier than you might think. Especially when the iterations you make are just not 'evil' enough! Here we have three of my goes at it. I don't think any of them look particularly evil but I have really enjoyed making the little critters!



This is my second go. This one is definitely more 'orc-like' and grotesque looking but still wasn't right. Mrs Pinickity says still no good!



By now I'd got a bit fed up with trying for EVIL!!! So I just started having a play with eyes which was much less stressful....

Now this one I love!

I'm going to call her a Schmoo! She is the founding member of a little alien race of critters that have come to earth to make us smile!! Her name is Viola and her eye is so cute!

She is of course NOT evil at all!! She is made with an ultra-violet (quite substantial) body 1.5cm thick (not counting the protruding eye) with a lovely delicate amethyst frilly bit on either side. She is 3.4cm by 3.7cm wide.

The eye is really deep and swirly. I love it!


She has a knobbly back (like every good alien being should have) that has the same blue that I used in the eye.


Here is a sort of side-on view that shows the depth of Viola's eye. She really sparkles in the sunshine!


I hope to make a few more of these in the coming weeks. I'm not sure whether they will be popular to sell or not, I can tell you my DH absolutely hates them and says they are just too freaky and weird, but they are certainly good fun to make and look at afterwards. Take care everyone!  xx

On Safari! (Part One)

'ChellieComment

I have been enlisted to come up with some 'big cat markings' style charm beads, (Tiger and Leopard skin and the like) which got me going with the whole idea of safari animal in general inspired beads. 

This is very much 'work in progress' I have to do quite a bit more work on them, but can you see which ones are meant to be which animal?

Your choices are:

Elephant

Zebra

Snake

Cheetah

Tiger

Leopard

Giraffe

Answers on a postcard???

..and yes I know there are 7 beads and 6 animals; that's all part of the trick of the test. Or, (closer to the truth) is that the first attempt of one of them was so dire, I needed to have a go at it again!

-----------------------------------------

OK here is a few little pictures to help you...

(not that I think you will need help, as obviously the beads are sooooo realistic!!)

Take care on the savannah safari, keep your hands inside the car at all times! xx

Flutterby Beads!

'ChellieComment

A little bird mentioned to me the other day "have you tried to make a butterfly or a dragonfly yet?". Well of course that got me thinking... No, but I'd love to have a go!.. So I got all my green, aqua and purply pink glass out and had a little go at some butterfly type beads. This is the result of the first attempts yesterday afternoon.


This one is a reasonable size at 4.3cm at it's widest part and 3cm tall. I love the way he turned out! He looks particularly nice when the sunlight catches him!



This little guy is much smaller. (DH says he is more of a moth than a butterfly but I still love him.) He will look cute made into a pendant with some lovely sterling silver findings. He is 3cm wide and 2.3cm high.


This little ultra-violet number is very simple and elegant looking. When I was making it Mandy was over for a coffee and told me not to pimp it up, and add dots or other details, but leave it plain. The lines on it are so pretty, I'm glad I did leave it. I think it will be just fine without loads of fuss. Thanks Mandy.


Obviously..later I went back to fiddling as you can see with this little rectangular pendant piece. The inner core is dark periwinkle covered with a mixture of blues and purple transparent with a bit of silver reactive glass thrown in for good measure. Not to forget it's amethyst 'gills' which I am loving making. This pendant is 2.8 tall by 2.1cm wide.


Then I carried on fiddling and using tweezers and scissors to my heart's content, poking and prodding the glass around till I got the shape I wanted. This one goes back to the 'rock pool' ones I was making the other day. It looks like an exotic shell or something that you would find in some warm tropical waters somewhere... well that's my little dream in my own head anyway. It's 3.7cm by 3.2cm.


This is the same sort of thing in a really gentle purple and sea blue. But it has more substance to it's middle and less 'gill' action It's overall size is 4.0cm by 3.3cm tall.


Here's the full lot that I made during this session. The eye one deserves a little blog all of its own (which will be coming soon!)


Take care guys, see you soon xx


Going Dotty for Charlotte's Birthday!

'Chellie1 Comment

I greatly appreciated the chance to make some dotty beads as a present for Charlotte's birthday from her father in law. We chose the colours for them together and discussed how many beads should be in the set before hand. It was great fun making something completely as my customer wanted it.

Charlotte got a few photos via text as the beads were 'born' to make sure she was happy with them. Here are the first three beads still on the mandrels!


They shortly made their way into the kiln and then were gently cleaned, polished and photographed ready for going onto the Etsy Shop. The photos came out so well (maybe because of the rainbowy colours), I thought I would make a little mini blog to show them off.


They were great fun to make. Bit tricky to get them all of similar size and dimension, but really satisfying to see the little rainbow family grow under my fingers!



I fitted some little silver cores into the beads afterwards (no pictures of them after this stage am afraid), because I gift wrapped them, and boxed them up, and couldn't wait to get them to Charlotte!

See you soon