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Archive for the ‘Studio News’ Category

Summer is now upon us and the schools are due to break up in the next couple of weeks.

I look forward to this part of the year. I get to spend more time with the boys, enjoy our family summer holiday and can take full advantage of the long days and light evenings.

We have a wish list of family things to do this summer. All beginning with the letter F = fun! Ranging from: sleepovers, classic car shows, go-kart racing and popping into a few exhibitions that are currently running in London and other parts of the UK.

Talking of exhibitions, one that stands out for me this year is being held at the Broadfield House Glass Museum.

A lampwork necklace of mine has been selected and is featured in the exhibition called A String of Beads .

It runs from May 10th – Sept 14th 2014 inclusive.

For those of you that can’t make it, here is my necklace that is currently on display at the museum.

I created the focal and accent beads (lamp work) and then designed the necklace using semi-precious stones and my own Sterling Silver hand-forged clasp and findings.

 

                   Watercolour Tulips  –  Keren Panthaki 

 

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Where does the time go? I can’t quite believe that we are into the first third of this month already. I usually find the beginning of the year a bit slow, but the last few weeks have just flown by and my feet have hardly touched the ground.

Along with my family commitments, I have been busy making jewellery, mainly earrings, and trying to sort out my online presence. The latter is proving to be rather time consuming…..

The earrings on the other hand are going quite well, especially as I find them pretty enjoyable to make. A lot more fun than reading through ‘terms and conditions’ for the umpteenth time. Though, not wanting to drown in jewellery, beads and hand-made elements this year, the web presence is a vital part of my business and I am on track to getting it sorted out.

As you can see I have been playing with enamels – my new love

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And mastering those elusive lampwork pretty pinks

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And finally, wrapping it up with my hand-made copper elements and enamel beads

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That felt so good…now, back to the web editing…..yawn….

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This year Lori Anderson of  www.prettythingsblog.com  decided to hold a Pinterest competition for the BSBP participants.

Lori and a panel of six other judges,  BeaducationFusion Beads,Kalmbach PublishingLima BeadsNina Designs & PJ Tool & Craft,  took part in viewing and judging over 900 individual pieces of submitted work,  created by 541 talented bead soup bloggers spread out across the globe.

There were some truly amazing entries, so as you can imagine – I am a little stunned, but very excited to have been selected as a prize winner.

My Ode to Spring Creations won a prize in the Best Use of Colour category – selected by Lima Beads.

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It is very humbling to have been chosen as there were so many beautiful creative entries. Wow!

A huge thank you goes out to Lori for all her hard work in putting together the 7th BSBP. Also for her amazing creative drive and energy, without which, none of this would have been possible.

I would like to thank the judges too,  for what must have been an incredibly difficult task.

And last but not least, thank you Alison Sachs, my bead soup blog partner.

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Yay, some of my headpins , jewellery findings,  have just been featured in the May edition of Bead Chat magazine  🙂 

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Grab a coffee and have a browse, it’s a lovely read. 

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Goes away singing 🙂 and smiling of course……

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For the last couple of weeks I have busied myself with sorting out a small corner of the house. I did manage a small jaunt to France, Germany and Bruges, boys Easter hols, but more about that later. I am feeling quite pleased with myself as I have now created some extra studio space 🙂 primarily,  to make component metal parts for my jewellery. I had outgrown the previous spot and needed somewhere larger with running water and a secondary torch to hand too. I am now on the hunt for another kiln, but this is proving to be a bit of a challenge as Kilns are invariably expensive and I must make sure I end up with the right one….

When I first started making jewellery I used to buy Artisan findings from individual makers. Artisan findings are usually well made, but you do have to look around and make sure that you are indeed buying something that someone has actually fashioned themselves. Handmade  items of any quality are often expensive, you are paying for time, skill, materials and the ideas and creativity of the maker. A lot of these items are fairly individual compared to the mass-produced market, but there is nothing quite like making your own components for truly unique pieces of jewellery.

Metalsmithing is time-consuming, so I often approach it in splurges and spend a few days making a number of pieces that I then have to hand,  ready to use in my work.

Copper Clasps and Hoops

DSC_0138And now for a glimpse of my travels to mainland Europe

It would be rude not to share some of the fab photos I took on the trip, fun was had by all, even if the weather was a little bracing at times.

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Padlocks of Love on the Hohenzollernbrücke Bridge in Koln Germany with the Cathedral in the background. I have so many cool pics of these locks, it was an amazing day.

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I actually climbed up the Jakobsberg mountain in Boppard to take this picture, it was bit rough underfoot but I made it to the top in one piece,  the view was spectacular.

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Bunny’s best side – a chocolate shop in Bruges, believe me – this bunny  was big!

photoOyster shells in the window of a fish restaurant in Bruges

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Gosh, So much has happened over the last couple of years since I started this blog.

I really meant to spend more time writing about it all here, keeping a log of my progression, and sharing it in a timely fashion.  I have made a promise to myself, that this year, 2013, I shall indeed launch my Jewellery range in earnest, and make available more of my artisan beads and hand made findings.

Last year I continued with my expansion of artisan knowledge , I attended two Masterclass glass courses, and in the latter part of 2012 took a precious metal clay class too. I enjoy the challenge of learning new techniques, and it really helps with my creative development and designs.

I have been putting together an Artisan Range using semi precious stones,crystals, silk,pearls, Italian glass, copper and aged silver.

So,  for my first post  this year, I am going to show you some Jewellery that is currently sitting in a large box marked,  FOR SALE.

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A love of learning

I love to learn, don’t you?

I can’t remember a day that has passed, when I have not wanted to learn something new. It could be a small fact, a new bird fluttering about in the garden, not recognised, I would have to go and look that up.  A way of adding watermarks to digital images, hurrah – just managed to tick that one off, and then of  course,  new techniques in relation to working with hot glass.

Constantly evolving and pushing yourself, gives you a great sense of achievement when working with glass.  There is a fair amount of literature available now on lampworking, some good, some not so good. But I can honestly say that the most useful structured learning, for me , has been the attendance of classes,  with world-renowned bead makers. Yes – they really do exist!

In the beady world there are many “Greats”. Sometimes,  these highly skilled bead makers offer Masterclasses, and this is where the fun really starts.

I LOVE these classes, attending them teaches me so much. I come away with a whole new skill set, buzzing with new ideas, a sense of accomplishment,  and the realisation that I have come so far,  but still have so much more to learn, the exiting and inexhaustible challenges of soft glass.

My last Masterclass was with Sarah Sally LeGrande, I spent two days learning some of Sally’s techniques that she uses for her Brooches, Jewellery and Soft Glass Sculptures.

I jumped in the car and headed north to the beautiful Victorian seaside town of Scarborough, to stay with my beady pal Gaysie May. Gay – is lucky enough to live on this part of  the Yorkshire coast, and kind enough to share her home with me, whilst showering me with her warm northern hospitality.

Thanks Gay 🙂

Gay and I then headed over to the glass studio in Rudstom, this is where Sally would be teaching and demonstrating her techniques to a small group of lampwork artists for the weekend.  She had lots to teach us, from creating glass headpins, pods, spikes and various other shapes, to finally showing us how to put it all together into a wearable pieces of art jewellery.

Two whole days – of learning – laughter – and melting glass – with one of the most talented glass artists I have had the pleasure of meeting so far.

Here is the brooch that I made during this class, and headpins – that I made recently, created by using some of the techniques I have learned.

Sculptural Brooch - The Tropics

Soft summer blush - headpins

And lastly – it just wouldn’t be right not to include a piccie of my lovely pal Gaysie May – so here she is….

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