Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Daventry and Jewellery Making

"Shades of Red" Bracelet, detail

Oh, this is a surprise: I've decided to spend some time on my blog, I opened it and everything seems to look different here - so the Blogspot Team have changed things again. And there are lots of commands I can do from my toolbar, except the one that I use quite often - making the letters bigger. Ah, never mind!

Well, we've moved. Daventry is a much smaller place than we originally imagined, so I don't know how long we'll be here. We like going to the cinema, and occasionally going out for a cup of coffee, and there aren't places like that here. There is a Costa, but it gets absolutely swamped around lunch time and on into the afternoon - clearly people want to go somewhere to sit and chat with a cup of coffee and a biscuit, like us! - we've been there a couple of times, and I like it when a coffee shop is busy, but I do find it difficult to relax when you have to fight for a table.

I haven't unpacked my torch yet, there's been lots going on and I just didn't find the time. I go to the garage every so often and look at the boxes. But while I haven't been making any beads, I have been putting together some jewellery, and I have added some pieces to my Etsy shop. The picture of the Beads of the Day is a detail of my "Shades of Red" bracelet. These are the main beads in it, I have made them ages ago, the one on the right has lots of thick stripes in Red 428 and then small flowers in the same colour, everything on the transparent Light Blue 052. I wasn't very good at the time and I put the flowers directly on to the stripes, without putting a dot of transparent in between them for the flowers to stand out a bit. But the result was actually OK, a bit weird, but I was pleased (I did manage to get some transparent dots onto the flowers, that's why they are noticeable!). The bead on the left is made out of transparent Grass Green 020, with the dots of Red 022, with the "implosion" effect, which I found first described in Karen J Leonardo's book, again, ages and ages ago, before they made an appearance over here, in the UK. Actually, this was the only reason I bought that book, but I wasn't pleased with the results and I started doing my own "implosion" with layers and layers of opaque colours over transparent ones, which, I suspect, isn't even implosion. I should describe this better, I'll do that when I get to my torch. The thing about this bead is I like the colours, they do look really bright and cheerful even in the shade!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

February Already!

Bead of the Day: "Winter Slumberland" (sold on ebay)

We've been so busy trying to find a new place to live that I have totally neglected my blog - again! :( So I thought that if I keep it brief then it'll take me less time to write things which is always a problem: I write something, then I read it, re-write it, read it again and so on!

Anyway, in January I had to re-think my plans for the next book. Originally I thought I'd go to have a number of classes with Akihiro Okama and then I'd write a book of projects on japanese beads (tonbodama). But it felt like a book like this was very niche and it wouldn't appeal to a large number of lampwork artists and lampwork fans. Instead, I'll be working on a follow-up to my "Glass Bead Jewelry Projects" with possibly another 15 projects. The projects, however, are going to be more complicated, with more advanced techniques, like making and working with your own hand-pulled murrini, creating multi-layered paperweight-like base beads, decorating them using the very thin stringer, etc. etc. I've got lots of projects in my head; the trouble is, I've got to put it all down on paper and, what is a lot more difficult, to capture it all in photos.

I've also written and sent off two tutorials: one for the Bead and the other for Beads&Beyond. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to blog about the contents yet, so I won't :). The only thing is, as it's been bitterly cold and I have practially been unable to work in my usual place - conservatory - I've have a LOT of problems with making the final pieces for the articles, as I needed to send them off to be photographed by the magazines. Luckily for me, this hurdle is over and I'll be looking forward to seeing my projects in the summer issues - I'll keep you updated.

My little garden fairy is all covered in frost - Derbyshire proved to be very cold!

I've also been doing a lot of reading: Rod's second book in the Demi-Monde saga ("Spring") is out now, and I've been proof-reading the third, "Summer", and his other book which he wrote previously but haven't published yet. After that I've got the forth and the last of the Demi-Monde, "Fall", which is also written and is now with the editor. Busy!

Soon I'll start packing. Sadly, it will affect my bead making process... But I look forward to the new place and the new ideas!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Happy New Year!

Bead of the day: "Christmas Box"

Christmas is still coming to Russia: the Russian Orthodox Christmas is on the 7th January, and then on the night between 13th and 14th January it is the old Russian New Year - how cool is that! That's why I chose this bead for my today's blog: I made it some time ago, it is a hollow bead in the shape of a box with a decorated core. The festive theme involving red berries and green leaves of transparent glass with golstone-enhanced branches all of which is a slightly raised design is especially pretty with the light going through the bead. I've also partially etched it for the "frosted" look, but you can still peek inside. I'm not sure how good it looks on the photo, one really needs to see it in person, so as I don't usually go to fairs it is going to be more difficult to sell it - if I ever decide to do it.

I had some wonderful presents from my family this year, and they are especially dear to me because clearly a lot of thought was put into them. One of these which left me speechless when I opened it was a calendar designed by my children for me. I had told them I'd like a calendar and it had to be with flowers. But what I didn't expect at all was that they had contacted one of the internet companies which would print it and post it to you. So they put in photos of the previous year and even some older ones, including the pic of my parents at the datcha, and the leavers' ball, and many more. It is amazing...

Rod and I also received this lovely card which I loved so much that for the festive period I made it my FB profile pic, it's so cute! We don't usually give cards to each other, but the children said that they just couldn't resist when they saw it!

Happy New Year, and I hope it'll be happier, healthier and in general a lot better for all of us than the previous one!