About Me

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North Somerset, United Kingdom
My parents were worried when I ran around with scissors – now I play with fire and (intentionally) break glass! Based in the beautiful South West of England, close to the sea and often the scene of beautiful sunsets, I am inspired by the countryside around. Working with sea glass collected from remote beaches, soda lime glass from Murano, Italy, Europe, USA and beyond, I create artisan beads, for use in my own jewellery or for you to enjoy in your own creations. But I couldn’t stop there; continuing the theme from round rods to flat sheets, mostly from the USA, I break large sheets of transparent, opaque, multi-coloured and dichroic glass into much smaller pieces to make a kiln-formed range of bright, colourful jewellery and home decoration. Each piece I make is individually designed around the shape, size and beauty of the materials and intended to be unique, wearable, usable and affordable. All my glass work is kiln annealed for strength and durability and designed to give pleasure for years to come.

Monday, 22 February 2010

A handmade revolution?

I was handed my shopping in a newspaper carrier bag the other day but sadly it carried a tag, attached with plastic tie, declaring it was made in Bali. This had me thinking. I rather liked the bag, although the staples in the handle wouldn't be recyclable, nor the plastic tie, and any carbon saving from recycling newspaper would be offset by the air miles from Bali. But a seed was sown.

I had a trawl through the internet and found a wonderful video and tutorial by The Newspaper Bag Project. I had the basic components to make a few bags (having forgotten to rescue a few more newspapers from the Recycling box this morning before the refuse collectors took them away), found an old paintbrush for the glue and started making a few. The video helped in understanding the instructions, I thought.

I'm quite pleased with my efforts, they don't take long to make although I think drying the bags at each stage would be a better idea as my PVA glue made the local newspaper a bit soggy. It rains a lot in Clevedon so perhaps they build in extra sogginess for us! Fortunately I'm working on the dining table with a radiator alongside so have a small production run going.

I pay a lot for my paper carrier bags from the wholesaler, I get through a lot at fairs, but is recycled newspaper carrier bags going at bit far? I've checked the ink doesn't come off easily, my hands are quite clean from making the bags so there is little risk of the ink coming off on something in the bag. They are quite strong; in the the video they test with 2 wine bottles and mine certainly hold 2 wine bottles although I wouldn't really want to carry that weight too far in them, just in case. My bags would be used at fairs to hold lightweight items.

But is this going a stage too far? Would you be offended if you were given your purchase, already wrapped in tissue paper or boxed, in a newspaper carrier? I didn't use the page with the local 'hatches, matches and dispatches' in case there was anything there to offend. Our local is mainly houses for sale but an interesting front cover would come in handy. I thought I would add a brightly coloured business card, with garden string so it would be recyclable, to personalise it a bit.

What are your thoughts? Let me know. Yes, no or maybe?


  1. I think this is a fabulous idea! I would certainly not be offended, and I am sure I bought something in the past made from a recycled Chinese newspaper. There is a world of difference with buying a bit of china from a car boot sale, wrapped up in a bit of paper, and consciously creating bags out the stuff. It's the trouble you take that counts.

    from cherry tree x

  2. I think it is a fabulous idea. I would be that sad soul who would read the stories once I reached home!! So, be careful choosing your newspaper!! Brilliant.

  3. Yip I reckon it's a fab idea too...good talking point that your making the effort to save our planet, i'd be very happy knowing you'd gone the extra mile to make the carrier bag to, and i can easily pop it in my recycling box...so thats a thumbs up from me...Marice x (off to check out your link now)

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  5. Hi, I've awarded your blog a sunshine award to View my post on who i've nominated goto. http://faeryatrix.blogspot.com/2010/02/my-nominees-for-sunshine-award-sunshine.html