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.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

New ideas finally in practice

Ages ago, long before I harboured a dream of being able to make my own lampwork beads, I bought some stunning beads from an Etsy seller. They were a bit of an investment, but one I couldn't resist. I thought of using them with my sea glass to make an unusual necklace. From time to time they came out of the box, I ooh and aah'd but nothing more.

Then I realised I needed a picture for the North Somerset Arts Week brochure, happening May 2011. The deadline was approaching. I wanted something different to pictures I've submitted in past years. Yesterday I finally got on with it. An hour or so plugged into my gorgeous purple iPod in my studio and I had enough sea glass drilled beads to be going on with. Now I just needed to make it into a necklace ....!

Here's the finished result. I'm rather pleased with it. It will be available for sale during NSAW, maybe before.

Sea glass, lampwork beads and sterling silver necklace; matching earrings available.

Beads By Laura: Win these nuggety lovelies!

Beads By Laura: Win these nuggety lovelies!: "Let's do something cheerful. Let's have a giveaway! Do you fancy having a go at winning this set of ten gleaming nugget beads? These tacti..."

Friday, 13 August 2010

Work in progress - my first beads

I've had my new lampwork bead torch for about a month but having amassed a few beads but not having a kiln (yet!) I'm looking on Frit Happens for someone to fire these for me.

So here we have the best of the first.

These are a few of my favourites - I love the purple and black beads, made using frit from That Frit Girl - I went a bit mad and bought rather a lot - another wonderful find on Frit Happens!

One of the things I did want to master was making beads from sea glass. I had hoped that some of the frosting would have remained in the glass but here are my first attempts. The way to do it is NOT to just hold a big bit of sea glass in the torch and hope for the best. Actually that was quite scary and did nothing for the health of the tweezers! I think the best way would be to pull stringers, but I'm still working on that. The clear beads were actually quite dark sea foam sea glass when I started and all were well frosted pieces. There was a wonderful piece of aqua, but that bead broke so it's decorating a flower pot in the garden - all my waste sea glass is used as mulch, it looks great, uses it up and shines beautifully when it rains. I ran out of people to give it to for mosaic, glass art etc, then ran out of space to store it. When I get a kiln, I want to try fusing some into coasters, but that's another story, and might not even be possible.l If you know how to do it, get in touch.

Let me know what you think.

I'm still here - the diary of a computer phobic!!

Well, 'puter probs continue! What a week - or two.

I think it's because of the way my new computer, Kevin (as in temperamental teenager) is set up, with my old hard drive installed as well as a huge new one but I now get 3 of every email. I'm slowly getting rules sorted for this but until I'm confident anything important is filed in the right place I'm checking 3 inboxes, deleted, trashcans, et al. It all seems pretty much OK with just the spam blog comments getting left in my inbox.

On the subject of SPAM- if you comment on my blog, please leave a comment in English - or it'll be rejected. Some get lost in translation I'm sure as they make no sense whatsoever, some are downright rude and disgusting and a few have verged on being porn! So now I don't bother translating, I just delete presuming that anyone who can read my blog can reply in English too. If I'm wrong I'm sorry, but some have spoiled it for the rest of you - and I like to be able to read what your comment says.

My biggest problem is Kevin has done something to my files for my website. None of the links work, despite me going in and re-doing them. Now, it's written in a very old version of Dreamweaver by yours truly who knows zilch about websites so isn't exactly zippedy-doodah but it just about meets my needs. I've decided I'd be better off getting one of the eaier programmes aimed at beginners and working from that. I've narrowed my search down to 2 programmes, Serif Webplus X4 and Incomedia Website X5. I'm verging towards the former, several people on Folksy have recommended it and the forum looks more suppoprtive for when (not 'if') I get stuck. Both will allow a shopping cart (although neither have stock control) so I coulod move my work to there from Big Cartel if the BC shop continues to be this quiet. Oh I don't know, it's too confusing. Anyone any experience of either of these?

Coffee calls, hopefully I'll have time to update later on how the bead making is going and other work in progress. Meanwhile the pictures are here to brighten my, and your day - at least my garden is working and I can only dream of a holiday by the sea.