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, 6 August 2011

New beads on the block

Life is a bit hectic over here at Blue Box Studio, but I'm not sure why! It's been a busy couple of weeks but I've not much to show for it. You know what I mean, we all have weeks like this!

My long awaited bead coring gizmo arrived from
Mango Beads last Friday. It's a new design and made by Manda and David, In my opinion it is superior to any of the others on the market because, apart from being British so no ghastly extortionate import fees, it does several things, where the others only do one. It's a 3 stage process, one part flares the tubing, another flattens it to the bead and the final stage domes the top of the tube. I much prefer the look to others I've seen. It's also easy for me to use (post elbow op) - I need all the help I can get.

Of course there is more to coring a bead than squish and squash. The sterling silver tube has to be cut, the burrs removed, the tubing annealed, pickled, cleaned and that's before I get to play with my new gizmo! Previously I've been coring my big holed beads (BHBs) with glued in sterling cores, a lot of people use them because these tools don't come cheap, but in future my beads will be solid cored with sterling silver tube. Sadly, that will affect the price a little, have you seen the price of silver recently? It's jumped by something like 25% to over £1000 a kilo (if my source is correct) in a couple of months.

At the moment my tube cored beads will fit any bracelets less than 4mm diameter, such as Troll or Lovelinks Petite. The rivet cored beads have a larger cored diameter of 4.5mm and will fit Pandora and smaller, my uncored beads will fit any bracelet system (as far as I am aware) because they have a hole slightly larger than 5mm.

Oh and talking of Troll and Pandora, we can't! Ebay have taken to removing listings where the words are mentioned, you can't even say 'fits ....' so when I do list on there, which will be infrequently in future, I shall have to find other ways of describing my beads to the way most people will be looking for them. If only it were a level playing field on Ebay, and the fakes were also removed. I guess they make more money from counterfeiters than they do from me, and a lot of other lampwork artists.

I hope shortly to be making genuine sea glass cored beads, something a little bit different - watch this space.

Anyway, this leads to new beads on the block, these will shortly be available through my Folksy, Etsy and Artfire shops.