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, 11 February 2012

What a week! More sea glass beads now available

You know how some weeks seem to go on for eternity? Well, this has been one of them! Thankfully the threatened snow didn't have much of an impact, for once we were on the right side (or should that be left side) of the line and basked in cold sunshine with only a few wintery showers to annoy.

The week started out badly when someone, not me, left the petrol cap on top of the car, drove off, realised his error, drove back to watch another car drive over and break it. I now seem to have some fancy doo-dah that only stays in the pipe if I shout at it. Who cares it won't lock, fortunately the flap on the car does. I didn't know you could pay that much for a petrol cap!

Monday: and same car has to go to the bodyshop (not the kind that sells White Musk perfume!) to have the rather large dent removed from the bumper. I didn't do that either - same person as the petrol cap incident! The insurance would have written my old jalopy off so we've had to pay for this ourselves (not the use of 'we'!) until I can afford a new jalopy. Actually, strike 'afford' and replace with 'find' - finding an estate car to take all those boxes for craft fairs isn't easy, not many estate cars around, well, not many with proper big boot spaces that aren't designed to stuff another 3 elves in seats into. Anyway, I spend a couple of hours booking my car in, it would have been quicker and less embarrassing to have said where there weren't any scratches than keep marking them on the check in form. Then I get given a tiny Chevrolet to get me from A to B for the week. I was given the 'don't do any damage or it'll cost you £250' chat and crept home avoiding all confrontation on the M5.

Tuesday and a journey up the M5 demonstrates that tiny Chevrolets cannot do more than about 50 uphill, the lorries were overtaking me for a change, not impressed - mental note not to buy one of these instead of an estate car. Never mind, I get mine back on Friday. My day is darkened further by noticing a mark on the loan car - fortunately some 'stuff' from Halfords removes all but the stubbonest marks. I parked it on the end of a row so this must have been malicious damage :( I mentally start working out where I'll find another £250 - the total bill is now about the value of the car, I might as well have just scrapped it (except I need a car and can't aford to buy a newer one).

Wednesday - text arrives - 'don't forget we want our car back tomorrow'. I text back that our agreement is different, see you Friday. 'Oh yes' they say.

Friday: I drive through a blizzard (the West Coast version, we don't do snow over here) to be told 'oops, they forgot to collect your car for service Thursday, we'll start it later today!' I go home in the under-powered Chevvy and carefully park in the drive. Shouldn't a Chevvy be red, sporty, open topped, sexy? This was blue, under-powered and tinny. I should be drilling sea glass - I eat cake instead.

Anyway, my now rather presentably bumpered estate is back home and safely on the drive. The mad fools valeted it, inside and out; I hope it doesn't think it'll get that kind of treatment from me. The marks on the not-so-sexy-Chevvy didn't show up in the pouring rain so someone is looking after me this week. My car won't be going far for a few days as I need to renew the warranty on it (it's often very poorly) before it reaches 100,000 miles (the maximum starting mileage they will cover) - it's a race between 100,000 miles arriving before pay day, and the mileage is winning. The warranty is not an inconsiderable sum, I need time to be able to find that kind of dosh - and winning £6 on the Euromillions yesterday hasn't helped much. It was our 2nd win in a week - we're were thinking how best to splash the cash, all £10 of it and settled on a Sainsbury's meal deal. You can no longer do a chish and fip supper for 2 in Clevedon, and it's too cold to sit and watch the sunset on the sea front, lovely though it might have been. Through the low could and rain.

For a little light relief, and de-stressing, I've drilled some more sea glass into beads and they are now listed on Ebay. Hopefully I'll have time to make some more tomorrow. I have another race here - can I make my few remaining drills last to drill more glass, until the new order escapes from the clutches of the Customs man and get to my doorstep - they are coming from the US, but I suspect on the 'Slow Boat to China'.

So, do give my sea glass beads some love. I've also listed some lovely pieces of red and blue English sea glass, very rare colours but I found them!

So, that's my week sorted. What was your week like?

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Handmade sea glass beads

Whilst I was making some sea glass drilled beads for me, I made some for you!

These are all genuine sea glass, from English beaches - having had a quick wander around Ebay there is a lot of sea glass there that's not been near a beach! If it's too regular in colour and shape, then it's probably not down to Mother Natures slapdash ways - she rarely makes two pieces the same, which is what is so nice about a natural product.

Along side this, I have some rare 'end of day' sea glass, also known as multis or multicoloured glass, pieces. These are small but beautiful. And getting very rare. These came from a beach in the North East of England, where the last glassworks closed around 1923 apparently. I have a few larger pieces that I will make into jewellery, but these are a bit small for my designs.

Finally, all those lovely chunky sea glass eggs .... I keep them all, so rare and an exciting find, but with all the piles of them along windowledges it is beginning to look a bit like a sea glass chicken farm so I have sorted out my favourites and am offering the rest. Again these are quite rare. Usually they get broken on stones on the beach but these are all lovely quality. They are usually from the dumps of glass at the end of the day, hence their size, especially as glass was taxed in the 18th and 19th century, on what was used in the factories, so they wouldn't want to be taxed twice on the raw produyct and dumped it instead.

So, all these lovelies are listed on Ebay. If you'd like something more specific get in touch as I am happy to take commissions. I am working with a natural product though, so what I currently have is what I have until my next foray onto the beach - hopefully March will be warmer, Cornwall here I come!