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Wednesday 28 October 2009

Sparkle Challenge - VeeBeads Vicki

FHFteam are running a Seasonal Sparkle Challenge right now and here is are some beautiful sparkly listings from Vicki of VeeBeads.

Vicki Says:
I am 37 and live in Devon with my fiance, two house rabbits and a Degu (Chilean destert rat) I have been torching since April this year and am just a bit obsessed. I am entirely self taught, and most of my work is the result of hours of trial and error! I also enjoy card craft, and am learning beadwork and metal clay.

You can find more lovely glass by Vicki at VeeBeads

Vicki also writes The Trials and Tribulations of a Newbie Lampworker! articles here on the team blog.

The Trials and Tribulations of a Newbie Lampworker!

Hello again! I am back as promised with some more "Rules" that I have discovered on my brief lampworking journey, I hope you enjoy them!

Rule number 3: You always have to have every new glass that comes onto the market immediately and without regard for the size of you bank balance. This is just a plain fact that you cannot escape. But I will let you into a secret.......this is not a problem that is only suffered by Newbs. No siree. Even the old hands still suffer from this one. You are not alone, you should never be ashamed. It is a part of the addiction, for which there is no cure. Just accept it and move on. My personal poison is silver glass, even though I have a really hard time getting it to do anything on my HH, a new one becomes available, someone makes a gorgeous bead with it, and out comes the Debit card without a second thought! (“Dinner darling? Oh, I though we should be frugal and use up some leftovers. Yorkshire pudding with limp salad and cold spaghetti will be just fine, won’t it?”) Here is a photo of an early Aurae **ahem** "experiment":

Rule number 4: You will never have enough space. This is an unavoidable side effect of following unwaveringly rule number 5:
You will never have enough tools. And I tell you this my friends, there is no point trying to avoid this rule. Everywhere you turn some friendly type is flogging something that you suddenly really have a need for, or some equally friendly type is receiving new stock from a new or a favourite supplier. These people are feeding the addiction and we love them for it!
Please remember to post a comment with your suggestion of what a lampwork addict should be, I will give a prize for my favourite!
Thanks for reading, I'll be back soon :)
You can find me on Etsy :)

Tuesday 27 October 2009

Sparkle Challenge - Hazel Ward

FHFteam are running a Seasonal Sparkle Challenge right now and here is a beautiful sparkly listing from Hazel Ward of Continuumdesigns.

Hazel says:
I'd been making jewellery for a few months when I began to notice the wonderful handmade beads and jewellery components available online. Desperate to make my own beads, but lacking the resources for lampworking at the time, a family friend suggested I venture into polymer clay bead-making, and I instantly became hooked. Until I pick up a lampworking starter kit, I'm having fun testing out my ideas in polymer clay form.

You can find more of Hazels beautiful bead creations at ContinuumDesigns

Pick of the Week - Spotlight on Spooky Stuff

With Halloween just arond the corner I have been feeling a spooky spotlight a-comin' on! - hope you enjoy this weeks picks.


Featured this week are

Spooky skulls set by keiara
Dragons eyes by kitzbitz
El Dia de los Muertos earings by pandanimal
Orlando by flamebornbeads
Mexican midnight by dangerousbead

Sparkle Challenge - Jennie Lamb

FHFteam are running a Seasonal Sparkle Challenge right now and here is a beautiful selection of Sparkly listings from Jennie Lamb of Raspberry Rings.

Jennie says:
I have always loved jewellery that has unusual textures and design, rings in particular and I was using silver plated copper to make rings to sell in the gift boutique Bazaar my husband and I own in Barnstaple, North Devon. Then I met Manda at Mango Beads, in fact her daughter Sophie worked for us in her gap year, and I had my first lesson on the torch (Feb 09)with her and that totally changed my life, glass has filled a creative void I felt for years. I cleared the spiders out of the shed, got a starter pack form Martin, a Bead Cube and a heap of glass and I am now officially hooked. I just love the limitless options glass offers and the fact that each day at the torch is an adventure, you never know where it will take you and I now spend most of my life thinking and dreaming glass....it has become a complete obsession!! Hurray for that!!

You can find more beautiful lampwork glass beads by Jennie at RASPBERRYRINGS

Sunday 25 October 2009

Creative UK - Blue! Etsy Treasury

A wonderful collection of UK treasures curated by Lynn Davy. This stunning treasury is doing very very well in the treasury hot list and will be a page one stunner in due of course, of that I am sure!

This pretty treasury features glass art and jewellery design by no less than 4 FHFteam members

Beach Balls by Lush Lampwork
Turquoise and Silver bracelet by jewelsofthedales
Native Winter lentils by BruntiesBeads and
Spotty Dotty by hollergrafik

This treasury is currently live so you can visit and click and comment at

or if this link has expired you can find out more about FHFteam Here

You can find Lynn's beautiful work on Etsy at Nemeton


Tuesday 20 October 2009

The Trials and Tribulations of a Newbie Lampworker!

First, an introduction. I am Vicki, and I am a Newbie Lampworker. And I am addicted, does that make me a lampaholic? A glassaholic? A flameaholic? I’ll leave you to decide that one. In fact, leave your suggestion in the comments and I will give a prize for my favourite!
There are rules to follow when you are a Newb, apart from the obvious safety aspects of the hobby/job of course.
Rule number one is: You will always try and run before you can walk. Not that I am saying I run around my flat with a rod of molten glass you understand, it’s just that thing, when you realise that you can wind the glass onto the mandrel without big blobs of glass falling on the work surface or without burning your home down or without burning yourself, but a simple single colour wonky spacer bead is never enough. Lets face it, you’ve spent weeks looking at all the amazing and beautiful things that everyone here has produced, and you want to do the same. And it is with a certain amount of arrogance that you think to yourself “ It doesn’t look like that should be too hard to do.......” So you try it. This inevitably leads to rule number two:
There will be “faliures”.
Now, this is where it gets harder. Nothing that you produce with your own fair hands is ever really a faliure, but that can be difficult to believe when you are staring down at an enormous gob of yucky, mis-shapen, ugly glass and saying to yourself “That’s definitely not an angel, it’s more like a piece of dog p**” Well, take it from someone who has produced their fair share of p** looking beads, everything you produce is part of the journey, you learn something every time you wind that glass onto that mandrel, even if it’s what not to do next time. It’s all part of the journey. Try putting your first bead onto a piece of string, then add your second and third and so on. Your first few are bound to be entirely experimental (because of course you will be obeying the first rule), but you will see some progress, even at this early stage. Then every time you try a new technique, add the first bead to the string as a milestone marker for your journey. You will start to see just how quickly you do progress!

I have more rules to follow soon, (with pictures!) thanks for reading and happy lampworking!

You can find me on Etsy :)


Pick of the Week - Spotlight on Black Magic

Dark and moody, beautiful, elegant, uplifting. A touch of understated class from FHFteam this week. Hope you like 'em.


Featured this week are

Classic black handmade chiffon ribbons by SowZere
Tardis Wormhole by steampunkglass
Black Jacks by crogdlws
Black Boro bracelet by ceardannanjewellery
Magic circle neclace by jeanniegems

Monday 19 October 2009

Cheaty Bicone - tutorial by Kitzbitz Art Glass

Some more older footage from me that I have finally got around to editing. It shows one method of shaping a focal sized bicone on a hot head torch. The video shows how to build the shape up in three peices and tweak and make neat the ends and holes with my cheaty little pokey method.


Kitzbitz Art Glass

Sleek oval focal with Shards - tutorial by kitzbitz Art Glass

Thank you to Sandy Kelly (Flowerjasper) for coming over to play
and doing a bit of filming with me.

I have wanted for a while to create a tutorial that shows an easy way to handle glass shard application as surface decoration on a focal bead. I have left them raised in this tutorial but you can go further and melt them flat. You could merge the colours of the shards in with your base bead by spot heating then twisting them at the edges with a stringer or layer other elements like dots/stringer/murrini on top of them for more a more complex result.

Dark silver plum (DSP) is a premium handpulled glass made by Effetre and it turns to the most beautiful metallic shade in an oxygen rich flme. You can get some great rainbow effects from this glass in a propane rich reduction flame too.

I think that hand blown DSP shards are simply lovely!


Kitzbitz Art Glass

Sunday 18 October 2009

Cheaty Twistie - a beginner tutorial by Kitzbitz Art Glass

This is some footage from 2007 when I was very much still new to working with glass.
As you can see, I am working on a Hot head which is single fuel torch, propane only.
I call this the cheaty twistie method - heating only a small amount of glass to pull about an inch of twistie at a time. It is great way to get the feel of how *elastic* glass can be without feeling like you have to control with gravity a large fluid gather of glass.

Here is a bead that I made in 2007 with my cheaty twistie

It was a mile stone for me, a newbie bead I was dead thrilled with and so I hope my basic little video will help some one else along the addictive path of lampwork.


Kitzbitz Art Glass

Wednesday 14 October 2009

Twightlight team treasury

One of our members HelenBlueFairy recently made this delicious team treasury in fabby violet and moody purples - yum my favourite colours. I am very proud to say it made page 2 on the Etsy hot list with almost 200 views.

You can find out more about
Frit Happens Etsy Street Team Here


Pick of the Week - Spotlight on Winter

This evening, coming in late from the studio, fingers numb with cold and a hint of frost on the window I couldn't help but begin to feel festive...this week's picks are all images that for me capture something special about the feel and mood of the coming season

this weeks picks are

Pastel Icicle Beads Set by Shahlaa Walsh
Champagne Garden Collar by Lynn Davey
Continuum Lampwork Glass Bead Set by Clare Scott
Festive Earring Pairs Lampwork beads by lorna Prime
Native Winter lampwork bead set by Ingrid brunt


Thursday 8 October 2009

Pick of the Week - Spotlight on Autumn

The change of the seasons is a thoughtful time for me, bright days morph slowly in to long nights and crisp fresh breezes creep from nowhere to whip your cheeks to rose. The redemption of autumn for me is the riot of rich colour that it brings, in this way the season seems to me to give more to my soul than it takes.

This Weeks Picks are

TOO-WIT TOO-WOO Bead Set by Catherine Throup
Every Stone tells a story by Emma MacKintosh
Fruit of the flame, 3 blackberry beads by Samantha Capeling
Arabian Nights Bead Set by Vicki White
Lampwork Soft Glass Implosion Marble by Sean Taylor