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Sunday 31 January 2010

Featured Artist - Jean Munro

1. How did you get started in lampworking/fusing/jewellery making:

I started making jewellery when myself and my husband were travelling around Greece in our old Mercedes motorhome. I saw a pair of earrings I liked in a local shop by the harbour but they were 80 Euros and I couldn't afford them. My mum said, "Well , if you look on the internet I am sure you would find some earwires and stuff to make something for yourself. " Yep I blame her for the rest; it all just grew from there. I soon came upon lampwork beads and started to find out all I could about them. I knew I wanted to make beads myself. The first lampwork beads I ever bought were made by Mike Poole.

2. How long have you been lampworking/fusing/jewellery making:

I have been making jewellery for about 5 years now. When we came back to Scotland 2 years ago I went to a lampwork taster session in Edinburgh, followed by a workshop with Rachel Elliot. I loved it! I was hooked. I now have my torch set up in a great space at the back of the house. It's a utility room which wanted to be a conservatory but never quite made it, but it's perfect for lampworking and making my jewellery. I spend as much time in there as I can.

3. Where do you find your inspiration:

My inspiration really comes from my love of colour. From the wild flowers of Crete, to my mum's back garden, it's only little but it is a riot of colour. I often sit there when the weather's fine and it is so beautiful. Purples teamed with yellow and bright oranges and reds all vying for their space and looking for the sun. When I'm making anything I'm fickle really and get bored easily so I just let whatever rod of glass, lampwork set, or focal takes my fancy lead the design and I know its right if I'm smiling when it's finished.

4. What is your favourite piece of your own work:

I don't think I have a favourite piece as such although I think the first ever necklace I made with lampwork has a special place.

5. Who's work do you admire most:
To say whose work I admire most would be difficult indeed. I love lampwork beads and there are so many artists who's work I admire, as can be seen from the variety of beautiful beads I have in my collection and from my etsy favourites page. I would however like to own one of Sabine's beautiful roses in every colour, I have one so far. As for jewellery making, I really admire Nia from Gemwaithnia who has a lovely way with colour, Lynn Davy for the intricacy of her designs and George for her silver workmanship.
6. What are your goals for the future:

For the future I want to continue to make and sell my jewellery and to be able to incorporate some of my own beads in my designs. I enjoyed last year's craft fairs immensely and will be doing more this year. I also aim to fill my website and etsy shop as I have lots of jewellery waiting to be photographed and uploaded. I would like to have more lampworking lessons, take a silversmithing course and I would love to join the lapidary association and learn how to find and cut semi precious stones and put them in silver settings. There is so much to learn and this is a journey I could never tire of; there is always another new idea to try, a new skill to learn and so many beautiful beads, stones ribbons and metals to play with.

If you want to know more about Jean and her art here's how to find her:

Etsy shop: Ceardannan Jewellery
Blog: Jeanie's Blog
Flickr: Jean's Flickr Photo Galleries

Resolutions Challenge - Shahlaa Walsh

FHFteam are running a challenge right now on the word theme of Resolutions. Here is the stunning necklace entered by Sabine of Little Castle Designs.

Shahlaa Says:
Right my resolution was to use what I have before buying more! and my other resolution was to get a new press. So I have borrowed a press and used up some scraps to make these sprees... which I quite love

You can find more stunning jewellery and lampwork created by Shahlaa at Allthatsparklesbeads

Tuesday 12 January 2010

Pick of the week - Nature's Blue

This weeks picks are all stunning blues and nature themes. Beautiful lampwork glass beads crafted in the flame by some of the talented artists of FHFteam

Enjoy, Jolene

Featured this week are

STORMY SEAS by Pixiewillow
Below 4000 feet by DolmairicDesign
Stormy Seas by Hollergrafik
TROPIC THUNDER by FinishingTouchJewels
Winter Skies lampwork focal by josephinewadman

Wednesday 6 January 2010

Pick of the week - Snow Queen

Soft white snow drifting lazily from heaven to settle, a soft duvet on the ground. Desolate and solitary beauty and wintry white whimsy have inspired this weeks FHFteam's Snow Queen picks from me. Hope you like, Jolene

Featured this week are

Greay Lace bracelet by jowalker68
Found - lentil almpwork bead by flyingbead
Gold-Lilac Keishi Freshwater Pearl Necklace by sallygraddondesigns
BBA crosstitching glass beads by bubblefizz
Sculptural butterfly wedding tiara by littlecastledesigns

Monday 4 January 2010

Resolutions Challenge - Sabine Little

FHFteam are running a challenge right now on the word theme of Resolutions. Here is the stunning necklace entered by Sabine of Little Castle Designs.

Sabine says:
I first came across Jenny Joseph's poem a few years ago, and it made me laugh out loud. I had visions of this lovely elderly lady running her walking sticks along railings, and I thought 'that's how I want to grow old'. At the time, I was single, and fancy free, no child to be a good example to. This has changed, and I think I now respond to the poem differently. Whereas before, both points of view (the Now and the Later) were alien to me, I now feel I understand better how it feels to be 'grown up and responsible' - whatever that might mean...but at the same time, I've learnt that our children need to grow up with a sense of silliness, of fun that harms nobody, and to take risks for what they believe in. To metaphorically 'wear purple' every day - that's my resolution for 2010...and every year thereafter.

You can find more stunning jewellery and lampwork created by Sabine at LittleCastleDesigns

Fritty Ruffles Tutorial (with rose and leaf murrini)

Welcome to my second photo tutorial. An extravaganza of dodgy poorly lit indoor photography with a diddy wearing digi in all its glory.

This tutorial does not cover all the nuts and bolts of melting glass in the detail that a beginner lampworker might require but is intended merely as a rough guide for combining several techniques together in one bead. Some previous lampworking experience is implied.

I am using some of my own handpulled rose and leaf murrini chips as embellishment in these fritty ruffle beads but any handpulled or commercial murrini will work just as well. Step one is optional: Pull some 1mm stringer – this will be used for cold tweaking your leaf murrini later.

Step two: Wind a roughly tube shaped base bead which is approximately 3cm long and 2cm in diameter.

Step three: Marver the tube in to smooth tube shape, pressing down slightly to create nice dimples.

Step four: Warm the surface of your bead and then roll your base bead in frit

Step five: Melt the frit in to the surface of your bead completely

Step six: press your bead flat between two heat resistant surfaces. Make sure you do not press your bead flatter than 3 times the width of the mandrel.

Step seven: Heat one side of your bead and then snip a groove in to the hot glass with old scissors. Repeat the process on the other side of the bead, this time snipping twice.

Step eight: Warm your bead through thoroughly to round off the corners of your cut ares.

Step nine: Flatten again gently.

Step ten: Turn your fame down and spot heat where you would like to place your rose murrini.

Step eleven: Take the murrini in long handled tweezes, move your bead out of the flame and then press the murrini firmly in to the molten bead surface

Step twelve: Heat the murrini through quickly and press flat, repeat this process 3 or 4 times, flattening the murrini a little more each time. This is where the murrini application process differs slightly from applying starburst murrini, where the murrini is heated strongly and pressed only once.

Step thirteen: Repeat steps eleven through twelve for each rose or leaf murrini that you wish to apply to your bead.

Step fourteen (for leaf murrini only): Spot heat your murrini in a low flame. Remove from the flame and pull a “tip” to your leaf murrini using your cold 1mm stringer. Flame cut the stringer from your tweaked murrini.

Turning Leaf murrini - created using Red Copper Green Effetre, apply in an oxy rich flame to get the pewter finish

Spring Leaf murrini - apply in a neutral flame to avoid any unwanted reduction effects

You can find more of my beads and glasswork on Etsy and on my webshop too.
Jo x

Saturday 2 January 2010

Pick of the week - New Year Resolution

Stunningly photographed artistry from FHFteam. Images and objects that I find jaw droppingly beautiful! Enjoy, Jolene

Featured this week are

Stirling - cute lampworked borosilicate glass mouse pendant by flyingbead
Large Silver core 'Storm Bead' by HelenPetersBeads
Freehand - Silver Earrings by ElelJewellery
Captured Beach by VeeBeads
Oil Slick by craftyclare