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Wednesday 29 February 2012

A mega round-up of all our members news from 2012!

A mega round-up of all our members news from 2012!


Jolene/ Kitzbitz Art Glass has had twistie pictures included in the Jan 2012 edition of Soda Lime Times (as well as a lovely mention in the CiM monthly email newsletter!)


Julia Hay, aka Pandanimal, has been asked to exhibit her jewellery in the Fire and Ice exhibition at the North Rock Gallery once again. The show runs until the 28th of April, so why not pop in if you're in the area?


A welcome back to Terri of From the Shed who has rejoined the team, and recently launched her brand-new, self made bead release called Lucky Dip. Lucky Dip is handmade in the UK, and all ingredients are likewise sourced from here.

Madeline Bunyan is having a special Leap Year sale on February the 29th - simply use the code LEAPYEAR20PERCENTOFF for a 20% discount. Plus pop by her Facebook page to join in with upping the promotional ante! Here's the link: Unique Lampwork and Jewellery by Madeline Bunyan

Sunday 26 February 2012

Lynn's Lampies - March 2012

Lynn’s Lampies

A regular spot from team member Lynn Davy, a self-confessed bead addict whose unusual designs often feature lampwork beads. In this series she shares some of her secrets and shows you how to use FHFteam’s handmade beads and components in your own creations!

March 2012
Cooking with Colour

Colour is fundamental to everything I make. It took me a while to figure this out, as I have a butterfly mind when it comes to beading and have played with all sorts of styles…

from minimal and monochrome…

To lush and rainbow coloured.

I’m often asked how I put my colour palettes together and the short answer is that I don’t exactly know. I tend to do it by a process of subtraction: I have an idea, then I grab a huge pile of stuff from my stash, put it all on a tray, sit in a really good light and weed out all the colours that don’t really work. Here is a typical trayload – I’m trying to pick colours that will go with these gorgeous ‘graffiti’ beads by Helen Chalmers:

If I’m stuck for an idea I go to my lampwork box. Close study of handmade beads can give you some unexpected but wonderful colour combinations, like the ones I found in these ‘Mojito’ beads by Jo Wolfe.

Or these pretty springtime beads from Sue at Flaming Eck:

We are all drawn to particular colour combinations; here are a few of mine.

Pinks with a touch of olive green, bronze, cream… the more ‘fleshy’ pinks are good for this, as they have more yellow in them than the ‘sweet’ rose and baby pinks.

Earthy neutrals – you can’t go wrong with these. Add touches of cream or green for contrast

Zingy opposites – lime, red, aqua, orange – this always seems to me to have a Mexican vibe about it.

Blues and greys. Use graded tones from light to dark to make the colours really glow. These beads were made for me by Julia Hay and are designed to pick up the colours of labradorite – my all-time favourite gemstone!

Apart from a stash of labradorite, there are a few other colours that I really can’t do without.  Lime green and black and matte cream, of course. And these…

‘Silver lined gold olive’ seed beads – these are somewhere between a green and a gold and they tone or contrast with almost anything. The bracelet is a bit of a flop on the design front, but I really like the colour combination and will be returning to it!

Haematite. Not as bright as silver, but more interesting than black. The equivalent seed bead colour is often called ‘gunmetal’ and it gives a vintage feel to your beadwork.

 ‘Silk’ crystals – they’re pink… or are they? They add a lovely touch of warmth to creamy palettes, they add highlights to browny mixtures, they blend in with pastel shades, and they contrast beautifully with my favourite acid ‘olivine’ and ‘lime’ sparklies…

Crystals can be hard to put together in palettes because so many of the colours are strong and well defined. Here’s a little geometric construction that’s quick to make and useful for exploring different colour combinations before embarking on a major project. And equally useful for mopping up that handful of spare beads when said major project is finished…

Tutorial: Sparkly Hexagon Pendant

You will need: Twelve 6mm bicone crystals and six 5mm ones; 42 round 2mm metal beads (or little acrylic pearls or metallised rounds); nylon beading thread such as ‘Fireline’; ribbon or chain; needle and scissors.

1. Thread your needle with an arm’s length of thread. Pick up seven beads in the following order: round, 6mm, round, 5mm, round, 6mm, round.

2. Tie the working and tail ends together in a double overhand knot.

3. Go through the first three beads again.

4. Pick up the following five beads: round, 6mm, round, 5mm, round. Go through the same three beads again as you did in the previous step.

5. Go on through the next three beads (round, 5mm, round)…

6. … and through the next three beads (round, 6mm, round).

7. This is just like step 4: pick up (round, 6mm, round, 5mm, round) and go through the three beads you went through in the previous step.

8. Go through the first three beads of step 7 again (round, 6mm, round).

9. Continue adding sets of five beads as in the previous steps, until you have a total of six 6mm crystals forming a wheel shape. This is much simpler to do than to explain, honest! At the very last step you will add just three beads (round, 5mm, round) to complete the ‘rim’ of the wheel. Make sure you weave through the beads to connect the last set of beads to the first. Exit on the rim of the wheel.

10. Now start to add a second layer of 6mm crystals to form the other side of the pendant and hold the structure in place. These crystals will share the ‘rim’ of 5mm crystals. Pick up (round, 6mm, round, 6mm, round) and go through the set of ‘rim’ beads you exited in the previous step.

11. Pull the new beads firmly into place and go through the first three beads of step 10 again.

12. Add three more beads (round, 6mm, round), weaving through the existing 5mm ‘rim’ beads…

13. … and keep going until you have added all six of the 6mm crystals to the second side of the pendant. Make sure you weave through all the connections, and reinforce any that are loose. When you’re happy, exit  somewhere along the edge.

14. Now add a round bead in each of the gaps between the ‘rim’ sets, to give extra stability.

15. When you’ve filled all six gaps, weave all round the rim to tighten it, and exit through one of the extra round beads.

16. Add six rounds and make a loop for hanging. Go round it another couple of times. Weave the thread into the work, knot and trim the end. Weave in and trim the tail thread too.

17. Now use a jump ring to hang the pendant on a chain or ribbon. Or hang in your studio window to make rainbows when the sun shines!

Happy sparkling


Members’ shops mentioned in this article
Flaming ‘Eck http://www.etsy.com/shop/FlamingEck
Helen Chalmers http://www.etsy.com/shop/helenjewellery
Julia Hay http://www.etsy.com/shop/Pandanimal
Diane Turton http://www.etsy.com/shop/SowZeRe
Jolene Wolfe http://www.etsy.com/shop/KitzbitzArtBeads

Treasury round up 26/2/2012

You can find beautiful beads, glass and more made by the talented members of FHFteam HERE

Wednesday 22 February 2012

Member Interrogations - Gay Massender

Welcome this week to Gay Massender from GaysieMay! In this interview she tells us how she got started, gives us a beautiful quotation to read, and lets her love of glass shine through. Read on....

1 - Your name: Gay Massender

2 - Your shop name and address: GaysieMay, GaysieMay.etsy.com

3 - Describe your artistic style in three words: evolving, wearable and fun.

4 - When did you first start working with glass and how did you get started?  

I first got into lampworking in 2008 after buying a starter kit and 'The Complete Book of Lampworking' by Kimberley Adams.  Prior to that I had taken a one day fusing course and bought a cheap kiln of ebay, making small fused pieces led me into jewellery making and from there of course I had my first real introduction to lampwork beads.  I knew I had to try and make them, what can I say, from then I was hooked.

5 - What do you love most about your craft?

I love many things about lampworking, one of which is the fact that when I'm at the torch I become totally involved in what I am doing, its a form of escapism!  Another reason for loving it is that there is always a challenge to be overcome, whether it is in how to make a particular bead or how it may work within a piece of jewellery.  I've never sat at my torch and felt bored - frustrated occasionally, but never bored.

 6 - If you could take a class with any artist (in your field or otherwise) who would you choose and why?

I would really love to take a class with Bronwen Heilman as I think that some of the techniques she uses would be both challenging and yet adaptable.  I have the 'Bronwen Heilman' Jim Kervin book and I keep thinking one day I'm going to try this, especially the painterly techniques.

7 - Do you have a favourite piece of your work that you can share with us?

I'm particularly enjoying making these brooches at the moment using techniques learnt on the Sara Sally Le Grand course held by Tuffnells

I'm not sure when this is going out, but I am really quite pleased with the piece of work I've made for this years GBUK jewellery competition.  I had several days when I woke up and just lay there thinking about how to construct it and which colour palette to use, I'm pleased with the final piece but can't show pictures of it until the competition is closed.

8 - Where do you find your inspiration?

A variety of places really, it often starts with colours, maybe a piece of fabric I've seen or colours from the changing year.  Recently this has been combined with new techniques learnt on the Sara Sally Le Grand course run by Tuffnells last year.

9 - What’s your favourite technique within your medium?

I can't say I have a favourite technique as such, but I have noticed that I tend to use a restricted colour range within a piece of work.  I try and be wild and pick colours up randomly, but they never seem to work, so before I start at the torch I usually pick a mit full of rods that I think will tone well.  If new ideas are not working I always finish a session at the torch with a scrolled transparent hollow, because then I know there will be at least one bead in the kiln that is reasonably pretty.

10 - Where do you create your work?

I'm lucky enough to have my torch in the house looking out of the window into our front garden, the set up looks a little messy, but at least I can torch through the winter, which I couldn't do for the first couple of years when I was based in the garage.

11 - Do you have a favourite colour scheme or range when you’re creating pieces?

I guess I tend toward the cooler colours blues and neutrals.  I rarely work with reds and oranges or yellow it's not that I don't like them, but I rarely wear these colours so can visualise them made up into jewellery.

12 - Can you give us a quotation/lyric/piece of advice that sums up your approach to life and your craft?

 “In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.”  Albert Camus

13 - The most serious question of all: if you could meet any fictional character, from TV film or literature, who would it be and why?

Dr Who - I think time travel would be awesome, but also I've grown up with him.

14 - Finally, what are your plans or hopes for your work in the future?

I hope to keep learning new techniques and experimenting, I want to continue to feel excited and occasionally frustrated by glass.  I want to always feel the way I do now about melting glass.


Thanks Gay for a lovely read!

Sunday 19 February 2012

Thursday 16 February 2012

FHFTeam on Pinterest!

The FHFTeam now has a Pinterest team! Here's Julia from Pandanimal to tell you what Pinterest is, let you know what you can find there, and give you a taste of the tantalising eye-candy she's already collected.
FHFTeam Pinterest Boards

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is an online inboard/scrapbook which lets you capture or ‘pin’ almost any image you find on the internet and save it to a board/page of your choosing together with a link back to where you discovered it. This allows you and others to trace these images through to their original source. You can use it to keep ideas and inspiration all in one place, to share interesting finds, and even to store a pictorial shopping list. You can also choose to follow the boards of others, and others can follow you, which means you are free to spend many happy hours wandering around friends’ pages (and the pages of their friends!) finding all sorts of amazing things that you never knew were out there.

For the Frit Happens Forum Team on Etsy’s Pinterest we have boards to inspire our team members and other visiting artists, as well as showcases of members’ work, and pages that pair photographs of our creations together with the images or ideas that inspired them.

Each month I am going to create a themed board:

Our Team:

January’s board is a showcase of the wonderful talent that is the FHFteam, to start us off on the right foot.

A quick peek at January's board

Love is in the Air:

February’s board is a romantic collection of hearts in honour of St. Valentine’s Day. Here you’ll see finished jewellery, ready to give to your loved one; stunning heart beads adorned with romantic verse, flowers, swirls, stripes and patterns of many colours; clasps and other jewellery findings to add the finishing touch to your project; some beautiful romantic coasters; and, for the glass artists amongst you, some heart murrini to add to your beads.


We hope to see you at our boards soon!

Wednesday 15 February 2012

Monthly Giveaway - February

 This giveaway is now closed - please check out the main blog page for this motnh's giveaway!

This month's giveaway is sponsored by one of our lovely team members, Jean Munro of Ceardannan Jewellery and Ceardannan.

Since February is the month of Valentines, love and romance, Jean is offering up this beautiful handmade lampwork heart:

I think Jean describes this beauty best: 

"This is one of a range of heart beads I have been making which remind me of the intricate swirling designs and colours used in body art. This heart measures approx 27mm top to bottom and 29mm at the widest point. It is made on a base of ivory coloured glass and it is decorated with twisties, shards and murrini."

If you're the lucky winner and don't happen to be a jewellery maker, Jean has also kindly offered to turn the bead into a silver pendant just for you!

As usual, the winner will be randomly drawn from the names of FHFTeam blog followers who comment anywhere on the blog during February, so don't forget to 'Follow' us, and start sharing what's on your mind! Drawing for the prize will take place on 8th March, so until then, we look forward to reading your thoughts.

Hazel xx

Monday 13 February 2012

Pick of the Month in February

Etched Silver Earrings: Oh Lord won't you buy me... from disandland

Shocking Pink Lampwork - abstract garden from MadelineBunyan

Bratislava, Pair of Stud Earrings from helenjewellery

Pink & Green Floral Lampwork Focal Bead from helengbeads

Twist Vessel/Perfume Bottle from jeanniegems

Beautiful teal and aqua from FHFteam

Sunday 12 February 2012

Wednesday 8 February 2012

January Giveaway Winner

Yesterday we drew the winner of Jolene Wolfe's stunning lampwork focal, and bundle of twisties:

And the very lucky winner was...

Marg, from Maigret Lampwork! Congratulations - Jolene will be contacting you for your address shortly.

A big thanks to everyone who participated in our blog this month - check back soon for news of the February giveaway (to make sure you don't miss the announcement, why not sign up for e-mail updates in the little box on the left?)

Member Interrogations - Gemma Woodrow

This time around, our interview is with Gemma Woodrow of SilverGems Designs, who talks enthusiastically about her love of molten glass, big torches, and Slipknot...intrigued? Then read on...

1 - Your name: Gemma Woodrow

2 - Your shop name and address: SilverGems Designs http://www.etsy.com/shop/SilverGems89

3 - Describe your artistic style in three words: still finding it Wink

4 - When did you first start working with glass and how did you get started?

I first melted glass in January 2010 at Sabine Little's studio open day and was hooked! I ordered my hot head kit a few days later. I first "discovered" Lampwork beads through ebay while looking for unique beads for my jewellery designs, once I found out I could make them myself in my home, I knew I had to have a go!

5 - What do you love most about your craft?

I just love the way glass moves, and how it can be manipulated, when molten! I also really like the fact there is always something new to try, it stops me getting bored!

6 - If you could take a class with any artist (in your field or otherwise) who would you choose and why?

Hmmmm, this is a really tough decision, and one I have been trying to make for a long time now! But I think it would either have to be Anouk Jasperse, to learn the secrets of silver glass, or Sarah Hornik, because I love her use of colour and fun designs.

7 - Do you have a favourite piece of your work that you can share with us?

I found it really hard to choose a specific bead, so these beads represent my favourite "style" of bead, mosaics! I just love the way the glass reacts and the patterns it makes, if I had to choose one style of bead to make every single day these would be the ones, I never tire of them!

8 - Where do you find your inspiration?

From all sorts of places, anything I come into contact with during day to day life can become an inspiration, a colour combination, shapes, pictures, literally anything! I also find great inspiration in the work of other lampwork artists, sometimes I just get inspired by the glass Wink

9 - What’s your favourite technique within your medium?

My favourite technique, which is something I'm working on at the moment (now I have a new big girls torch Cheesy) is striking silver glass, seeing the different colours you can achieve and watching them develop while making the bead is really fascinating to me.

10 - Where do you create your work?

The spare bedroom in our house has been officially converted into my studio, I have a 2 metre long bench, about 2/3rds of which is dedicated to my lampworking set up, the other end is free space for the other crafts I like to dabble in Smiley

11 - Do you have a favourite colour scheme or range when you’re creating pieces?

I find myself drawn to very "girly" colours, pinks, purples, pastels of any kind! I also like using strong, bold primary colours with black, for maximum impact!

12 - Can you give us a quotation/lyric/piece of advice that sums up your approach to life and your craft?

My favourite lyric is one from Slipknot's song Sulfur, "The longest hours you'll have in your life, are the ones you sit through to know you're right." Ever since the first time I heard this lyric it has stuck with me, every time I think life is getting hard this lets me know that everything will be alright in the end Smiley

13 - The most serious question of all: if you could meet any fictional character, from TV film or literature, who would it be and why?

Ron Weasley from Harry Potter, he's so funny, I'd just love to hang out with him for a day! (I am a HUGE potter fan!)

14 - Finally, what are your plans or hopes for your work in the future?

I am very much looking forward to getting to grips with my new torch, and trying all the techniques and designs I previously never had the fire power for! Overall I hope my work continues to improve and I can begin selling more pieces!


Thanks Gemma - your love of glass really shines through!