items in FHFteam on Etsy More in FHFteam on Etsy pool

Monday 18 June 2012

Meet the team part 8

Today I want to show you some stunning lampwork beads created by  FHFteam members that caught my eye today..........

Rita of Avalon Designs

Handmade Lampwork Goddess Yemaya

Rita lives in market town in Somerset and has been working with glass and creating her beautiful ocean style focals for about 4 years now and has has been creating and selling her ceramic work for more than 20.  I have chosen this beautiful lady to show you today but you will also find toppers and jewellery in Rita's wonderful Etsy store.

Jane of Jane Hamill
Lampwork bead, "Sooleawa", art glass bead

This beautiful hand shaped organic focal bead is totally luscious. Jane describes her working style wonderfully in her Etsy profile -  Being spontaneous creatively is important to me. I rely heavily on my natural instinct and a piece is complete only when it feels "right". 

Sandy of flowerjasper

Jacobs Ladder, A silver core lampwork bead

I think this pretty BHB is absolutely gorgeous. Sandy writes - I love working with glass and I hope a little bit of me shines through ;-)

I hope you enjoyed this quick introduction, click the pics to go to Etsy and see more from each of our teamies and also don't forget to stop by and check out our June Giveaway blog post.

Friday 15 June 2012

Meet the team part 7

Today I am going to focus on fabulous florals and introduce you to some of our FHFteam members who make them with wonderful detail captured in glass.

Madeline of Madeline Bunyan

Rainbow flowers, sparkle rounds Lampwork bead set (5 plus 6 spacers)

Oooh yum! These adorable florals are a new range recently added to Madeline's Etsy store, they are available in sets, trios and made to order colour combinations. This set is especially mouthwatering. Madeline also makes the cutest sculptural bunny beads and eye catching focals.

Kathy of My Precious

Tropical handmade lampwork glass beads

Pure colour! I wanted to show you these delicate and bright florals made to order from My Precious. Kathy has recently produced and independently published her own book called Bloomtastic colour combinations which looks wonderful.

Heather of Heather Kelly Glass

Floating Flower ring topper - interchangeabl

Heather makes stunning implosion ring topper/pendants like the beauty I have featured here. She also creates beautiful earthy bead sets and focals that are jam packed with texture and detail. Heather is also a UK distributor for Lauscha glass rods (www.lauscha.co.uk) and has recently taken on the webmaster IT role for GBUK.

I hope you enjoyed this quick introduction, click the pics to go to Etsy and see more from each of our teamies and also don't forget to stop by and check out our June Giveaway blog post.

Thursday 14 June 2012

Meet the team part 6

Sweet like chocolate! Part 6 of my meet the team series of blog posts has a decadent feel.
 First up is
Ingrid of Brunties Beads

Set of 10 Handmade Lampwork Chocolate Beads

These cute beads literally make my mouth water. I am a big fan of Ingrid's quirky style and adorable penguin and kitty critter beads.

Gay of GaysieMay

Sweet like Chocolate - one of a kind handmade lampwork brooch

I've chosen to show you one of Gay's awesome Brooches. these are so beautiful and the colour and form of this one in particular floats my boat. Gay winner of Beads and beyond magazine Jewellery maker of the year lampwork category 2012, congrats once again Gay x

Lampwork cupcake keychain

Marg is based in leafy Leicester in the heart of England. In her Etsy shop you will find some lovely vessel shaped pendant beads, pretty cabs, big hole beads and buttons and ring tops too.

I hope you enjoyed this quick introduction, click the pics to go to Etsy and see more from each of our teamies and also don't forget to stop by and check out our June Giveaway blog post.

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Meet the team part 5

As well as talented glass artists and bead makers FHFteam is also fortunate to count amongst our numbers some superb silversmiths who create and sell exquisite jewellery and quality handmade findings.

Di of disandland

Solid Copper Findings: Toggle Clasp - You are my Sunshine
Diane's work moves me and I admire her hugely. Diane has a gift for words and language that she translates elegantly into powerful pieces of art jewellery that elicit an emotional response in the viewer. She also offers a range of fun findings including beautiful toggle clasps like this one.

Ornamental Miniature Copper House
Jo Walker trained to be a Jeweller at the School of Jewellery in the heart of Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter. I have chosen to show you this fabulous picture of some of Jo's recent range of whimsy house pendants, so elegant, cute and stylish! You will also find a range of ready to wear whimsy pendants and lampwork jewellery in Jo's store.

Andy and Ruth of ARJewellery

Handmade Etched Brass Bead Caps With 7 Petal Raised Flower
Ruth and Andy Harrison are a husband and wife team who make lampwork beads and Silver jewellery after ditching life in the IT rat race.The pretty bead caps above are just a taster type intro to the kind of handmade findings will will find in their Etsy store alongside some truly elegant artisan beads.

I hope you enjoyed this quick introduction, click the pics to go to Etsy and see more from each of our teamies and also don't forget to stop by and check out our June Giveaway blog post.

Sunday 10 June 2012

Meet the team part 4

FHFteam has the most wonderfully talented team members and glass artists. Today I would like to introduce you to some FHFteam members that make exquisite sculptural pieces of wearable art.

Lampwork goddess pendant, borosilicate glass, Blue Storm

Emma makes beautiful sculptural pendants from borosilicate glass, including dragons and these beautiful stylised sculptural goddess pendants, in the heart of the English Lake District. Each of these goddess beads raises money for Cancer Research UK. I recently had the privilege of watching a live demonstration by Emma at the 2012 UK Flame Off.

Next I'd like to introduce you to Sabine of little castle designs

Blue Rose lampwork glass ring top, interchangeable

Sabine Little is a Sheffield based glass artist and sculptor who is perhaps best known for her sculptural roses and innovative interchangeable jewellery range. I have been reading with interest about her three year long art instillation project called follies for follies, you can read more about that in Sabine's own words on follies for follies blog.

Next up is Julia of Pandanimal

Tribal Head Focal Bead - Handmade Lampwork Glass feature bead
This sophisticated focal is one of Julia's new range of tribal head beads. Based on an Easter Island head the glass has been heavily distressed to give it a weathered and naturalistic effect. Julia's shop in jam packed full of beads inspired by her desire to represent geology and stone in all its varied forms with glass.

I hope you enjoyed this quick introduction, click the pics to go to Etsy and see more from each of our teamies and also don't forget to stop by and check out our June Giveaway blog post.

Saturday 9 June 2012

Member Interrogations - Julia Hay

Today is my first time publishing the member interrogations blog post for FHFteam so first I'd like to say a big thank you to our Hazel Ward for doing such an amazing job working on the team blog over this past year and another big thank you for compiling this wonderful pop quiz for our members :-D

Today we are saying a warm hello to Julia of Pandanimal Lampwork Glass who gives us a peek into her glassy world

1 - Your name:

Julia Hay

2 - Your shop name and address:

Pandanimal Lampwork Glass www.pandanimal.co.uk The name Pandanimal came from a writing exercise I was once given: "create a fictional character". I invented a wise old creature who was a mixture of all kinds of animals: mammal, reptile, bird and amphibian. He was "pan-animal", but that sounded odd so I stuck a "d" in the middle and Pandanimal has been my online persona ever since.

3 - Describe your artistic style in three words:

organic, eclectic, eccentric

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

I have always dabbled in beading for as long as I can remember. A good friend taught me some basic seed-beading techniques and I developed them into simple bracelets. Then I started looking for beads to embellish what I was doing and came across lampwork. I took my first lampwork course with Barbara Mason in January 2008. The moment I melted the first rod in the flame I knew I was hooked. Could it be the pyromaniac in me?

5 - What do you love most about your craft?

I love watching the glass melt and flow; I love having the freedom to create, or try to, anything I want.

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

I greatly admire the fine detailed and stringer work of many artists, like Dora Schubert, Mindy Macgregor, Lorna Prime, ...........I honestly don't think I have the patience to learn how to do it as well as they do though. But if I could truly choose any one at all I would step back in time and visit the Saxon glass bead makers. I would love to learn how they managed to make beads using such primitive equipment and presumably making glass themselves from scratch. To follow the process through from raw materials to bead would complete a journey.

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

Tribal Head IV
Most of the time my latest piece of work is my favourite. I am currently working on a project I call "80 heads around the world" drawing on cultural art from across the globe to inspire tribal heads that represent that culture to me. So far it has been a wonderfully inspiring and interesting project and it is all thanks to the Frit Happens monthly challenge that I started it!

8 - Where do you find your inspiration?

I love stone in all its varied forms: pebbles on the beach, ancient carved stones, semi-precious stones, standing stones, fossils. I try to recreate in glass the textures, shapes, histories of stone. I am also inspired by the colours and moods of nature and the landscape around me in Wiltshire and, more recently the glass bead and jewellery finds from ancient times and also the unnatural weird and wonderful imagery in the computer games my children and I play.

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

At the moment, bung bicarb on it! I am having wonderful fun working very hard experimenting with sodium bicarbonate on different types of glass to see how they react to it. Sometimes the result is fantastic and sometimes it is a disaster.

10 - Where do you create your work?

I have my torch set up on a table in our entrance hall, that way I can work and still be around everyone else in my family.

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

I am drawn to blues and greens most of the time - when I am not using grey for my pebbles that is.

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

Real artists ship! - Steve Jobs. I do have to try to remember this. I have a tendency to put beads in boxes saying to myself "I will do another, even better one, tomorrow." I am, as a lot of us are, my own worst critic.

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?

Hmmm.....This is a tough question. I think it would have to be Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings. I think he would be interesting to talk to and might just have some words of wisdom to impart. And of course there are his fireworks! Could it be the pyromaniac in me?

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

I want to explore the ancient side of glass making a lot further to see what inspiration there is there for modern beads. I will continue with my 80 heads around the world project and finish it. I am also planning to work a lot more with mixed media, drawing in other interests: felting, paper making, ceramics and textiles, to name a few.

Thank you so much Julia for such an interesting read.

Friday 8 June 2012

Meet the team part 3

Here is the third instalment in my series of FHFteam member intros. First up for today is the very talented
Steph of  beads by stephanie

FOREST FLOWER Handmade Lampwork Focal Heart Bead
Steph is our only furthest-flung FHFteam member, based all the way over in Adelaide, Australia. Steph makes wonderful bead sets and inspirational focal beads that are all every bit as gorgeous as this Forest Flower heart that I have featured above.

Next up is one of our loveliest and hardest working team members, Hazel of  Continuum Designs

Silver Bells - polymer clay art bead set
Hazel is a polymer clay artists and lampwork bead maker. Her designs are beautifully detailed and textured. As well as being in charge of this lovely team blog for the past year Hazel also keeps a lovely and interesting blog of her own at all those things and the others too

For my last intro today I would like to introduce you to one of our newest members

Kat of beads by kat

Springtime Goddess Bead
Kat is Buckinghamshire based silversmith and lampworker. Kat makes pretty bead sets, buttons, bangles and elegant goddess bead like the one pictured above.

I hope you enjoyed this quick introduction, click the pics to go to Etsy and see more from each of our teamies and also don't forget to stop by and check out our June Giveaway blog post.

Thursday 7 June 2012

Monthly Giveaway June

It's time for another monthly giveaway, and we're got another lovely prize sponsored by one of our members...

This prize for one of our lucky blog readers in June is this elegant sea glass necklace. 
The FHFteam giveaway this month has been sponsored by Sue of blue box studio!

June prize

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is leave a comment on this post anytime before the end of June (and don't forget to make sure you're following the FHFTeam blog too!)
The winner will be randomly drawn and announced on the 1st of July

Wednesday 6 June 2012

Meet the team part 2

Welcome to the second instalment in my series of FHFteam member intros. Today I would like to introduce you to
Diane of  SowZerE

Blue/purple Raggy Ribbons
Diane makes wonderful lampwork beads and she also makes these gorgeous hand dyed silk ribbons and strings that are perfect for jewellery making with lampwork beads. This collection of Diane's bias cut Dupion silk ribbons are exquisite!

Next up is Helen of Helbels

Pasha glass lampwork bead set
There are so many clever techniques, beautiful beads and diverse styles in Helen's well stocked Etsy store that it was hard to choose just one set to feature here on the blog. This etched pastel set is so pretty!

Last but not least today I'm pleased to introduce you to Terri of From the Shed

Lucky Dip bead relese
Terri is a talented bead maker, she works in both glass and ceramics and her knowledge of both disciplines has lead her to create her own bead release. Terri has recently brought out her Lucky Dip bead release for sale on Etsy.

I hope you enjoyed this quick introduction, click the pics to go to Etsy and see more from each of our teamies.

Lynn's Lampies - June 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!

June 2012

Shaping Up

Lampwork beads come in all shapes (as well as sizes) and the terminology can be confusing, so here’s a quick introduction to some of the shapes that are a regular feature in my bead stash. This isn’t exhaustive by any means, but it is a start…

There are two basic ways of shaping a bead: either freehand with the aid of gravity, or in a ‘bead press’, a two-part metal mould that presses the molten glass into shape. Beads made in a press tend to be more evenly sized and shaped.

Round beads do what they say on the tin; they can be large or small, patterned or plain or encased (with a layer of clear glass on the outside), sculptured or bumpy. (A round bead without a hole is a marble.)

a selection of round beads; these are about 15-20mm in diameter

Squash a round bead, and you get that wonderfully useful shape, the lentil. These come in two flavours, both usually made in a press: either two curved faces that meet like two bowls placed rim-to-rim, or the ‘spree’ lentil with two flat round faces and a flat edge. Also sometimes called a round tab, just to be confusing… I love lentils, there’s something so satisfying about the shape and they are very comfortable to wear!

lentils seen from the front are circular

but seen end-on, not all lentils are the same

Then there are the square or oblong shapes, also usually made with a press. There are lots of these and they go by many names. Generally, a ‘tab’ bead has two flat sides and a ‘pillow’ bead has curved ones.

Tabs are nice for bracelets because they sit flat against the skin. My favourite of all is the ‘crunch tab’ which is squished into a lovely organic shape with softly rounded corners; it hangs beautifully for a pendant, and is the one I’ve picked for the focal in my bracelet tutorial below.

left to right and top to bottom: square tab, oblong tab, oblong pillow, square pillow and crunch tab

Stretched-out beads are good for elegant pendants or the ends of a long, long lariat… they can be simple straight-sided cylinders, or rounded ovals, or a ‘barrel’ shape that’s in between the two.

left to right: oval, barrel and tube

At the opposite end of the spectrum there are hand-shaped beads of every shape imaginable: discs, nuggets, flowers, animals, space aliens, hearts…

a few interesting shapes, some of which are a fascinating challenge to incorporate into beadwork!

And then of course there are the stars of the show, the individual ‘focal’ beads, perfect miniature works of glass art. Usually sold singly, these are larger beads that can be the starting point for an entire necklace. The term ‘focal’ is more a matter of size than of shape; anything from 20mm upwards is probably big enough to be a focal in its own right. To save weight, they may be hollow, or flattened; a lentil bead takes a lot less glass than a sphere of the same diameter.

focals of various different shapes and constructions: hollow, pressed, hand-shaped

sculptural focal by Sue Reynolds

Last but not least, there are the ‘spacers’. These are the bread-and-butter beads, the ones that go in between the fancy beads in your bead set, the ones you turn to for bracelets and necklaces and earrings and tassels… Spacers vary a lot in terms of size, but they are generally quite small and can be very small indeed!

spacers from large (about 12mm) to small (about 3mm); the ones on string are an ‘earring pair’

Tutorial: Rosebud Bracelet

a simple bracelet with lampwork, glass and a little bit of bead stitching

You will need: one lampwork focal bead (mine is a crunch tab by Sandy Kelly); two lampwork spacer beads; 6 crystal bicones (4mm or 6mm); 6-8 pressed glass accent beads about 8-10mm in diameter (I’ve used two bellflowers and four ‘picasso’ firepolished rounds); seed beads in three sizes (8, 11 and 15); flexible beading wire (AKA ‘cable’ or ‘tigertail’); two sterling silver crimp beads; two sterling silver jump rings; a clasp of your choice; nylon beading thread and a beading needle; sharp scissors, crimping pliers, flat-nosed pliers and wire cutters.

You’ll make two sorts of beaded ‘spacer’ bead: a not-quite-flat disc (think Pringles) and a quick-and-easy round ‘bud’ bead. Two pringles and a bud makes a sort-of rose, if you squint…

Disc spacer

1. Thread your needle with a comfortable length of beading thread and pick up five size 11 seed beads. Tie them into a little circle with a double knot, leaving an end of thread about 10cm long.

2. Go through the first bead of the circle again. Pick up a size 15 seed bead and go through the next bead in the circle.

3. Repeat four more times; after adding the last little bead, go through two beads, so your thread is coming out of the bead you added in step 2.

4. Pick up two size 11 beads and go through the next size 15 bead.

5. Repeat four more times; after adding the last pair of beads, go through two beads, so you are coming out between the two beads of the pair you added in step 4.

6. Pick up one size 15 bead and stitch through the second bead of the pair you added in step 4.

7. Pick up two size 15 beads and stitch through the first bead of the next pair of size 11 beads.

8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 until all gaps are filled.

9. Note that there isn’t really quite enough room for all those extra beads, so your circle won’t lie flat any more. This is OK. Really. The crinkliness is what makes it interesting.

10. To finish off the end, go under the thread between the bead you’re coming out of and the next bead.

11. Pull gently until you have a little loop of thread.

12. Stitch through this loop and pull the knot tight – gently.

13. Repeat steps 10-12 to tie a second knot in the same place. Weave through a few more beads and trim the spare thread. Do the same with the ‘tail’ thread you left at the beginning (you don’t need to tie more knots in this one). It’s fiddly, but be patient.

14. Make a total of eight disc spacers, in whatever colours you like. They can be all the same, or you can vary the colours and pattern to keep yourself interested.

Round spacer

1. Thread your needle again and pick up a size 8 seed bead followed by a sequence of five: two size 15, one size 11, two more size 15. These five beads will form your first loop.

2. Go through the size 8 bead again. See? A loop.

3. Pick up the same sequence of five beads again, and go through the size 8 bead again (always go through in the same direction).

4. Repeat until you have 6 or 7 loops, however many you need to cover up most of the size 8 bead.

5. Carefully knot the thread, as explained for the disc spacer above, and weave through a couple more beads before trimming. This is even more fiddly (you can always use a bigger bead in the middle, though, and make the loops longer and have more of them; this technique is very adaptable) but be patient, it’ll be worth it. And you only have to make four of these.

Stringing the bracelet

1. Cut a piece of flexible beading wire a good 5cm longer than the circumference of your wrist. String the tab bead, with a crystal either side of it, then string the rest of the beads, keeping the tab bead in the middle. Your sequence can be symmetrical or random, but put size 8 seed beads between the larger beads to give flexibility.

2. String the seed beaded spacers to look vaguely like flowers: two discs and then one round.

3. Continue adding beads until your bracelet is the right length, minus the length of the clasp.

4. String a crimp bead and one more size 8, then a jump ring. Mine are ‘open’ jump rings and that might seem a bit silly, but you should always have some sort of breakpoint in a piece of jewellery that’s strung on wire like this. If it gets caught in something, you want the jump ring to pull apart before the wire cuts your wrist! And you don’t want to lose beads, either. Anyway… put the end of the wire back through the last bead, the crimp, and a couple more beads.

5. Pull everything snug together then squish the crimp with pliers or a crimping tool until it’s secure.

6. Trim the spare end of wire.

7. Repeat at the other end, making sure you pull the beads together so there’s no bare wire, but not so tight the bracelet’s rigid.

8. Attach the clasp to the jump rings.

9. Wear with pride, and enjoy the sunshine!

Happy beading,

Members’ beads featured in this article:
Rachel Bishop http://www.etsy.com/shop/Puffafish
Helen Chalmers http://www.etsy.com/shop/helenjewellery
Helen Gorick http://www.etsy.com/shop/helengbeads
Kathryn Greer http://www.etsy.com/shop/MyPrecious
Julia Hay http://www.etsy.com/shop/Pandanimal
Sandy Kelly http://www.etsy.com/shop/flowerjasper1964
Sabine Little http://www.etsy.com/shop/littlecastledesigns
Sue Reynolds http://www.etsy.com/shop/FlamingEck
Heather Webb http://www.etsy.com/shop/BumpyBeads
Jo Wolfe http://www.etsy.com/shop/KitzbitzArtBeads