Beads, beads, beads, beads, more beads.... and a few observations about life and other things, too

You can find my beads here Bead Up A Storm

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Moon-gazing hare

Hares are very special to us as a couple.  In the first house we rented together, at the end of a dead end lane, we often watched hares in the fields surrounding the cottage.  In fact we very nearly trod on one at the bottom of the garden one day - it ran from it's nest when we were feet away. 

This moon gazing hare is a very personal piece, it is adorned with symbols which have meaning for us.
Five stars represent the individuals in our family (one passed on, but always with us), the heart motif of inlaid African Black Wood is my design and was used for our wedding invitations and even painted on our wedding cake.  The right eye is the Ancient Egyptian Wedjat Eye (the Eye of Horus) - we are both very interested in Ancient Egyptology (we honeymooned in Egypt!).

Up his back is Celtic knotwork and on his right haunch, my stylised sunflower (also carved into my Mother's stone - see previous post)

I found the pewter ankh in a charity shop - a serendipitous find as I had grumbled about providing a piece of silver to make an ankh! (Tight?  Me? Have you seen the price of silver now?)

  He is carved out of lime, with a base of walnut.  I can't tell you how beautifully silky it feels to touch - the urge to kiss his nose is overwhelming!

Carved by my wonderful husband, Tracy Hearn.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Mothers' Day - May Blog Carnival

I've always wondered why Mothers' Day is different in the UK  - we had ours in March.   I got chocolate - yay!!
This post is part of the blog carnival I take part in along with my fellow artists in the Jewelry Artisan's Community .

I made my lovely Mum some beads for Mothers' Day this year (surprise, surprise! *grin*).
But I forgot to take photos, so I'll show you something completely different!!

Years ago, when I was travelling around India - I mean years ago - in my early 20's, I picked up a few pieces of rock in Mahabilapuram (now Mammalapuram), where many Indian stone sculptors are trained.  Using only my tiny penknife and rubbing on flagstones to smooth it,  I carved this for my mother.

The symbol on the front face in the first photo is the Sanskrit form for the mantra 'Ma', meaning mother.  There's a big 'J' - her initial, a fish - which relates to our surname.  The stylised sunflower is something I have drawn for years.

If you've the inclination to see what my fellow bloggers have to say about Mothers' Day - you can follow these links :)

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Serendipity Magazine

My 'Mantra' cuff is featured in the latest issue of  Serendipity Magazine!  Issue 4 - Symbols in Art.

I'm on pages 71 and 72 if you'd like to read the story behind my cuff. 

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Spring plans.

This month's blog carnival topic for members of our Jewelry Artisans Community blog ring is Spring Plans.  It has had me thinking hard...  plans..... Spring..... plans?

I do love Spring, new leaves, Spring flowers and wonderful blossom.  We have had some glorious weather this past week, so I took the opportunity to get out with my camera and capture some of the glory of an English Spring.

But plans.... oh yeah, plans.

I do have plans which I are suppose for Spring, specifically a Spring Fayre.

So last week I started my preparations and made some crystal-shaped beads.  I will turn these sparkling little beauties into earrings and pendants.

Why not read what my fellow JAC artists have planned for Spring?

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

and the winner is....

Dawn, from Jewelry Art by Dawn (on Artfire).  Lucky bead going to live with this very talented artist!

I had lots of fun with this giveaway, thank you to everyone who participated or showed some interest, I really appreciate you all.

So much so, that I'll be doing another giveaway in the next few months!  Details will be posted here on my blog and on Facebook.

I get to make beads tomorrow - yay!  It's been a while, I'm feeling the need to melt some glass!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Feel the Love February - it's giveaway time!

Yes, I'm having a giveaway!  There are several ways to get an entry.

* Follow my blog and tell me you've done so in the comments

* Go to my Bead Up A Storm page on Facebook and 'like' it.  Leave me a comment too, so I don't miss you.  If you are already following me on FB, just leave me a comment and I'll enter you.

* Tweet about my giveaway and let me know here on my blog.

* Like my Etsy shop on FB, and let me know by leaving me a comment here.

* Share a link to my giveaway on your FB page, or blog (or both!) and let me know with a comment.

So that's 5 entries you could have, to win this gorgeous big heart bead.
I'll contact the winner to see if you'd like it made into a pendant.

I'll draw the winner on 29th February 2012.

and lastly, thank you.  

Friday, 10 February 2012

February Blog Carnival - Re-working

My good friends at Jewelry Artisans Community  have a blog carnival, I have decided to join in, hoping it will give me the push I need to blog more often. (Yep, I'm a lazy blogger, I know!)

My fellow carnival bloggers have written on the subject of re-working pieces, but as I rarely re-work the jewellery that I make (it is far more likely to sit and gather dust if there's an aspect I'm not happy with) I decided to tell you about the re-working of beads.  This I do.  Not often, thankfully.  But occasionally.

Why would I re-work a bead?  If it's a cracked bead, (one that got a little cold before it went into the kiln) I can heal the crack this way and often save a bead that I may have thrown away.  It's always worth a shot.  Or I can try to get better colours from expensive glass, when the results aren't as I would want.

So how does one re-work a glass bead?  Well, if that one is me, it's back into the flame.
Not straight back in - that would be alarming (think bead explosion!).  I put my bead (still on it's mandrel) back into my cold kiln and turn the kiln on as normal.  I'll leave it to get nice and toasty for a couple of hours, that way it gets a good soak in the heat before re-introduction to the flame.

I take the mandrel out and carefully waft the bead in the furthest reaches of the flame.  This is done at arms length, usually  (with my head turned away and a slight wince).  Happily, luckily, I haven't had any beads explode.  But I have heard horror stories!

Once my bead has a little glow, I bring it into the point in the flame where I usually work and get it nice and hot.  Very hot.
For a bead made with striking glass I need to get the glass as hot as possible - soupy, drippy hot.  Twirl-the-mandrel-like-a-mad-woman-so-it-doesn't-drop-onto-my-worksurface hot.

'Striking' glass needs to be super heated and then cooled quickly, the colours bloom when it is put back into the heat again after the cooling.  It's often a bit hit and miss.  Sometimes shaping the bead can 'over-strike' it and the bead will end up drab.  Beautiful colour is what I'm after.

So here's a bead I killed.  I mean I killed the lovely colours I had before I put it in the kiln.  That happens sometimes, I blame the kiln-faeries!

The bead above has given me problems already.  You can see where the colour and clear glass encasing have been swirled together, folding over onto themselves.  This bead originally had the clear encasing on the outside, it will be completely different when it's had a make-over!

Re-working a striking glass is going to change a bead dramatically, but often I like the results. 

You can read more blog carnival posts on re-working pieces by following these links -


Jewelry Art By Dawn

Cat's Wire

Sunday, 22 January 2012

A very talented jewellery artist I know is having an amazing giveaway - go check out her work, I'm sure you'll be as captivated as I am!
Oh gosh, a new year and I am more than a little ashamed at how little I blogged last year. 
Perhaps I'm not cut out to be a blogger.  I'll give it another go this year and we'll see.....

We've had a very mild winter so far here in Gloucestershire, with only a couple of sub-zero cold snaps.  Which is good for bead-making as I really don't enjoy shocky glass in a cold studio, wrapped up in many layers but still with freezing feet!

So would you like to see some beads?  

Well that's all from me for today, I shall try not to leave it so long before my next post!