Friday, 11 January 2019

Wild at Heart

What captivating, capricious and cunning little creatures beads are! Yes, I firmly believe they have minds of their own and conspire to be made into things whilst you think they are sitting innocently in your stash.

Having had a bit of winter sunshine in Tenerife, my imagination was full of exotic colours. On the plane on the way home I was mentally planning the piece I would make once all the Christmas mayhem was over and done with. So when the last bauble had gone back into the loft I headed to my bead collection to hunt out a sizzling cocktail of brightly coloured bijouterie. But the beads had other ideas. In amongst the exotic were soft pink pansies, muted silvery pearls and softly lustred drops. They remided me of the doodle I had done in an odd corner of my sketchbook just a few days before we flew to Tenerife.

 It was no good, I knew the idea wouldn’t let me alone until it was made real. So I gave in and this romantic wire wrapped filigree piece is the result.

No doubt I will be planning a soft pink piece at some stage and the lime green and orange beads will scupper my plans. Beads are clever like that!

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

A new twist

I've been meaning to get to grips with the wire coiling gizmo I bought ages ago and my latest wirework pendant has given me the perfect excuse to experiment. Having made the central pendant I felt it was just begging for some sort of twisty wirework in the chain.

Out came the gizmo and some fine wire. It took some tryouts before I perfected my technique, but I managed to make six intricate and pretty coiled beads from my Beadalon Artistic Wire - which is a joy to work with. Wireworkers are lucky to have the new softer German style wires to work with these days, it makes a really good alternative to sterling silver.

Friday, 2 November 2018

Blush blooms

There’s something rather appealing about a bundle of beads that someone else has selected. That’s why I like the monthly Acorn Club bead packs from Oak Tree Crafts. This month I got beads in blush pink and lime green. Just what I needed to shake me out of my colour comfort zone!

When I looked through my own collection I found some other pretty bijouterie to put with them. Silvery green lustred leaves, blush pink daggers and also some interesting spacer bars with two holes.

 A quick sketch helped to organise my thoughts about the bead embroidered necklace they would become and then I set to work to craft some flower shaped components. This one should keep me busy for some time!

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Leafy Lustre

A change of technique can really help to keep your work fresh. As I’d made several bead embroidered pieces I decided I’d do some wirework for a change. I’d recently bought some tarnish resistant wire with a lovely antique bronze finish, so I decided to make a piece with a leafy woodland look to it. At first glance I thought attaching the bigger leaves would be impossible if I wanted them flat within the piece, as they only have one hole, running front to back at the top. But thinking outside the box, I created ‘veins’ of wire and this attaches them securely, and adds some textural interest. 

Wirework can be daunting, the trick is not to overthink it, but go with the flow and relax. The shapes are much more interesting and organic when you work intuitively, and I find you waste less wire!

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Autumn Arabesque

My latest necklace (pictured below) went off to a new home a couple of days ago and for a few hours my workdesk was tidy.

Gardens and hedgerows are full of inspiration for a beadworker at this time of year. The last of the summer flowers are still hanging on despite the windy weather. I still have sweet peas, petunias and brightly coloured geraniums and our autumn crocuses are in abundance, their beautiful mauve petals contrasting with the yellow and orange leaves which have fallen around them. On our walks this week we’ve enjoyed looking at all the lovely fruits and berries, and I've started a new project inspired by all that natural autumn glory. The desk soon became covered once more by a bright array of lovely treasures from my hoard!

I’ve begun these earrings by making a framework from copper wire. I made little arabesques which I soldered inside the frame – so glad I did classes and learned to solder, it’s meant I can custom make rather than buy certain pieces and I find that it allows me to express my vision in a much more personal way. 

Fallen leaves have so many colours, ranging from lime to gold to purple and pink, so I’ve selected threads in those shades. A weekend of beady bliss to look forward to!