Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday 14th September

A Great Day

I had a great yesterday in South Manchester, I toddled over to meet up with other lampwork artists, and it was a very inspirational day. Lots of beady eye candy to drool over, and a chance to have a look at Kaz's amazing studio, which was so organised I couldn't believe another life maybe for me!! A lovely day, great people and well worth the trek, thank you Kaz, I'm looking forward to the next one.

I took along a little seahorse that I made over the summer, I was quite overwhelmed with all the interest he attracted. I've decided to make a series of them over the next few weeks and will launch them on my site as soon as they're ready.

This is 'Spirit' my first seahorse

After receiving Anouk's ring I thought I'd have a go myself and this is what I came up with, I was quite pleased for a first go. I think I'm going to have a try at a series of these too.

I'm sure you'll agree that this is simply 'Stunning' it was made by a very good friend of mine Marie, it's fired silver clay and is 99.9% fine silver. Marie will so be launching her website where she's planning to sell more fine silver items as well as jewellery using both her silver and lampwork beads from 'yours truly' although she did rather sneakily buy a few sets from other lampworkers yesterday....tut tut. :-)

Hopefully we'll see plenty more like this from Marie because it's beautiful.
Hope everyone's had a great weekend. Kate x

Monday, September 8, 2008

Monday 8th September

Last time I posted I forgot to mention this..........

I know....WOW. I just couldn't resist it, I bought it from a wonderful lampwork artist by the name of Anouk, she sells on Etsy and her work is beautiful. This hasn't been off my finger since it arrived, I LOVE IT.
More experimenting with some amazing colours, copper green and EDP, yesterday I came up with these...

Sadly they're not for sale as I've offered them up in a competition on the Frit Happens forum, I won last week and so it's my turn to offer this weeks prize. I love how the copper green comes out when you etch it, you just don't know what you're going to get, it's fabulous.

Non beady stuff
It was my youngest daughter Eivie's first day at school last week, it was a very emotional day (for me anyway!) I have to admit to shedding a tear or two on the way home. She was thrilled with the whole experience and very very proud in her uniform, she's growing up so fast.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Friday 5th September

And the Mojo Returns

It's been a rocky 5 or 6 weeks mojo wise, I have days when I couldn't make a single round bead, days when I didn't know where to start, and days when I just couldn't find either the inspiration or the slightest inclination.

But it's back, my mojo has returned, but this time I've got the measure of it, I'm not going to let it get all carried away with itself taking me to places I don't need to go yet and then leaving me feeling like I can't do anything right! No, I've got ya this time matey, I've got you on a tight leash, I've got myself all 'focused', so don't go putting any wild and crazy ideas in my head, ok!!

Just though I'd set him straight.

So while I find myself with a steady hand, and the molten glass and I are getting along, I've concentrated on taming that which is Rubino Oro (a very temperamental pink glass) and controlling fine stringers (very fine hand pulled strands of glass).

Dealing with rubino I've found it's all about temperature, it really doesn't like it too hot, once I got the hang of where it likes it in the flame, and more importantly where it doesn't we've got along. With stringers it's pretty much the same story, but when you get it wrong it's sooooooo frustrating, gggrrrrrrrrrr......................the bead usually ends up in the bin.

Last night I came up with a design for a bead that combined the two, and I just kept on making the same bead over, and over, and over, and over again, I made 13 all together, and these are the six I was happiest with.

I've called them 'Tamed' and you can WIN THEM if you send me an email with Free Beads in the title and join my mailing list, I won't bombard you with emails, I'll only email if I'm listing new beads on my site. Just email Good Luck.

Next week I'm off to Altringham to meet up with some like minded glassy folk, we're having a get together at the studio of another Lampwork Artist called Kaz. She came to visit me when she was working in Doncaster, actually I had hounded her in to it, lucky for her I wasn't an axe murderer or anything, what a lovely lady. We chatted about all things glassy, I got to show off my studio, and of course it wasn't long before we had to turn the torch on. She was very generous, sharing lots of tips 'n' tricks, she even gave me a bundle of glass as a gift, what a sweetie.

So I'm off to her studio on Saturday 13th, she's invited lots of other glassy folk too, no doubt there will be lots of chat, swops, and knowledge sharing, I can't wait. The glass art community is so embracing, encouraging, helpful and so, so generous in their willingness to share information, honestly it astounds me, I feel truly luck to be a part of it.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday 29th August (OMG has it been that long!!!!!)

I can't believe it's been over a month since I last posted anything on here, and it's also that long since I posted any beads for sale....tut tut tut.

Well so much to tell, I'll start with my holiday, fantastic, we spent two weeks in Cornwall, as we do every year and we couldn't have asked for better weather. The sun shone brightly for us almost the entire time, Cornwall was as beautiful as ever and a good time was had by all. The holiday was made even better due to the very generous loan of my in-laws caravan, it was bliss, quite palatial compared to the old trailer tent, although the children both pined after it a few times.
On returning home my kiln door fell off as you may have already read on my website, the manufacturer suggested to me that I get my drill out and do a DIY job with a few self tapping screws....ahem, I don't think so. What's the point of a warranty if it doesn't cover a dodgy door, needless to say I stubbornly held out and a new door arrived eventually. In fact it was an upgraded door, with a window no less, so now I can use up more of my precious little time gazing through the bead window at my beads happily soaking away, watching paint dry springs to mind.

My Kiln - Bernie (complete with window)

It soon became apparent that very little bead making was going to occur during the holidays, both the OH and I have been working around each other so that we haven't had to farm the kids out, which has been great, but a six year old, a four year old, molten glass and a Hot Head torch don't go well together. The little time I have managed to squeeze in has been spent experimenting, and I became totally absorbed in glass sculpture, goddesses, more goddesses, animals, starfish anything that sprung to mind. It's really helped me to understand the glass, how I can control it, how gravity controls it and how sometimes it just does what it wants.
Free time during the day has been spent on my studio, it's almost finished and it's fabulous.

The last few weeks I've been stocking up on glass, I've got some of the latest Double Helix colours, Triton being one of the colours of the moment, I haven't got the best out of it yet, but I'm working on it. I'm totally in love with a colour called Antique Clear, it's a beautiful transparent teal/aqua blue, it is amazing etched and I've got big plans for it. I used it in a lentil set and a focal bead this week, it really is beautiful and perfect for autumn winter.

Other colours I'm crazy about are copper green, opal yellow, olive, avocado, and EDP also known as 'Evil Detrifying Purple' what a fantastic name, the supplier I got it from included this line in the description 'basically it does what it wants' and it does, but is gorgeous.
Well that about wraps up the last 5 or six weeks, the bead shed is up and running on full steam, I've got loads of lovely glass, the kids are away with Grandma and Grandad this weekend so I should get and early start for a marathon torching session tomorrow.....can't wait.
Hope you've all had a great summer, Autumn's my favourite so the best is yet to come for me.
Bye. Kate xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday 11th July

6hrs and Bu**er all !!

Yes six hours on the torch this week and it's been a disaster, hence no new beads today, then I've just had an hour and hey presto everything was fantastic so it's now looking good for Sunday.......pheweeee.

oh oh oh nearly forgot, I've ordered a lentil press, soooooooooo excited.

Getting back on the torch quick while the going's good.

Byeeee Kate x

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tuesday July 7th

Such a fantastic day, Libby (my 5 year old) learnt to ride her bike today, it was magic!

A friend of Libby's was five at the weekend and was presented with a bicycle with 'no stabilisers' Libby (who is six in less that two weeks) was rather perturbed when the friend was able to master the art of cycling within about an hour on the same day. She's had a fire in her belly for the last few days, insisting that I make a 'pinky promise' to teach her to ride every night after school whatever the weather, 'she must be able to ride a bike before she's six'.

Day two today and after a few minutes I was able to let go and to her delight run along side the bike, all her friends came out on their bikes to offer support and followed her around for about two hours.

Partly relieved but mostly thrilled we were all quick to heap huge praise on her in recognition of her achievement, in response Libby was quick to point out, "Yes and I'm only five!"

Eivie (my four year old) was unusually quiet, happy to take a back seat and let Libby have her moment, intently watching events unfold. I have a feeling it won't be long before we're back round the green, I can't think where they get their competitiveness from ;)

Kate x

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday 25th June

Just got to share.

I've been trying to find the time to make myself a bracelet for my holidays in a few weeks, and it was looking pretty grim. However I had to have the day of work today as myself and the kids have got a raging temperature, sore throat, cough yada yada yada. Anyway I managed to find myself with an hour or so and finally got around to creating something for myself, and I just love it, I've called it 'Cha Cha Cha'.

I was practically drooling over it when it was finished, not a good look.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday 24th June

Hooray, my husband has passed the final part of his Inspectors Exams, congratulations Sully, we're all really proud of you, well done.

I finally finished the white bead commission yesterday and it is beautiful, so simple.
Holiday beads coming up later this week, I'm planning on using as many colours as possible, it will be either inspirational or disastrous, hopefully not the latter!
Just to let you know in advance I'm going away on the 17th July until Saturday August 2nd and I'll have limited access to my emails. I will be putting website listings on hold for a few week, last orders will be taken on Wednesday 16th July and posted out on the 17th. Also I won't be able to take any commissions after Friday 11th July. I'll be back up and running after August 2nd and I'm sure I will have lots of inspiration from my travels in my favourite part of the world, Cornwall.........can't wait! I'll miss my torch though, maybe I'll take him on holiday too, although my Husband might suspect that I've totally lost all sense of 'normal', perhaps it's not such a good idea.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday 22nd June

I'm going to offer a free etching service, if you'd prefer any of the beads I've listed etched just let me know when you order, but remember once they're etched there's no going back!

I was supposed to be visiting my cousin in Lincolnshire today but my husband couldn't get the day off work so we've had to give it a rain check, sorry guys we'll sort something out, promise.

I listed lots of new beads last night, I managed to get plenty of torch time this week (thank you Paul) and I've had a great time with it. I've been practicing making shell beads, nearly there so watch this space. I've listed the pink beads I mentioned earlier, it's such a tricky colour, I used Rubo Oro over white in the end, it realy pops giving a rasberry ripple feel, lovely.

Well it's all about the kids today, off to the park (with one of my bead books in my bag) so that they can run their legs off while the sun's out, dark clouds looming so we'll have to be quick.

Don't forget to register for FREE BEADS.

Kate x

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Saturday 14th June

I've had some wonderful feedback from so many of you, a HUGE thank you for your continued support and encouragment, it has given me such a boost.

I've added Google Checkout to the site, the reason for this is that although PayPal is convenient for most people the fees for sellers like me with low turnover are frankly shocking, I don't want these fees to impact on the price of my work and google convert 10 times my spend on advertising with them into fee free transactions using their checkout facility, which is great. You can still pay by PayPal or cheque if you'd prefer but I just thought I'd explain why I've added it.

I've had a tough commission this week, the brief was 'White' what can I say, I was at a loss. I spent 4 or 5 nights convincing myself I couldn't do anything with it but finally sat down at the torch yesterday with a rod of white and a rod of clear, I was worried!!

After the first attempt my spirits lifted and suddenly I was full of ideas, I've posted a few pictures for you to have a peek. I love these beads so much I'm going to make myself a set, after all they'll go with anything, the great thing about commissions is that they push you to try something you'd either avoid or never even think of. I'll tell you about the 'Cerise' beads later, anyone who's familiar with lampworking will understand that 'Cerise' is a tricky gig too, watch this space.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sunday 8th June

I saw my beautiful nephew Dylan for the first time yesterday and he's a gorgeous, I'm sure you'll agree.

I've spent the rest of the weekend at my parents house with the girls and the '5' dogs, who all basked in the sunshine, what a glorious day.

Taffy and Zed enjoying the sun (Father & Son)

Back on with the beads tomorrow evening, I've got a really nice coral colour that I'm dying to use, I'd like to do something slightly hippy inspired, we'll see what happens.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Saturday 7th June

I'm an Auntie again!!

My sister-in-law gave birth to their first child, a healthy little boy, Dylan Gaunt, yesterday at 10.50am, he weighed in at 6lb 11.5oz and is doing great. I'm going to see him later today and I can't wait.
Congratulations Matt & Zoe.
On the bead front I've been having a ball with some new glass I received yesterday, it's a new CiM is Messy colour called Dirty Martini, what a fantastic name, it's the palest minty/sagey green, and I had to start using it the minute it arrived. I'll be listing the beads on my site on Wednesday as promised but I've got to share and so I've posted some pictures to give you a sneak preview.

Dirty Martini - Set 1

Dirty Martini - Set 2

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Thursday 5th June

A gorgeous sunny day.

Both myself and Paul (my husband) have the day off and Eivie's at home too. Paul is busy doing the washing, and is making a pie for the kids tea, it's cruising up to lunchtime and I'm deciding what to do with all the wonderful glass glittering in my kitchen window.

We've a house guest coming to stay today, Susie, an 11 year old Yorkshire terrier and the house has been buzzing with excitement all week. My sister-in-law will be giving birth to her first baby tomorrow and will probably be in hospital for a few days so Susie is staying with us for a while.

I've had quite a few commissions recently and as a result haven't posted very much for sale on my website this week. With the new baby arriving I won't get very much time this weekend either but I'm hoping to have some work ready for next Wednesday.

I met an amazing artist at the weekend, Martin Waters (, he was Spurn Point Lighthouse artist in residence in 2007, and created some amazing sculptures and installations during his time there. He creates his work from things he's salvaged from the beach, I felt so inspired by his work.

Stratisform 4 - by Martin Waters

Colour Strata

Spurn Gloves - an installation at Spurn Point