My Beadwork Blog and Gallery

Beading is a bit of an obsession. My beadwork blog is home to my thoughts on pieces I am working on, techniques I am learning, and my beading inspirations. I live in Bournemouth, Dorset and am mum to two gorgeous young children. I volunteer at both school and toddler group, and work part-time in online ad production. I try to fit in as much beading here and there as I can, for both relaxation, and to stretch and expand my creative side. I've learnt a variety of textile crafts over the years, but have always loved jewellery-making. I enjoy wirework, but beadweaving and bead embroidery have proved to be my favourite mediums, and it is these types of beadwork that I always seem to come back to. I love the colour and feel of beads, planning new projects, learning new techniques and of course, bead shopping! I read a wide variety of beading magazines and books, and apart from the occasional workshop, am primarily self-taught.

Chainmaille and Wirework Gallery

New pieces will be added to the top of the gallery on completion.

Berry Necklace and Bracelet Set

This was a gift that I made to order, which I have to say I grew to hate while I was making it. I was too close to Christmas to risk the post with an internet order, so sourced the chain from a limited stock locally. As a result it was very difficult to work with, and it took a lot of repositioning to make the dangles hang correctly without turning the chain over. If I was to repeat this project I would be a lot more careful with chain choice and perhaps mock up some samples first before proceeding to the whole piece.

Lampwork Dangle Necklace

This was one of the first pieces I made as a gift when I first became interested in beading, and was inspired by several of the designs in  'Easy Beaded Jewellery' by Susan Ray and Sue Wilke.  This book introduced me to lampwork beads, particularly borosilicate glass, which I hadn't seen before and was completely bowled over by. I bought this bead by Iris Buchholtz from America as her beads were used in this book, before I was aware of the fantastic lampworking going on in the UK.

Swirl Bead Wirework Necklace and Earrings Set

I received this fantastic lampwork bead from my friend Helen Wyatt who made the fantastic orange focal bead mentioned in my first post. So I could wear it that weekend I suspended the bead from a wrapped loop bail, and made three pairs of crystal rondelle earrings that matched the bead and the outfits to wear it with. Voila!

Byzantine Weave Chainmaille Bracelet

I've learnt most of my beading techniques from books and magazines, but however much I tried I did not understand chainmaille tutorials. Some things have to be demonstrated, so I booked a place on Gary Taylor's workshop at Stitch n Craft. Gary makes the most exquisite (and tiny) pieces. He was very patient and helped us unpick and rework our bracelet until we'd 'clicked', but it is still one of the most difficult techniques I've tried. I also made some earrings which are weighted with crow beads to keep the form of the weave.

Box Weave Chainmaille Bracelet

Box Weave is easy to produce accidently by not adding the correct number of paired jump rings at the right point during Byzantine Weave! This feels slinky and is reassuringly heavy. I made the jumprings myself using silver plated wire and Xuron flush cutters, which gave a good smooth finish.

Purple Haze Wirework Set 

This is a straight reproduction of the Linda Jones jewellery set in 'Make Jewellery' issue 10, as I wanted to complete every technique that Linda used in this one set.  
They use silver plated wire and chain, Swarovski pearls, a porcelain doughnut pendant, and fire polished beads. It took a bit of practise to produce the elements uniformly but as a first attempt I was quite pleased with this. I wear this set a lot and it's a very comfortable design to wear.