The soup I received

Content yet to be discovered...

Content yet to be discovered…

Small organza bags with labels.

Small organza bags with labels.

The soups out!

The soups out!

My lovely new earrings:)

My lovely new earrings:)

Here it is!

Here it is!

The parcel I received from Silke was beautiful in itself!  The brown rough textured box with spring green ribbons sat there on my kitchen table promising yet unknown delights…  Ah, the sweet anticipation!  

I opened the parcel and found quite a few small organza bags with beads, clearly labelled with the delightful contents.  Once I have picked up all the beads from their bags and get to admire them all together I am struck by the beauty of this symphony of harmonising colours Silke has put together for me!  I am not exaggerating – the collection is amazing!  

Silke has sent two focals which are lampworked beads she has made herself.  One huge lentil and one round bead of generous size.  A collection of smaller lampworked beads to match,  silk sari ribbon which a friend of Silke has hand dyed.  Bright silver beads and clasp, shimmering pastel Swarovski Crystals.  If this wasn’t enough, she also sent an extra gift to me which is a very stylish pair of glass/silver earrings in a cool green colour.  

I just need some alone time with the beads now so I can work out what to create:)  

The soup I sent

Sent soup

Sent soup

Close up of focal and clasp.

Close up of focal and clasp.

I will start off by showing you the beads I sent as both my Bead Soup Blog Hop partner Silke and I have received our soups now.

I sent a focal which features a cabochon made from ceramic clay and tinted with gilders paste.  The actual frame holding the cabochon is made from silver clay.  After firing this has been oxidised to give it more depth and life.  The leaves are also tinted with gilders paste.  The metal clay part is made using techniques invented and taught by the very talented Polish Metal Clay Artist Anna Mazon.  I also included a few other ceramic beads to match the focal, red sponge coral sticks, Apatite rondelles and free form beads.  The clasp is also made from silver clay and it includes a little cubic Zirconia.  I am very excited to see what Silke will make with these:)

Meet my talented Bead Soup Partner Silke!

Silver Glass Bead made by Silke

Silver Glass Bead made by Silke

Landscape Bead made by Silke

Landscape Bead made by Silke

I have previously told you about the Bead Soup Blog Hop Party I am taking part in.  Now, let me tell you a little bit about my partner in this swap: Silke from Kirchheim unter Technik near Stuttgart in Germany.

Silke told me that she got introduced to glass bead making via a friend in 2010.  She was taught how to make a glass encasing by her favourite glass dealer, but is pretty much self taught.  She has however attended some classes with a few talented artists/ teachers in the last few years ( such as Angela Meier (Switzerland), Jens Christian Kontrup (Denmark), Michael Barley and J.C. Herrell (USA)).

I asked Silke what her favourite type of beads were and she said that there were two: Silver glass (http://just-beads.blogspot.de/search/label/Silberglas) and Landscape beads (http://just-beads.blogspot.de/search/label/Landschaften).

Silke: ‘ -With one silverglass you can make beads with many different colours. The way how you work with the glass (temperature, ratio between gas and Oxygen, working time) is the reason for the wonderful colours.’

My ‘Bead Soup’ partner has recently opened up a shop on Etsy and I highly recommend a visit: https://www.etsy.com/shop/justbeads4all

I have always admired the other worldly beauty of beads made with this technique.  Silke’s creations are superb and she has promised to send me some for the swap!  I look forward to the challenge and cherish the opportunity to admire her work in real life.

A bouquet of head pins and pink Santa

Bouquet of head pins

Bouquet of head pins

Pink Santa

Pink Santa

I thought I would post a little snap shot of some new head pins I have just collected from the kiln.  They don’t look like much yet, but I think these will be good fun when they are done:)  Some of them are more of a sort of organic/plant type of design and they will be polished with gilders wax etc.  I think I will add colour to the others with traditional ceramic glaze.

The later collection makes me smile as they are inspired by ‘Nightmare before Christmas’.  I still love that film as much as I did the first time I saw it.  What’s not to love?  Romance, excitement and wonderfully quirky characters!  I especially love Jack’s enthusiasm when he discovers Christmas and examines the ‘evidence’ in his lab:)

I  also could not resist sharing a picture of my daughter Isabella from earlier this evening.  She had just devoured a plate of vegetarian spaghetti Bolognese when she decided to dress up as pink Santa.  She might not be the cleanest child in the world in this picture, but perhaps one of the happiest!  I love this little lady so, so much:)

Ceramic beads

A collection of sets

A collection of sets

Singles

Singles

Close up leaf set

Close up leaf set

Close up blue flower bell set

Close up blue flower bell set

Close up red flower set

Close up red flower set

I thought I would show you my other line of ceramic beads.  These have got a very different look to them compared to the traditionally glazed beads.  They are actually more labour intensive to make as there is a lot of shading, layering and burnishing involved.  I do love the end result though.  They have got an ancient and somewhat mysterious look about them.  Like they have been around for hundreds and hundreds of years and have seen and heard everything there is to see:)

freshly baked ceramic beads

A collection of sets of beads from my latest batch.

A collection of sets of beads from my latest batch.

 

Mix of pendants

Mix of pendants

 

Necklace set

Necklace set

 

Melon beads with flower

Melon beads with flower

 

Zesty set

Zesty set

 

Daffodil set

Daffodil set

I have been meaning to post pictures a lot sooner than this, but life got in the way as it so often does:)

I am taking part in Lori Anderson’s Bead Soup Blog Party for the first time this year (it is in its 8th edition).  It is an event where you are paired up with another jewellery designer and you swap beads, create something from your new beads and then you both reveal your creations on a set date.  The idea is that you are challenged by working with materials you may not have worked with before etc.  Another goal for the challenge is to get people blogging.  Lori is very thoughtful and have paired newbies like myself with experienced bloggers.

I have been paired with a very talented lady called Silke from Germany.  She is a lampworker and creates the sublimely beautiful glass beads (this is her blog:http://just-beads.blogspot.com)!  She has promised to send me some beads she has made and I cannot tell you how much I look forward to admiring her work in person!  I will tell you a little bit more about my blog soup partner in another blog post.

I thought I would post a few pictures of what I make.  I’ll show you some sets of traditionally glazed ceramic beads today.  I will take more pictures tomorrow and show you some of my cold glazed ceramic beads.