The 'Original' Creative Crafting Magazine written by Crafters, for Crafters

Creative Crafting magazine began in August/September 2009, when a group of crafting friends on the Creative Connections network decided that it would be a good idea to raise awareness of the crafting community. From this point they started work and the first issue of Creative Crafting was published in October 2009 and are still publishing today.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Custom glass - for the obsessed, fascinated or just plain gorgeous!

Published in Issue 21, February 2013
Written by Sally from The Bead Bounty

Custom glass - for the obsessed, fascinated or just plain gorgeous!

Why buy ‘off the shelf’ when you can have custom designed so easily?

For as long as I can remember I have had a fascination for glass. I love it’s many and varied colours and the ways in which it can be formed and manipulated to create wonderful objects from the practical to the decadent.
When I was a youngster I remember visiting the Victoria and Albert museum in London on a trip from boarding school and the one thing that sticks with me from that visit, is the glass that they had on display. I remember being mesmerised by its beauty. I even bought a post card with a picture of a gorgeous red glass goblet I had seen, as a reminder of the experience. The post card is, of course, long gone but my memory of that stunning goblet is as vivid as ever.
I have even earlier memories of my joy and delight where glass is concerned.
My family moved quite a lot and one of the houses we lived in for a short time near the Pennine hills in England, before we crossed the pond to Africa, had the most spectacular stained glass arched window. It reached from the cellar to the fourth storey attic and when the sun hit it, it cast the most beautiful colours down the stairs and hall ways. At only seven years old, I can remember being awestruck on more than one occasion when I saw the light dancing and bathing everything, including me, with the most glorious rainbow of colours.
As a designer I love to produce original one of a kind pieces of art work and over the years I have tried every craft that has been available to me, but never found anything that truly fulfilled the thing that I was obviously looking for. I came close once with pottery. The way glazes melt under extreme heat fascinates me and with my wheel and kiln, I have made many a pot that has had an amazing finish to it, but even that did not hit the spot, so to speak.

Five years ago on the 14th of February, having spent many years making jewellery, I decided to go for broke and set up “The Bead Bounty”. The concept was to bring glass beads, bead making products and handcrafted designer jewellery to the public. After a short time I became frustrated by the lack of quality and the fact that the beads were mass-produced and too commonly available. I decided to do something about it and learned the art of Lamp work bead making. The skills I had acquired over the years helped and once I bought the equipment I needed, I started to produce good quality beads I could put my own designs into. I had finally found the thing I had been looking for.
I was now able to offer my customers one off, good quality originals, that only they could own. A whole new world opened up.

I started to receive orders for bespoke pieces of jewellery.
One customer saw the beads on a bracelet I had made and ordered a large Hole European style bead for a silver bracelet in that design.
I have had Order requests for jewellery to go with prom, wedding and special occasion dresses.
One lady even requested a bracelet to match her team colour at school. One of the pieces I am currently working on is a child’s bracelet with pink and blue beads. The mother wants her daughter to have a keepsake that she can treasure forever and that will be unique to her.

The beauty of Lamp Work is that I can produce, within reason, any style or colour of bead that is requested.
One of the most exciting requests I have had was to make a full range of jewellery for a local museum, to accompany an exhibit that they were about to put on show. A Saxon Princesses grave had been un-earthed at Loftus in North Yorkshire and was the first Saxon Royalty to be found in England. The museum wanted to have jewellery to sell to mirror the colours of the main gold and garnet pendant that had been found in the dig.
I produced many pieces of jewellery for the museum and named it “The Princess Collection” as my name means Princess.
I never know from one day to the next what exciting ideas my customers will come up with and ask me to produce for them. That is one of the true pleasures of my job.
As well as making the beads into jewellery I also produce beads for the customer to make into their very own one of a kind pieces.

Which ever pieces I sell, be it ready made jewellery, bespoke items or loose beads, I feel greatly privileged that people part with hard earned cash to purchase my products.
There is no feeling like it and I would like to thank customers past, present and future for their appreciation of just what an amazing art lamp work is.
It is a joy when people understand that they are purchasing something truly unique.

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