Category Archives: Lampworking

Changeable Ring Toppers

I’m loving my new ring system that I bought from Jetagestudio.com!  I only bought one mandrel so am having to be patient since I can only make one a day.  Here’s my first attempt.  The second one is in the kiln.

The topper is 22mm across.

RNG-04

RNG-04DThe system is very neat.  You buy the ring that fits your finger, the mandrel system and some nuts.  Here’s a picture of the ring.  The nut is inside the glass and screws on.

Changeable Ring

 

 

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My Glass Garden

Glass Garden 8

 Photo by Matthew Diesch

When I first set up my glass studio at home I had to buy a heap of kit….torch, kiln etc.  I also had to buy Mandrels.  Mandrels are steel rods about 25cm long and 2.4mm wide.  They are used to wrap glass around, and essentially are what makes the hole in the middle of a bead.  Since glass will permanently stick to steel, the mandrels have 5-10cm of one end dipped in Bead Release so that we can get them off the mandrel once fired in the kiln.

I’m explaining all of this because I recently replaced all my mandrels for new ones.  It seemed a shame to throw the old mandrels out, so I came up with the idea of making glass flowers on them without any bead release, meaning that they would be permanently fixed to the end of the mandrel.  I don’t have much experience making sculptured beads and it’s been a good challenge.

So far it’s been heaps of fun, and my little glass garden is slowly growing.  The added bonus is Glass Garden 2no weeds!!!  haha!

1000 Beads

1000 Beads CoverThere was great excitement this week, when my complimentary copy of the newly published “1000 Beads” by LarkCrafts arrived in the post.  Waaay back in January 2013, I submitted three photos of my lampwork beads for consideration for entry, and was thrilled to find out in November last year that one of them had been accepted.

Some years ago some of my work was published in the book “New Zealand Glass Art” by the New Zealand Society of Artists of Glass (NZSAG) to celebrate 30 years of glass art.  I still love browsing through that book which has many forms of glass in it, from lampworking and blown, through to fused and cast.

This latest book is on quite another scale though.  This book includes artists from all over the world, and covers a myriad of mediums from glass and polymer clay, through to paper and silk.  It really is a feast for the eyes!  I am so honored to have been accepted, and have my work sit alongside some extremely talented people!

I haven’t yet ordered more copies from Amazon, but not doubt will be submitting my order very soon…..look out family and friends, guess what your next present will be 🙂

Below is the entry that was accepted.  These beads are particularly close to my heart, as I have made many beads in this style that have been donated to the Beads of Courage program.  You can find our more about the program via my website, Moorebeads.

Mandevilla (Copy)

 

Beautiful Handmade Jewelry Sale!

With the change of seasons upon us, I thought it would be a good chance to have a bit of clear out of stock, and what better way of doing that than having a SALE?

To this end, I have updated all the pricing on my website, and

REDUCED EVERYTHING BY 40%!

Check it out at my website www.moorebeads.co.nz

“Shareability” of Hobbies

NKL-38Whilst I might currently be busy turning wool into wearable objects, my ‘main’ hobby is lampworking. What’s that, you ask? Wikipedia nicely sums it up as:

Lampworking is a type of glasswork where a torch or lamp is primarily used to melt the glass. Once in a molten state, the glass is formed by blowing and shaping with tools and hand movements. It is also known as flameworking or torchworking, as the modern practise no longer uses oil-fueled lamps.

I attended a two day lampworking course early in 2008 at the Born to Bead Studio and quickly became captivated with this art form. Soon after I decided that it was time to set up my own home studio, where I use Effetre and New Zealand’s own Gaffer soda-lime glass to make glass beads.

PDNT-05BWhat initially struck me as being quite different to hobbies I’d indulged in previously, was that this was a craft that I could really share.  The creations of earlier hobbies such as scrapbooking and embroidery typically ended up stored in a cupboard on on a shelf collecting dust.  Making glass beads that I can then turn into wearable jewellery meant that I could make a lot of gifts that friends and family actually wanted to receive, and for the first time I could sell what I was making.  I think this ‘shareability’ factor is what I also like about baking and crochet.

In the last five years I’ve participated in lampworking competitions and exhibitions (locally and internationally), and had the blessing of making many beads for the very special children who are involved in the Beads of Courage programme.

ORG-24The other great aspect of this hobby, is the number of other skills that I’ve developed.  I’ve learnt how to take a great photo of a bead (more difficult than it sounds), how to use Photoshop to enhance the photos, and most importantly, how to build a website from scratch.   I now have http://www.moorebeads.co.nz/ as my Lampworking website, where people can purchase my jewellery directly from me.

Recently I thought I’d turn my hand to making a video of how to make some basic beads.  This was driven by the constant “did you blow the beads” comments from people.  Lampworking is not the same as blowing glass, which you would typically do if making large glass items such as vases and wine glasses.  I found that it was very difficult for people to grasp the concept of how we make beads using the lampworking techniques.  Below is the first video that I made:

How to make a basic lampwork bead with “Spots”

Having said all of this, one of the best things about lampworking, is the great people that I’ve met.  I’ve attended courses over the years with some of the most renowned lampworking artists from around the world….Anastasia (Germany), Sarah Hornik (Israel), Kathryn Wardill (Australia)…..and met many of the talented lampworkers based here in New Zealand.  You can’t ask for much more from a hobby can you?