Monday, 15 March 2010

LUSH!!!

I have such a feast for your eyes today... I suggest you make that cuppa that you've been promising yourself all day and be prepared to enter a world of colour, texture, creativity and talent......

Last Monday I set off early on a long journey to the foot of the beautiful Malvern Hills.....


...... to spend some time with the wonderful Julie of....

This has been a long time desire of mine... to have a go at lampwork bead making... I have been very nervous about booking up a course, but when I came across Julie's amazing work I knew that she was the one that I wanted to have lessons with... her beads are SO inspirational, the colours are zingy, fresh and exciting and I couldn't wait to get started.

Julie's 'studio' is fondly known as the 'Torch Porch'..... yes, that's right, it's in her porch and here it is......
It's actually the perfect space for bead making... very cosy and full of light!

Just look at these shelves full of pots of coloured glass... yummy! It makes my heart flutter just to see them all waiting to be melted into something beautiful....
I think they look like coloured knitting needles... what do you think?

Well, I really needn't have worried... Julie is a brilliant teacher... very patient, really clear and extremely encouraging. We began by talking about all the safety issues, information about the different kinds of glass that can be used and using the dual fuel torches. Then Julie demonstrated how to make a basic glass bead... next it was my turn.. eeek! I was shaking so much that I thought that I'd never get the hang of it. It's very much like learning to drive. When you begin you wonder how you will ever be able to check mirrors, indicate, pull away, steer etc... all at the same time but eventually it's all second nature! With bead making you have to turn a mandrel in your left hand whilst watching the glass melting in your right, at the same time as checking your flame and then trying to put the melted glass onto the mandrel in as neat a way as possible!!
Here is the expert at work.....

... applying dots..... mine weren't nearly as even as these....

.... melting the dots to the bead so that they lie flat....


A beautiful daisy made by Julie. I had a go at this and was fairly successful but definitely need more practice.



The first day just whizzed by.... I couldn't believe what we achieved and how the time just flew. It was such a brilliant day.. so good to have some input from such an inspirational person, and brilliant to be learning a new skill.... Hmmmmm.. now where could I set this up at home????

Here we are... Ta Dah.... these are the beads that I made during my two days with Julie... not bad for a first attempt? Can you tell how proud I am of them????


If you are now longing to have a go, you must go and visit Julie... you will not be disappointed, in fact, you will be so inspired and amazed at what you achieve.... go on, you know you want to....
.... and if that doesn't convince you, take a look at these.... they are sure to get your heart beat racing....

Sunbaked beads... just look at those colours... aren't they scrumptious?

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm



Sunspots beads

Heart trios



Stonebaked beads


Rolling stones

A stunning focal bead

Now... don't you want to have a go? If you don't fancy making the beads yourself, you can buy the beads directly from Julie, either on her website or her Etsy shop.

As a little Thank you to Julie I set to on my faithful sewing machine.....

.... Cutting out small pieces of fabric and appliquéing these to some of my dyed blanket fabric...

.... embellishing with seed beads....

... french knots and silver wire to make it look like some of the beads that we made....

Thank you so, so much Julie, I had an amazing couple of days and am truely inspired.

7 comments:

Katy Noelle said...

Oh Gosh! This is BEAUTIFUL! You said it - "scrumptious!" I'm a textile oriented kind of girl and this looks like so much fun!!!

Thanks for stopping by in the sunny spot, today. I'd be happy to have you around - just make yourself at home! = ]

Love, Katy

vanessa said...

Oh wow! I love lampwork beads! I've always wanted to try making them, they look like the most delicious sweets. Julie's work is fabulous, just my sort of colours, very exciting! And I'm so impressed with what you produced, they're fab, especially the daisy one. I enjoyed this post enormously, might have to return and have another look, it's been fascinating. Big thank you for the links. Love Vanessa xxx (do you mind if i knit)

Julie ... Lush! said...

Thank you so much for this amazing review, Yvonne, I am so delighted to read it - and thrilled that you had such a great time!
Huge thanks too for my gorgeous card, I will treasure it,
Julie xx

Maxine Veronica said...

Thanks Yvonne, I'm hoping to go later this year...can't wait now yours look absolutely beautiful and it sounds like you had a lot of fun.

Max x

Red Bird Jewellery said...

brilliant post - lovely beads.... going to go follow your blog now!
I've only just started with silver clay, so another addiction might be a bit much right now, maybe next year....

Janine Starr said...

Love the photos of Lush's 'torch porch' I had a day with Julie in February and loved every minute of it too. Mind you, I still haven't found the time to add a post to my blog. Oops! Love your stuff and the write up by the way!

Janine
www.silverstarglass.blogspot.com

claire Ennis said...

What a lovely blog about an amazing and inspiring not to mention talented lampwork artist, Julie will be so pleased with this. I buy lots of her beads and use them in my jewellery designs. Looks like you had an amazing 2 days with Julie, hope to see more of your work when you manage to find a little space for your torch, won't be long before you but one if not already! good luck to you.
Best wishes
Claire