Friday, 19 November 2010

I Love Teaching

I've had a really lovely day today teaching the first day on a Precious Metal Clay Certification Module 3 Workshop. Today we made a syringe pedant and a section of chain - tomorrow we'll make a semi-precious stone set ring and a pendant combining the use of a photopolymer plate (that we'll make) and Keum boo. Keum boo is a Korean technique where you apply gold foil to the surface of fine silver, it looks beautiful. I shall tell you all about it once we've finished on Sunday.

Everybody working hard - look at my snowflakes in the window!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Monday, 15 November 2010

Weekend Workshops

What a busy weekend. Saturday I went over to Banbury to teach an adult learning class Beads & Wire. I had ten beginners in the class - the day went really well and everybody achieved some great pieces of jewellery. The 10-3pm session covered using memory wire, using headpins, making headpins, creating loops, spiral headpins, how to use different findings to finish, how to use cord and chain within your designs. A jam packed session!!

When I returned back to the shop Kay, Mum and Fiona had completely decorated for christmas. Kay got a bit carried away with the tinsel!! It looks great..snowflakes, tinsel, button wreaths and icicle lights. Sunday we had a Chain Making workshop. I had 6 people on the workshop and we were using the new studio. The space worked really well and was comfortable to work in. The chains that were made looked amazing. Everybody designed their own piece using sterling silver wire and traditional silversmithing techniques and tools.

Becky had her last week working for us too. She bought me these beautiful flowers - they smell amazing. When I was putting them into a vase I found a hazelnut hidden in them. I looked up the meaning on good old google and it said that the hazelnut tree can help with creativity - Perfect. I made my little hazelnut into a pendant ready to call on should I have a creative block!!

For more images from all our workshops visit our Facebook Page.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

A Bead called Harry

I've been playing in the studio this week exploring glass colour combinations and making doggy beads. This is my handsome Schnauzer Harry...

...and this is my Harry bead!! I've also made a paw print charm out of PMC to hang with my bead and engraved his name on the back. Its always best to write into PMC when its dry - write into it very lightly and build up the depth so you avoid taking a chunk out of the clay.

I've also made a Gladys bead and body - Gladys is my sister Kay's Pug dog. I can't put up the image though what with Christmas around the corner!!

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Catching Up

Well things here at The Oxford Bead Shop have really moved on. We now have a Lampwork Studio...Yay!! I am sssoooo pleased with it. Here it is...

So, as you can see we have lampworking benches on one side and silversmithing benches on the other. The lampworking stations are set up to accomodate 3 people and the silversmithing 4. I can't wait to start tecahing in there. My first lampworking class in on January 22nd and its already second is on 6th March and that's full too!!! I'm going to look at the diary today and try and fix a date in February. We launched the Studio at our workshop taster evening on Friday 29th October. The night went fantastically well, we had about 50-60 people attend and we raised £56.00 for Breast Cancer Research. Lucy and I were demonstrating how to make Lampwork beads, I also did a Button Necklace and PMC Demo, Fiona ran a beads and wire workshop to make a bookmark, Becky did a beads and knotting workshop to make a bracelet and Bella did a textured silver pendant. Mum was demonstrating and answering questions on our beads and stitching workshops, Kay was holding fort on the till and Mary was making sure everybody had a drink. We were all very busy - I'm not sure what the neighbourhood thought was the night went on the windows became fogged up and we were full to the brim!!

Pete (Lucy's Boyf) was called upon to take photos for the night - he did fabulously well. All our photos can be seen on our Facebook page. We also launched our 2011 workshop programme that can be viewed on our website.
With Christmas just around the corner we have been preparing some new kits that are perfect little stocking fillers. This week we made a Memory Wire Bracelet Kit and a Charm Bracelet Kit - I'm really pleased with them. We have a few Craft Fairs coming up before Christmas so I thought these would work nicely. Our Bauble kits are flying of the shelves - they are so pretty and easy to make.

We have the first of our Christmas workshops today - Christmas Decorations with beads and wire. I'm feeling very Christmassy - is that wrong??