A bracelet I made using a collection of my Dahlia Beaded Beads from the pattern available on this site
Gallery showcases the work of the wonderful people who have supported my beadwork over the years. Beading has helped me through some very difficult times and it started out as a hobby for me. I didn’t expect that I would end up writing books or teaching workshops when I first picked up a packet of beads. Now, aside from satisfying my need to create, I get an immense buzz from passing on my knowledge to others. I have lost count of the number of days when I’ve been struggling for one reason or another and had my day turned around by an email from someone who is showing me how one of their projects from my designs turned out. I feel really proud of the skill and effort that they have put into the project. Often it’s from someone I perhaps taught or have got to know and I understand the difficulties they had when starting out and the huge achievement that the finished work represents. So I want to say a huge thank you to all of you who have contacted me and I wanted to showcase your work here on the gallery pages.
I have put together a gallery of the beading classes and workshops that I have taught. When I remember (which isn’t
Beautiful poinsettias made by Jo at a workshop at Blue Haze in Chesham
always!) I like to try and get a photo of the work that everyone has done during the day. I love it when this is followed up by a ‘finished’ work photo from a student! I’ve also got a few photos of some of the workshops in action.
I also have a gallery showcasing the beading projects that have been made by people who have bought my patterns, kits and books. Apart from the fact that I love seeing how projects have turned out, this is also a great way for me to see how they look in different colourways. I wish I had the time to experiment with different colouring for all my projects, but it’s just not possible. So if you’re also looking for some different colour combinations and ideas, this gallery is a lovely place to start.
Finally, I wanted somewhere to showcase my Battle of the Beadsmith entries and also the work I have been doing with the Beadsmith Inspiration Squad, so the gallery pages seemed like the obvious option.
Just to give you a taste of the beautiful work I get to see, I ran a challenge to celebrate National Craft Month in March 2014. You can read all about it on my blog. I set 7 challenges for anyone who wanted to take part. Challenge 1: pick a colour you don’t often use and build a colour scheme around it. Challenge 2: choose a beading technique that you rarely use or have never used and incorporate this into your work. Challenge 3: make a beaded bead. Challenge 4: make a beaded pendant. Challenge 5: make a beaded clasp. Challenge 6: make some chain. Challenge 7: make a piece of jewellery. Participants could take up as many or few challenges as they wanted, the idea being to give everyone an excuse to do some beading and perhaps try something a little out of their comfort zone. I then asked everyone to email in photos of the pieces they had made, so here are the results for you to enjoy!
This bracelet was made for the challenge to make some beaded beads. It’s maker tells me it happened kind of by accident. She had tried to make a beaded bead to mimic a resin bead, but wasn’t happy with the results. Rather than cut up this bead (the white and gold near the front of the image), she decided to make some different beaded beads from a free internet tutorial, using RAW, peanut beads and Miyuki drops. As you can see, the resulting bracelet is beautiful, so it just goes to show if you’ve made something that didn’t work for it’s original purpose, it may be because it was destined to end up somewhere else!
Dottie combined challenges two and three to make some beaded beads using geometric beading techniques that she has only previously used for making cakes from the Sweet Treats
book. She tells me that she used geometric techniques to try and mimic resin beads. Apparently, some of the experiments were more successful than others, so some of them have been used to learn whilst others have been turned into a pendant. It looks to me as though the beads in the photo all worked really well and it’s a great idea to combine some beaded beads with beads of another variety in a piece of jewellery, so I think this is really inspiring.
Dottie then used some of these beads to make this lovely pendant as her geometric beaded beads. She tells me that geometric beadwork is a technique that she hardly ever uses (unless it’s to make beaded cakes!), so she decided to challenge herself to make some beaded beads that mimicked shaped resin beads. The beads that worked best she used to make this pretty pendant, combining the beaded bead with the resin beads.
This beautiful piece, made by Dottie, combined challenges five and six. She tells me that one of her favourite rope or chain techniques is netting, so she used that in orangey tones with mint green seed beads. She then made a beaded clasp incorporating the goldstone beads from the netted rope. I think this looks stunning!
This is a beautiful quick make, inspired by the challenge of a beaded chain. It combines cream seed beads and orange freshwater pearls and the lady who made it tells me it is the kind of design she loves to do when she doesn’t have a lot of time, but still needs something to keep her hands busy.
These gorgeous earrings combined a few challenges for Dottie. She tells me that there are a couple of colour schemes that she never uses: oranges and black/white/grey schemes. She decided to make something built around an orange colour scheme. So she made some beaded beads and then combined them with chain and ordinary beads to make these bold and beautiful earrings. Dottie also tells me that she doesn’t often make earrings, so I think that covers off challenges one, two, three and six very nicely!
The idea for this project apparently came from an Austrian beader, Birgit Volk. It can be worn wrapped around the wrist, as shown, or used as a necklace. Dottie, who made this piece, was experimenting with a beaded clasp and some beaded chain and the results are very delicate and elegant I think.
I thought all the entries for the National Craft Month challenge were just stunning, so if you’ve enjoyed this section, then do take a look through the other gallery pages for even more inspiration.