When I first started making jewelry waaaay back in 2005 I used a lot of pearls and crystals. I eventually discovered gemstones and Thai silver and worked with those for a while, but when I discovered art beads a whole new world opened up to me. Glistening glass, smooth ceramic and polished polymer clay beads and pendants, each individually crafted by an artisan with skill and vision began entering my world and I was enthralled! Absolutely taken by their beauty. At first I just horded them as though my creations weren't worthy of their beauty, but when I began to add them sparingly and then brazenly to my designs I felt like I had finally found my style. Art beads add something special to a design that no commercial bead can match. One of my favorite pastimes is just scouring the pages of Etsy for beads that light my fire and get my creative juices flowing. As a matter of fact it's rare for me to even make a piece these days that doesn't include at least one art bead.
For some time now, I've been dreaming of making my own art beads. But which medium? I adore lampwork glass beads. As a matter of fact last summer I took a lampwork bead course! I made some UGLY beads but it was a lot of fun.
My Ugly Lampwork Beads
Unfortunately setting up a lampworking studio in the basement of my townhouse just wasn't going to happen.
Next on the list... ceramic! I LOVE ceramic pendants. But could I make them myself? I went out and bought myself a copy of Jennifer Heynen of Jangles' book Ceramic Bead Jewelry. I read it cover to cover (several times) and then camped out on the Beads of Clay blog devouring each bit of information.
And I realized something... I think I can do this! This is my year to learn!
The only thing stopping me? A kiln.
Well, you know what my friends? As of today, that will no longer be an issue.
I'm so excited to announce... I BOUGHT A KILN TODAY!!!
Yep, this little bad boy is going to be mine!
Sure, it's smaller than a shoe box but it will suit my needs fine. I should have this hot little box in my hot little hands in the next few weeks!
I promise to share my first attempts with you regardless of how ugly they may be. ;-)
And hopefully soon, I will be adding my own lovely art beads to my jewelry designs.
Smiling big smiles,