Welcome to Inside the Studio!
Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.
Congratulations Bead Recipes! You have won a ceramic house button from Tari Sasser of Creative Impressions In Clay. Please send Tari an email with your information.
These past few weeks have been quite whirlwind for me for one reason or another. It sometimes feels like I begin every blog post I ever write with some kind of opening sentence like that one! Do things, will things ever calm down? I keep waiting....We found out last week that we are definitely going to be moving away from Northern Ireland at the end of July. We always knew that our stay here would only be for a year but it really has flown by and I can't quite believe I'm going to have to pack up and leave my beautiful big studio here! I know that where we go next, rental prices will not be the same and I will not have the same luxury of space. I must try not to mourn it before I have actually gone. Hopefully new and exciting things are in store for us down the road, but I will miss Belfast and NI greatly, it's safe to say.
What else is new with me? Well, this month I have some of my jewellery in an exhibition at the Scottish Arts Club in Edinburgh, until the 7th June. If you are a local, you can drop in and see my display - the SAC is on Rutland Square and you just ring the doorbell and ask to come in to see the exhibition. There are also some wonderful painting from Rosalind Lawless, and some beautiful mixed-media textile work from SAC member Lorna Noble. Definitely work a viewing if you are in the area.
Here's a peek at my stand from the preview night on the 14th:
A lot of art beads on display within my work!
Another thing you will see featured, if you look hard, are something new I have been working on.....
Not strictly art beads, but still handmade, I have returned to my bead-weaving roots, and have started making my own wooden-cored beaded beads.
There is a pleasing sense that I am coming full circle with my work....I started bead weaving when I was a young teenager; all but abandoning it a few years ago when jewellery design became less of a even a serious hobby, and more of a job. It IS hugely time-consuming, and I can't imagine how anyone can make a living doing it full-time. I also know that my brain is not one of an engineer and I do believe that most of the best bead-weavers out there are able to think structurally in a way that I simply can't.
However, I have long had the idea that I wanted to be able to make these little beaded beads to include within my work, but never quite cracked it in a way I was happy with until a few weeks ago. I have to say, it has made me incredibly happy to be able to return to a needle and thread, and create items which I can in turn design with. I have a world of colour to work with, and I am excited to experiment with different sizes and even shapes - rondelles, ovals, large rounds....
I have yet to decide whether I will sell these beads as loose beads for others to work with. Whilst I love making them, they are very time consuming, and at the moment I'm enjoying creating them for my own work....we shall see! I would be interested to hear your thoughts.
In the meantime however, whilst I decide, I am offering some of my beaded beads as this week's prize! I am giving away three beaded beads to the lucky winner, in colour(s) of your choice from my stash. In order to be in with a chance to win, answer this question in the comments below:
What 'old' technique would you like to revisit? Have you returned to an old skill and combined it with new? Or do you see your creative journey as one that presses on, never looking back?
Please share below! The winner will be announced in next week's Inside the Studio post.