Friday, May 16, 2014

Inside the Studio with Rebecca of Songbead

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 ClayPlease send Tari an email with your information.
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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. 

Rebecca is a Scottish jewellery designer, currently living in Belfast, Northern Ireland. You can read more about her and her work at her blog, songbeads.blogspot.com and see more of her jewellery at songbead.etsy.com. She also has a supplies shop at thecuriousbeadshop.etsy.com.

25 comments:

Alice said...

Your pieces are lovely! I can see why they chose to show your jewelry.

As for old techniques, I tried soldering a few years ago and never got the hang of it. Maybe it was because my mom was very ill. But every time I see wonderful jewelry that used a soldering technique I want to try it again. That means I have to find the time to practice, and also get new tools and equipment. Honestly it scarses me to play with fire....

I love your beaded beads! The colors are fantastic!

Dawn Gatehouse - Jewellery Designer said...

They are very beautiful but I am a great believer in the fact that sometimes you you have to keep some things to yourself. I have been asked to write my birds as a tutorial so many times and they are so dear to me I just can't do it. Each one has been made with my hands and that makes them special indeed. Good luck with whatever you decide x

Nicole DeMore said...

Don't necessarily have any old techniques that I don't do, but there have been some things that got put on the back burner. I used to make a lot of chainmaille, but recently have been making all sorts of new beady things that are far from being chain of any type.

Saraccino said...

Yes, strangely enough (from my view point now) I just discovered polymer clay again a few years ago. I know how much I loved working with it as a child. I still have some "rune stones" I made back then. Even my gloss I could use over ten years later. And I still have some metal foil and powder from that polymer clay kit. Just thinking about it... it was over 15 years before I worked with polymer clay again. Then just some first items, even while I loved them, it took another year until I really got back into that medium. Now I am asking me how I could have ever NOT have worked, played and experimented with it. Maybe we just need to find the right moment in life until everything starts fitting together :)

I love your playful and colourful beads (and your work also ^^)!

*waves*
Claire

Patti Vanderbloemen said...

First of all, I think your beautiful beaded beads DO qualify as art beads- mostly because I cannot accomplish anything with those tiny beads and a needle! They are quite lovely, indeed.

I like to look at my jewelry making, using your words, as a creative journey. I have a LONG list of techniques that I want to find the time to learn and master. But, my favorite technique has always been wire wrapping. There is just something so satisfying about taking a length of wire and turning it into a component, coiling it into shape, or wrapping it around a bead...it's meditative!

Liona (Blue Merlin Creations) said...

You do lead a busy life, Rebecca! And the beads are lovely. It's nice to have something you've made that is your very own =)

As for an old technique revisited? Well, the most basic one of all, straight stringing! I've been making lots of pendant necklaces with chain, and I love doing that. It's such a great way to show off just one or two art beads.

But going back to making a fully strung piece every so often is really satisfying, especially when you have one of those great "aha"! moments with a particularly good design!

Shaiha said...

I don't know about revisiting a technique because I don't feel as I have perfected any that I am using now. One that I would really like to be able to spend more time with would be soldiering. I have my torch but the way my studio is set up really isn't conducive to its use. I have been thinking about waylaying my husband and rearranging it so I can use it more.

Claire Lockwood said...

I can't win can I? Darn it! Never mind: today I actually went and got details and all but signed up for my ceramics classes. I will be signing up in the next few days! A return to old materials and a whole new thing!

Colleen said...

I don't think I've been doing this long enough (or often enough) to have an old technique. I'm currently working my way through all sorts of stuff, trying to find my identity. Although, when I was a kid, I made a LOT of knotted friendship bracelets and did native American beaded rings in Girl Scouts. Did lots and lots of those.

Lecia Woessner said...

Hi Rebecca! I really love all of your designs & I'm totally in love with your beaded beads! It's funny that you've brought up this topic because I recently found myself returning to macrame, which is actually how my love affair with jewelry making began! For the Bead Soup Blog Party my partner sent me a large stone as a focal and I was stumped because I certainly am not a wire wrapper! Somehow I had an epiphany and I came up with a macrame wrap! Whew! It was fun and it turned out nice! Thank you for sharing today!

Wendy D. said...

Rebecca, your exhibit is beautiful -- so artistic! Thank you for sharing it.

My "old" techniques are ones that I learned in classes and have not (yet) taken time to explore on my own. Two of these are Melody MacDuffee's lacy wire bezel and using ice resin.

I'm not much of a seed bead weaver, so your beaded beads are fascinating to me. I love the palettes you chose! I can only imagine the time and love you invested in each bead.

Wendy
Wendy.DiMicco@gmail.com

Monique (A Half-Baked Notion) said...

Firstly, I definitely remember when you wrote about moving to Belfast, Rebecca, and indeed it seems only the blink of an eye :( Certainly your adventures will continue, wherever you find yourselves!

As a fairly new jewelry babe, just about every technique is "new" to me. What has intrigued me most is combining fabric and fibre (my first love) with the more traditional media. Baby steps, though :)

Your beaded beads are divine and I would be exited to work with them someday!

Lyn Gulliver said...

Hi Rebecca, what a beautiful display of your jewellery ! Awesome. Your beaded beads are gorgeous, I am learning bead-stitching, trying out new stitches and designs, quite addictive and can easily soak up time ! As a little girl my first crafts were crochet and hand stitching, at the moment I am just playing and experimenting with beads large and small, threads, yarns, ribbon and wire with needle and crochet hook. All sorts of ideas are bubbling in my head trying to escape! As for your question about selling the beaded bead, they are fiddly and time consuming (similar to crocheting over a bead). I too have been thinking about selling my seed-bead or tiny crochet components, I think I would make a pack with one or maybe two handmade components as focal and add quality co-ordinating beads to make it cost effective. ( I hope that makes sense!) Lyn x

Lyn Gulliver said...

Hi Rebecca, what a beautiful display of your jewellery ! Awesome. Your beaded beads are gorgeous, I am learning bead-stitching, trying out new stitches and designs, quite addictive and can easily soak up time ! As a little girl my first crafts were crochet and hand stitching, at the moment I am just playing and experimenting with beads large and small, threads, yarns, ribbon and wire with needle and crochet hook. All sorts of ideas are bubbling in my head trying to escape! As for your question about selling the beaded bead, they are fiddly and time consuming (similar to crocheting over a bead). I too have been thinking about selling my seed-bead or tiny crochet components, I think I would make a pack with one or maybe two handmade components as focal and add quality co-ordinating beads to make it cost effective. ( I hope that makes sense!) Lyn x

Divya N said...

This year I returned to resin after giving up on it a year ago due to non availability of materials. Also I am looking to include a lot of fibre and silk thread in my work which I havent done in the last 4 years. I hope that it works out for me

Erin S said...

After a brief hiatus, I've brought out my dapping block again and re-visited dapping old bottle caps--they make very fun earrings.

Kathy Lindemer said...

Your beads are wonderful. I would love to win some. I think if you enjoy making them and can part with some, you might give selling them a try. They are really lovely.

I have been revisiting how to make clasps. I made a few awhile ago, and I just went back to revisit some blogs for directions and designs. I really want to make more of my components and make links.

lindalandig said...

I started out in metalsmithing and have revisited it a bit over the past year or so. But my new passion is ceramics. I'm loving it and am putting most of my creative energy into playing with clay!

Your beaded beads are delightful. Thank you for offering a few up for this giveaway!

Sarajo Wentling said...

What a great display of your work! Congrats! And your beaded beads are lovely...

I have been inspired lately to get back to playing with cold connections... especially riveting. I went to the Vintaj 2 day workshop a couple of years ago and got so excited about combining various pieces and doing some 3-d types of treatments but I've found myself doing more straight up painting of their altered blanks (which is totally fun) and I want to get back to exploring some more complex & interesting combinations that feel truly my own.

From an Open Heart said...

Yes, I go back to stringing lately but it's never really back because my work and design style keeps evolving.

Terri Del Signore said...

For me - paper making - I love to make handmade paper and have ideas of how to incorporate new techniques but I just have not found the time to make this a priority. Some day:)

Becky Pancake said...

Hi Rebecca, Your beaded beads are lovely. I have a whole list of techniques I want to try. One of the reasons I am attracted to jewelry making is I won't get bored. There is always something new to learn.

Debra Gibson said...

Rebecca you know I am already a huge fan of your work and I have never been able to do these types of beads so it would be an awesome treat to win some of my own! But for me I think it would be soldering because it has been a bit of a challenge and I would like to be better at it and incorporate it with my resin and polymer clay work. Thank you for the chance to win. Take care and keep on beading!!!
Love & Hug's

Ann Schroeder said...

I hope you love your new home when you go! Just lately I've been thinking I could combine some of my old techniques (stringing on bead wire with crimps) and my new design sense. I've been having throwback thursday posts on my blog and revisiting some old pieces. But there are still so many new things to learn! I love your beaded beads! Beaded beads have long been a favorite of mine. Thanks for the chance to win!

bairozan said...

I'm still learning so the old technique is decoupage as it was my first craft experience. I'd like to integrate decoupaged beads in the jewelry I make. And I would also like to learn and make beaded beads but it would be nice to win some of yours :)