I have gotten to know many friends and talented artists through Facebook that I haven't yet had the chance to meet in person. I know when I get to meet Juli Cannon either in her home state of Alabama, my home state of Florida or maybe at a bead show, we will have an amazing time! Not only is she one of my favorite lamp work artists, she is really funny! Juli started the Facebook Group, Art Beads, which is a trunk show selling format for lamp work artists, ceramic bead artists, metal clay artists and special events open to all group members. She carefully selects her trunk show artists for the over 3,000+ members to shop with. There are games, giveaways, friendship - Oh and amazing art beads! Here is the link if you haven't discovered this fun way of shopping:
Yes - I became a customer and friend of Juli's through Art Beads. I have a collection started and when I pulled them all together for this post, I have proved that shades of blue are my favorite!
Here's my stash:
I made a pair of beachy turtle earrings and a wax linen based bracelet with the purple disc strand. For the earrings, the base is a 4" piece of silver plated 20g wire. I twirled the bottom and bent it behind the turtle to keep the charm in place. Then I stacked some silver spacer beads and Juli's amazing lampwork and finished it with a wire wrap loop. So cute!
Waxed linen is my favorite stringing material. The endless colors add to the jewelry design. I like the element knotting adds and it is strong! Another plus is the wax seals around the knots and I don't have to put messy glue on my jewelry.
I used lilac waxed linen and started with an overhand knot at the round toggle end. (measure out 48" of waxed linen and fold them in half, twice, so you will have 4 strands). Juli's beads have a generous hole size, so it was easy to string 4 pieces of waxed linen through them. I chose 10 of the purple tone discs and separated them with a daisy spacer. After the 10th bead, I did another overhand knot. Here you string small beads on the 4 seperate pieces of waxed linen. I twisted them for an added impact, attached the other end of the toggle and made some cute dangles instead of trimming the waxed linen up close to the end knot.
Juli has been making lamp work beads since 1999 and it is her full time job, if you can call creating beautiful art a job! Juli has a web site where you can also start building a collection of her beads:
and she has a Facebook page you can join, but I have to warn you - wear a bib because you are going to be drooling over the amazing eye candy there!
Thanks Art Bead Scene readers and team members for a fun 2016! I am looking forward to next year.
Michelle McCarthy, Ceramic Bead Artist
Firefly Design Studio