PitstopX Jewellery Blog
Well, anyone who knows me, knows that as well as teaching jewellery making, I also love going to jewellery making (or any creative) workshops. As well as learning new skills, I find this a great way to spark new inspiration for my jewellery designs. Last weekend was a special treat as I attended the Great British Bead Show - 4 whole days of beadwork - workshops, talking to other beaders and a complete break from the 'real world'...
However much, or little, you know to start with - from attending a class, you can also spark new ideas of your own by taking some time out of your normal life to look at things in a different way, not to mention the inspiration and connections you can make by talking to the other students.
This weekend was a perfect example - at the Great British Bead Show
- organised by The Beadworkers Guild
, although I've already done (and taught) three bead netting tubes, my first workshop of the weekend was with Liz Thornton
, making netted bangles - great fun, and I've now got an idea for a long beaded rope (lariat) necklace that I want to make over the summer now that I've started thinking about putting patterns into netting; I also want to revisit a double layered netted bracelet I made a year or two back to see if I can finalise the design properly!
Also over the weekend, I spent a day learning from Sylvia Fairhurst
- making a sample for a Herringbone and Right Angle Weave necklace, making beaded beads with Claire Crouchley
, and making a huge variety of polymer clay beads, cabochons, pendants, hollow pendant and a colour blended jelly roll in half a day with Angela Smith
, not to mention a lot of time looking at the different exhibitions of beadwork on display...
Far too much to write about here, but safe to say I've got LOTS of new ideas for projects I plan to design, and maybe if any of these ideas go well and I get time to work them out fully, I might be teaching at the show another year, and I'll definitely have them available for private students!! Fantastic few days, lovely people, lovely hotel, lovely workshops, lovely beads - looking forward to the next one!
Keep a look out on this blog, if you're new to beadwork and aren't sure what it's all about (mostly - a needle, thread, and tiny glass seed beads) or if you love beadwork and would like to keep up to date on what I'm doing.
I'll be creating a mini introduction guide to the world of beadwork that you can download here, and as soon as I have these new projects under way, I'll post some more information about them too.
I'm teaching a new beginners jewellery making evening course in London, starting Tuesday 21 May 2013.
This will be a course of 6 classes, running 7.30 - 9.30 on Tuesday evenings at a community centre in Golders Green, North London. Each week covers a different project, leading students through all the most commonly used and useful beaded jewellery making techniques.
Students will finish at least one piece of jewellery each week, building up a collection of jewellery they can wear and learning a range of useful and transferable skills in the process.
This course covers: making stretchy elastic bracelets, making wrap around memory wire bracelets, making simple drop earrings, stringing a necklace, a plaited cord necklace, a shamballa style knotted bracelet, and making a long summer necklace using cords, ribbons and beads.
Course fee of £72.50 includes all the beads and other materials you use to complete your projects, step by step instructions so you can repeat the projects at home and use of all tools. For more information about this course and how to book, please contact me
Booking in advance is essential.
There are some exciting jewellery, design and craft related events & shows coming up over the next month or so, so I thought I'd give a brief round up here. I'm looking forward to visiting all of these if I have time - do let me know
if there's an upcoming show I've missed out!!
Hot Glass, 19 April-25 May - Contemporary Applied Arts, Percy Street
Prototypes & Experiments VII, 3 May-15th June - Aram Gallery, Covent Garden
Special, 8-20th May - Lesley Craze Gallery, Clerkenwell
Collect, 10-13th May - Saatchi Gallery
Made in Clerkenwell, 16-19th May - Open Studios at Craft Central in Clerkenwell
Palace Art & Craft Fair, 17-19th May - Fulham Palace, SW6
Cockpit Arts Open Studios, June 2013 - Clerkenwell
London Jewellery Week - 7-16th June - events will be happening all over London during this week - I'll write another post specifically about this and some of the highlights I'm most looking forward to nearer the time!
Jewellery making is a lot of fun, and needs a much smaller selection of tools and materials to get startted than you might think!
One of the questions my students often ask is about what materials they need to buy to get started using their new skills at home. I have put together this factsheet that introduces all the basic bits and pieces useful to be able to start creating your own bead jewellery.
Naturally, what you need will depend a lot on what type of jewellery you enjoy making and your own personal style, but these basic materials are a good place to start. As you learn more techniques you can add to this basic kit.
is another very
popular stone, it’s metallic black colour makes it very versatile in
designing jewellery – it works well combined with polished silver and oxidised (antiqued)
silver, but also works well with coloured beads and metals, making a great
in mourning jewellery, it is now commonly used and is found in beads of many
different shapes and sizes, as well as cabochons to be set into metal
Hematite is made up
of Iron Oxide, and can also have a red tint to it. Ground up, it is used in red
paints and dyes, and also forms the basis of the commonly used polish –
|This is a last minute reminder that I have a beaded jewellery making evening course starting this Monday - 8th April at 7pm in Golders Green, North London.
This course is aimed at anyone who already has a little jewellery making experience. It is a course of 6 evenings, on Monday nights, at a community centre in Golders Green.
There is a different project scheduled for each evening, so that over the course each student will build a collection of earrings, necklaces and bracelets and learn a variety of new jewellery making skills.
The course fee includes all materials used for each project, use of tools and step by step instruction sheets to take away so you can repeat the project at home.
If you are interested - please get in touch
with me as soon as possible and i can send you full details and booking arrangements. Booking is essential, as with all my classes, and bookings for this course must be made by lunchtime Monday
, so that I know if there are enough students booked for the course to go ahead.
There is a maximum of 8 places on this course to ensure that students all get plenty of individual attention.
Turquoise is a very popular stone and one of my favourites.
Great for beautiful summery feeling jewellery the colours of this stone work
well combined with silver.
Turquoise is a mineral; hydrous basic copper aluminium phosphate.
Usually coming in shades of blue-green, blue, or green, it has given it’s name
to the colour we recognise worldwide now as turquoise. Turquoise gems are found mainly
in Australia, Egypt, Ethiopia,
France, Germany, Iran,
and south western USA.
It was originally introduced into Europe through Turkey, from which its name is
It has been used historically in Native American, Aztec,
Egyptian and Persian cultures in jewellery and carvings.
Have you found a gorgeous bead or pendant that you'd like to be able to wear quickly and simply? Would you like to make a simple necklace that really showcases a single pendant or small collection of focal beads / charms?
This is a very simple technique, but it can be very effective, depending on your choice of cord or ribbon and how you combine it with your bead/s.
It gives you the option to make a truly unique necklace, working perfectly with your chosen beads, in super quick time - and there's no fiddly clasp to deal with when you wear the necklace.
Choose the cord or ribbon carefully to work with the bead/s you have and to give you the style you'd like to create - whether you 'd like a fun everyday necklace, or a more subtle style for a special occasion, this idea can be adapted with just a little imagination to work for you!
You can also adapt this idea to incorporate more complex decorative knotting and multiple cords for an endless variety of different effects.
New for 2013, I will be offering a one off evening class each month - (more often if they become popular) focussing on a different technique each time. The classes will be for a maximum of 4 students, held at my home in Camden and must be booked in advance to ensure that space is available. Come on your own, or bring a friend or two for a fun evening out.
The first class will be Pearl Knotting, held on Wednesday 30th January from 6.30 - 9pm. If you've wondered about pearl knotting and fancy creating your own knotted bead bracelet, then this is for you. Pearl knotting is a traditional technique used primarily, as the name
suggests, for pearls but also with precious gems and other beads. The
beads are strung using strong silk or manmade threads with a knot
between each bead giving a
distinctive look. Students will learn the basics of creating neat, strong, professional knotting to separate, protect and secure precious beads in the process of making a simple bracelet. Once you've mastered this technique, you can re-string your own broken pearl necklaces, or make your own unique creations at home.
This class will cost just £40 per person and this includes the gemstone beads, Sterling Silver findings and all other materials used to create your very own knotted gemstone bracelet that you can proudly wear home. You will also receive step by step instruction sheets to help you repeat the technique at home.
February's class will be Thursday 28th February, 6.30 - 9pm, creating a gorgeous Plaited Bead Necklace.
March's class will be Tuesday 26th March making Beaded Kumihimo (braiding) Bracelets. I will post more details and photos of each of these nearer the time.
To book please contact me
to check availability and book your place - do book early to ensure your place as the class size is so small. Classes will be held at my home near Mornington Crescent tube station in Camden, NW1. I will of course provide full address and any other details with your booking confirmation.
I am pleased to have now confirmed my dates for the next jewellery making evening courses to be held in Golders Green, NW11 at the Michael Sobell Community Centre - between Golders Green and Brent Cross tube stations.
I will be teaching two different courses, starting in early February. You can contact me
for more details of what will be covered in each course, but please contact Fiona Elias at the Community Centre to book your place.
Each course has a maximum of just 8 places available.
Booking is essential, so if you're interested, do book early to ensure you get a place!
Tuesday nights 7.30 - 9.30 will be Beginners Jewellery Making
Tuesday 5 February (the first night) is a free taster class so you can come along and see if you like it. If you do - there will be 5 more classes, 12 Feb to 12 March inclusive and the cost is £72.50, which includes all materials.
This course covers all the essential basics of making your own beaded jewellery - starting with creating simple elastic bracelets, going on to cover creating a necklace, earrings, and much more, with a different project to complete each week.
Booking is essential for the free taster to ensure it isn't overcrowded and if you enjoy it, you can complete registration and pay for the rest of the course on the night.
Wednesday nights 7 - 9pm will be Intermediate Jewellery Making, for anyone who has taken one of my courses here before.
This course runs from Weds 6 Feb - 20 March inclusive, but NOT 6 March and costs £87 for the 6 evenings, including all materials.
This course covers a selection of new projects, taking the skills learnt in the beginners, as well as previous intermediate courses and building on them with a selection of brand new, unique projects.
You can contact Fiona Elias at the Michael Sobell Community Centre on 020 8922 2901 or email@example.com to book your place.