Monday, January 27, 2014

Winter Berry Brooch

This weekend I had a lovely compliment on this brooche I made last year, so I thought I would show it to you.

I made it combining my two great loves in crafting, lampwork and metalwork. My first thought was to make a leaf with a lampwork flower, but then I realised that working in copper gives the leaf a very autumnal colour, and flowers don't bloom in autumn.

What then?
Aha, berries of course. So I made up a few delicious winter berries for the birds to feed on. 

The leaf is made with the foldforming technique, and a little bit on the large side at 4 x 9 cm (1 37/64" x 3 35/64"). The shape is very satisfying though.

Since this is only my second time putting bits together and soldering (except for 20 years ago), I tried my way through it, and made the pin in the back and the berries on separate copper wires. This was not easy to fit into the crease in the leaf, which left me with a tiny curl at the top, and the berries with a bit of a jiggle. Next time I would like to make it a single wire running through from tip of pin to attachment of berries.

Here are a couple more Pictures of the brooch, which really should be held in hand to fully appreciate the wonderful organic shape.

Front of brooch - those colours go well together

Side of brooch

Backside of the brooch - see that twist?

I'm rather pleased with it, and since it works very well with warm sweaters, I have been wearing it almost daily for months by now. Sweet!
I love working in metals and also finishing pieces ;)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Snow Time!

Another challenge I have set up on the new forum ( ) is a monthly theme. It is not a competition, just a gentle nudge in case somebody need it, and a bit of fun to be had.

This very first month I have chosen Winter/snow as the theme. Here we are, in January, and we have barely had a single snowflake all of this season. So I thought we could make some snow beads instead, and here are the ones I have made so far.

Snowflake beads for january

Snowflake bead on lavender silk ribbon

The big one is 26x20mm and the little one fell on the tiled floor and chipped so I'll have to toss it :/

I was thinking of coring the big one, and I made it on a 5mm mandrel because of that. But now I think I will ream the hole properly instead and make it transparent, to let the colour of the ribbon show through the bead. .

I hope I find time to make more Winter/Snow beads, but until then - it seems the temperature is dropping. We may get snow after all :)

Monday, January 06, 2014

A Dotty Challenge, Part I + II

Some time ago I came across this challenge on lampwork forum Lampwork Etc. Then later I found it again, on Frit Happens. Both times I were intrigued and read through all pages of each thread, full of insights, tips and pictures.

The challenge was Heather Trimlett's 40 bead Challenge, and on jan.1'st I began my own set of 40 dotty beads. I am having so much fun! I haven't made any dot beads for years litterally, and now I am enjoying it muchly all over again.

If you don't know this challenge, here is the gist of the rules:

Make 40 beads, using just 2 (contrasting) colours.
Decorate with dots only, making all 40 beads a different pattern.
Use no tools (except for the mandrel), and get all beads to be the same size and shape.

Beautifully simple, isn't it, for an exercise in creativity, attention, precision, heatcontrol and much more?

You can find the full version here, on Heather Trimlett's page.

I have chosen coppergreen and black for my 2 colours, and here are pictures of my 2 first sessions, nine beads in all.

I need to work on keeping my size and shape, but I'm quite happy with my dots. And making 40 different patterns - time might prove me wrong, but I don't think that will be a problem. Dotting up patterns is the fun part :)

These will need a bit of a clean-up after the lot is done. A soak in coke over night, to clean off the reduction and get a more even colour.

I have set up this challenge in the brand new Danish lampwork forum too, so if you are Danish/Nordic - come join the forum, and join in on this fun and challenging dot-o-rama.

If you would like some inspiration, here are the links directly to the threads in Lampwork Etc (you have to log in) and Frit Happens.

Have fun!

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Happy New Year! (and a gift!)

Is it just me, or is everybody a tad more energetic and hopeful around new years?

I sure am felling a forward rush of happy energy, even enough to get me out of hiding and start blogging again. Yay!

I have a lot of new lovelies to show you over the next couple of weeks, but first - a new years explosion as seen from my balcony. BAM!

Thank you Google, for adding the sparkle :)

And now for some great and exciting news ... There's a new lampwork forum being launched, Yay!

I have spent part of my holiday writing 'How-to's and setting up challenges for the brand new lampwork bead forum I have been co-launching for the Danish beadmakers!

It's about time we had a forum of our own, there are a lot of us by now, and I know there are people who have troubles with english speaking forums.

So here we are, it is not a secret anymore, if you speak/write enough Danish (or other northern language) to have a proper conversation, please come and join us at

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