Most of you may know me from my lampworking and glass art, but I also do a range of other arts and crafts. Here’s a little bit of information about some of them.
Lampworking is a form of glassworking using a torch to melt glass into a molten state and then shape it into glass beads and pieces of art. Although the art form is a very very ancient practise, it flowered in Murano, Italy in the 1300s, and spread from there to the rest of Europe. Early lampworking was done in the flame of an oil lamp, with the artist blowing air into the flame through a pipe. Most artists today (like me) use blowtorches that burn propane together with pure oxygen to form an exceptionally hot flame. These are used to melt brightly coloured rods of glass into a molten state, ready for manipulating into pieces of art work and beads.
In addition to glass, I may chose to add precious metals such as gold and silver to the beads. These can cause some amazing reactions in the piece and have to be seen to be believed! I also use enamels, glass frit or even cubic zirconias in my work too. After the bead has been created it is then put in a kiln to anneal the beads for strength – this is an essential part, so you can enjoy its beauty for a long time to come!!! So as you can see, a lampworked bead is not just a bead but a lovingly created piece of art in its own right! Each Rowanberry Designs bead is a loved and carefully created item, from start to finish – and I hope that you enjoy owning them as much as I do in creating them!
I’ve been designing and making jewellery for well over 18 years now. I have also designed jewellery professionally for a silver jewellery manufacturer who supplies high street shops, so its far from being just a hobby for me. I love working with quality artisan materials, and try to avoid plated materials, ready made charms and tibetan silver as much as I can. Where possible I will make findings, pendants, chains and glass beads myself, and when I cant I try to make sure to source quality materials, from ethical suppliers and artisans. My designs come from my nature-loving heart and I want the materials that I use to reflect it.
My most recent move has been into the world of metal clay, where I studied under Rebecca Crabtree of Fired Silver in 2009. My main focus is the bronze and copper clays, but I will be gaining further knowledge and qualifications in silver clay very soon. The metal clays come in a soft claylike form, but turn to solid pure metal after firing in a kiln. I just love working with these clays, they allow me to be so creative with my jewellery and become more design led that I have ever been. I’ve been able to turn my drawings into jewellery and make my own clasps and charms that I can match with my own handmade glass beads. Working with the clays isnt as easy as it sounds though, each piece is carefully crafted, finished and sanded so that it is as flawless as I can make it, and after firing it is usually polished and finished even more. My metal clay pieces certainly have a lot of love and care in them.
I’ve always loved drawing and painting ever since I was a child and I went onto study for a degree in Fine Arts at Aberystwyth University after I left school. My particular love is pencil drawing, but I also do love using pens and high-end illustration markers. I also dabble with a little painting now and again. My love of nature, the cycle of the seasons, the UK’s myths/legends/folklores and my Pagan beliefs strongly influence my designs and I am planning on releasing a full set of drawings based on the Pagan Sabbats. Often my drawings will lead onto matching jewellery as once I have a drawn design a multidue of crafts can come from it!
- I have 2 Facebook pages, one for the glass art and one for everything else: