24 April 2009

German Lampwork Beads

I adore lampwork glass beads. They please my eyes and entertain my soul. They can be my inspirations when I need fresh design ideas; momentarily take the pressure away when I’m on a tight deadline to finish a project; bring me smile anytime during my hectic hours of the day or when I’m in a gloomy mood; and of course make me feel good when I wear them.

Since I live in Germany, a country where one of reputable glass material brandnames Lauscha is produced, I’ve googled to find lampwork beads made by local artists. Among many German lampwork bead makers I've spotted, I’am fascinated with the artisan works of Anja Basan of Anastasia Beads, Melanie Moertel and Manuela Wutschke. They have their own way to interpret objects found in life and present them in miniature works of art. I’m always in awe to see their endless creativity like, for examples, how Anja potrays seasons and underwater life in her glass focals and bead sets. They’re oh so magnificent! I sometimes wonder how Melanie could come up with unique elephants and fairy characters in her glass work. They’re truly original ideas. I also have no clue how many hours Ms. Manuela spends to create a delicate bird in a small-sized glass space but for sure she must have done it patiently and meticulously.

The facts that their beads are one of a kind and become collectible items make them highly priced in ebay auctions. I’m no longer surprised if bidders don’t mind paying more than one hundred US dollars (or even a thousand dollars!) for a single set as they’ll get beautiful jewels that they can treasure in many years to come.

Click here to see the artists’ websites:

18 April 2009

Sunny Rose

I’m very happy with this year’s spring. We’ve had beautiful weather for the past two weeks. Sometimes cold, sometimes windy, but most of the time warm and sunny. I just hope the weather will get warmer and warmer until summer so that I can take the kids out more often to enjoy sunny days.

Speaking of sunny days, I guess it’s very clear why this necklace is called Sunny Rose. Look at the colors of the sculptural lampwork flower focal: vivid opaque yellow of the petals, transparent green leaves and a mix of bright blue, dark blue, bright yellow of the stamen. Oh, wait here! Blue color for the stamen?

Anyway, initially I wanted to have the crystals in several different colors to complement the focal but then I was never satisfied with the results, so eventually I decided to play safe by using only a single color of Swarovski dark sapphire with a few bright-colored accents. When the necklace was finished, I kept saying "oh, ah" to myself as I didn't expect to see the effect of the color combination I'd made. The contrast between dark blue of the crystals and bright sunny yellow of the flower focal was so striking that would no doubt make people’s head turn. Trust me!

16 April 2009

Colors in Life

Crystal clear white
Light yellow
Light purple
Light pink
Light blue
Light brown
Earthy green

They’re basically colors that one can find in real life. That’s why I named this custom-ordered necklace Colors in Life although my husband who processed the picture for my Flickr gallery preferred the British version ‘Colours’. Go ahead, check this name in
my Flickr!

Now about the materials. Besides the small and little bigger crystal bicones, there are more than 30 Swarovski crystal drops lining up on the front side of the necklace. They’re colorful and of course sparkling, and I’m quite sure that they won’t be missed by every eye. For additional visual interest, I used a cute sterling silver dolphin clasp and elliptical chain with extra little dangles on the back part of the necklace to complete the design.

Whether to see the necklace from the front or back side of the wearer's body, it would look equally interesting. Definitely a piece of attention getter!

08 April 2009

Hibiscus Delight

I usually keep one lampwork bead that I like best from particular bead sets for myself. I like to marvel at the bead’s patterns, colors, details or I may have a personal feeling attached to it – just to name a few of the reasons. And every now and then I let one bead or two go from my lampwork bead collection. Why? I have found equally beautiful materials to match with that bead and therefore it’s time to share it with everyone else. Like the Hibiscus Delight bracelet below.

It began with the potato-shaped creamy white freshwater pearls I used in Pure Bliss set not long ago. I felt the pearls were truly gorgeous which led me to think up of a design for other pinkish potato and tiny white keishi pearls I had in my bead bowl. It was right after a sudden urge to check my lampwork bead box I knew I should pair them with one of my favorites: the hibiscus lentil made by German artist Andrea Venschott. I love this bead’s play of colors. Pinkish peach hibiscus with vivid yellow stamen… green leaves with delicate brownish stripes… two little white flowers with a single pale pink dot in the middle… altogether they really pop against amethyst/purple background. Very interesting!

I think all these little beauties (freshwater pearls and hibiscus lampwork bead) deserve equal attention from anyone who sees them and so this time, I strung them with less Swarovski crystals and extra Bali silver daisy spacers. The outcome? A simple yet elegant piece without loosing its crystal bling!

Click here to see the full picture of the bracelet.