Beads and jewllery on Folksy


Mini Mo' April 2012 - Pansy and Blue Macaw

Another catch up post from me seeing as I got stalled with my Mini Mo' blogging in March and couldn't get my head around blogging Mo's out of chronological order or skipping a month! Here is a retrospective look at my first Mini Mo’ glasswork theme for April. It is called Pansy. This collection uses all CiM glass – Dirty Martini, Thai Orchid, Creamsicle, Celadon and Lapis.
The first set of beads I am showing today feature Pansy twistie over a core of Effetre Petrol Green. I  wrapped the twistie cane around a small core of the green and wound several wraps of clear over the top which I melted down slowly causing the mass of glass to collapse and stretch the twistie pattern out sideways to the full width of each bead.

This next set was made with a pillow press, something I rarely do as I find presses quite difficult. I am very pleased with this little set, again, a core of Effetre petrol green wrapped with twistie and encased.

My third offering here is a floral mini set using the flat cane. These  beads have a core of Effetre Purple 272 with CiM Creamsicle stringer which was then encased with 006 and finally I swiped on a floral pattern using the Pansy flat cane and some pale green stringer.

My writing skill with stringer text has come a long way since I made these bead in March and I currently have a custom bracelet bead listing up on Etsy to help raise funds for our Beads of Courage fundraising Beadathon in October.

More info BCCA and Beads of Courage HERE
My second collection is also insprired by nature but uses a Primary colour palette. The Blue Macaw Mini Mo’ glasswork uses all Effetre colours - Cobalt Blue 256 with Special Dark Lemon 408 and Special Dark Yellow 412.
The inspiration for this first set of beads comes from the blue Macaw murrini. I have used them in place of dots in the focal bead.
My Polytwists set uses lashings and lashings of Blue Macaw twistie can both under and over 006 clear glass to make these finky round beads.

Next I'd like to show you another set of florals (below), the core colour of these beads is CiM Olive. Three of these beads were wrapped with silver foil and then encased with Effetre 006. I have used both the Blue Macaw flat cane and twistie to form the raised petals design.
Lastly I just want to let you all know that I am running a prize giveawy on my blog for the whole of September, full details of the prize and how to enter please click on my shameless promo giveaway.

Jolene x

Frit N Chips lampwork supplies and Kitzbitz Art Beads


A bit of a shameless promo giveaway!

Howdy folks,

I've never done a promo quite like this before but I have decided that I am going to have a giveaway for my first ever encased tree bead! This is the first of it's kind for me and a style that I have been working on and developing over the past few months.

I submitted a picture of this bead in a fit of 11th hour bravery for the Beads and Beyond Jewellery Maker of the Year competition (lampwork category) earlier this year and blow me down, it only went and took 2nd place! Anyhow if you would like to own this rather substantial bead then all you have to do to enter is follow my blog by email using the box over there -------->

The last date to enter my giveaway by subscribing to my blog is the 30th of September and I will select winner at random from the list of my email subscribers on the 1st of October 2012.
Best of luck
Jolene x

Frit N Chips lampwork supplies Kitzbitz Art Beads Buzzword Bracelet Beads

CiM, Zim and silver part IV...notes on Obsidian ltd run

This is the fourth post in my CiM/Zim series but instead of posting up a few recipes and examples I have decides to focus on CiM Obsidian from Messy Color as I have a bit of a crush on this glass.

This large focal bead has been made with CiM Obsidian ltd run and Zimmermann Z8911 light pea green frit.

First I made the bead using CiM Obsidian then let it cool a little and wrapped it in silver leaf, burnished the leaf on and then burnt it off in the flame then added a little frit. I love how the silver has broken up into little droplets on the surface of this bead.

These next images show where the real magic with obsidian happens and show why I am so smitten with this ltd run glass.

 I used the same recipe as the focal bead above to make this bracelet bead duo but this time I wafted each very quickly in a propane rich (reduction) flame and the resulting reaction is this beautiful peacock shimmer which is so hard to capture in a photograph.

This last experiment was to see if I could capture that peacock shimmer under encasement. The trio of beads shown here were created in exactly the same was as the bracelet beads above but without the addition of frit. I then encased the focal bead with Effetre 006 clear glass. As you can see the peacock colour is lost entirely under the clear layer. The streaky brown you can see in the encasing layer is down to my not setting the flame back to neutral before encasing.

Jolene x

Frit N Chips lampwork supplies Kitzbitz Art Beads Buzzword Bracelet Beads


Not everything in life is black and white...

I've been planning to do some black and white comparison testing for ages. I wanted to put several different black CoE 104 glass rods through their paces in a diluted form by drawing them out over CiM Peace as twistie cane. The colours I am comparing in this post are:
  • CiM Charcoal
  • Vetrofond Black 064
  • CiM Hades
  • Effetre Black 064
  • CiM Tuxedo
I made a simple striped twistie cane, an encased twistie cane and a ribbon style cane with each of these black glasses and CiM Peace. The beads below show the simple striped twistie over CiM Journey ltd run (which is a stiff transparent glass).

  1. The bead on the left was made with the CiM Charcoal twistie. The black in this twistie has crept towards the centre on the cane forming a thick black line along the centre with short narrow black spokes on either side like a tyre tread print.
  2. The second is Vetrofond Black 064, this glass has seemed to react with the CiM Peace base giving extra fine stripes between the "real" ones. This glass has appeared to dilute down to a darkish grey.
  3. Third up  up is CiM Hades, the behaviour this cane here is similar to the Charcoal one but the Hades has spread width ways as well giving the appearance of  a thick black line along the centre of the cane with short wide black spokes on either side.This effect looks "smokier" than the Charcoal one.
  4. The fourth bead is made with  Effetre Black 064, this glass has diluted down to a vibrant purplish blackcurrant colour. As with the Vetrofond there has been a reaction with the Peace base to give the appearance of extra stripes.
  5. Lastly my CiM Tuxedo twistie over Journey, this cane has melted flat to give similar tyre track effect to the other CiM blacks but it has a slight deep purple cast to it.

These next beads show my encased striped twistie over CiM African Grey ltd run, a lovely rich muted grey which is a fairly hard to find now. I've used Effetre 006 clear in my twistie canes.

  1. The first bead here has been made with an encased CiM Charcoal cane which has inhibited the glass's natural tendency to spread. The diluted Charcoal here has remained true black looking.
  2. The second is Vetrofond Black 064, the encasing has stopped the spreading and illusion of extra lines shown with the unencased cane. The stripes on this bead look deep a blue/grey.
  3. Next up is CiM Hades, as with Charcoal, the spreading tendency has been inhibited and the stripes still look very black.
  4. The fourth bead is made with  Effetre Black 064, as expected, no additional reaction lines this time and an obviously blackcurrant/purplish colour.
  5. Fifth, CiM Tuxedo twistie over Journey, again no spreading and the diluted glass also appears to remain relatively black with a very slight purplish cast. 
As far as encased twistie cane with fine stripes goes, there appears to be only a very slight difference in intensity and hue between the three CiM glass colours I have tested. If I was splitting hairs I would say that Tuxedo appeared darkest but Hades appeared to stay most black.

This last picture shows beads made with ribbon twistie over a small core of CiM Peace. Each bead was then encased with Effetre 006 clear glass. This form of twistie shows each glass in its most diluted form as cane.

  1. The first is CiM Charcoal which has an ethereal smokey quality to it. The colour has remained quite black but become quite transparent.
  2. The second is Vetrofond Black 064 which now has a transparent and wispy blue grey hue
  3. Next up is CiM Hades, very black looking and appearing to be fairly dense
  4. The fourth bead is made with  Effetre Black 064, distinctly different in colour from all of my other test beads, it is fairly translucent and again blackcurrant looking. 
  5. Last up is CiM Tuxedo ribbon twistie over Peace. In the flesh this twistie is noticeably more translucent that the Hades bracelet bead but that has not proven very easy to capture in my picture.
In conclusion:

Effetre and Vetrofond black have a fun reaction over Peace.

Neither Effetre or Vetrofond black hold their black colour well in dilute form.

All three of these CiM blacks are spreaders in dilute form.

For encased twistie with fine black stripes head for Tuxedo as on balance it is the least expensive and most readily available of the three CiM glasses tested.

Charcoal, Effetre black and Vetrofond black make cool looking wispy ribbon twistie.

In all of these  pictures CiM Tuxedo is darkest looking but is not the truest black hue. CiM Hades holds its black tone the best in dilute form.

Jolene x

Frit N Chips lampwork supplies Kitzbitz Art Beads Buzzword Bracelet Beads

Mini Mo' March 2012 - Humbugs and Chocolate Limes

The first of my glasswork collections for March is Chocolate Limes. This Mini Mo's glasswork was made using CiM Sherwood and Effetre Dark Brown Special 448 with Nomalicious Choca Mocha shards. The colour inspiration for this set was given to me by the seat fabric and decor in my pals local pub in Leics!

The first beads I would like to show are a collection of sculptural floral beads using Choc Limes flat cane over Effetre Dark Brown and Effetre Dark Grass Green encased with 006 clear.
Here is a proper Pic N Mix shapes selection of Choc Lime twistie allsorts! This fun and funky set of beads shows what the striped and ribbon twistie canes look like both left raised and melted flat under clear encasement.
Next I'd like to show a recent bracelet bead collection made with lashings and lashings of Choca Mocha shards over CiM Ginger, Reichenbach Mystic Beige and Effetre light topaz.
In Keeping with the sweet shop inspired theme in March, my second collection is this delicious monochrome. Humbug Mini Mo' uses CiM Peace and CiM Hades with shimmering goldstone.
The beads here are stunning jewel toned rounds with lashings of raised goldstone shards decoration. Both the foremost turquoise bead  and opaque looking green bead at the back are made with Double helix Gaia and show how beautiful these shards look when silver fumed.
This striking monchrome raised floral set uses Humbug murrini flat cane and looks deceptively simple.
These beads below are the reason that I am blogging about March in August! I put my black and white Humbug twistie cane somewhere safe and it took me just about forever to find it again!! Because of that I have made something very different with it than I would have done back in March as I'm on a bracelet bead kick at the moment. This collection of beads features Humbug twistie over CiM African Grey and Silvered Ivory shards over Effetre Steel Grey transparent.

Both the Goldstone and Choca Mocha Shards have become popular staple lines in my lampy supplies shop, Frit N Chips on Etsy.

Jolene x

Frit N Chips lampwork supplies and Kitzbitz Art Beads


Making an Amoeba bead (BoC tutorial)

A follow on from the tutorial that I published yesterday for a simple two colour twistie cane, here is a tutorial for the little Amoeba beads that I make for Beads of Courage UK.

I have always liked to punty and pull my twistie gathers with CoE 104 glass and so these kinds of cute and simple critter beads that I make for the BoC kiddies have evolved from the detailed twistie scraps that I often have to hand to work with.

These beads are basically a twistie cored encased tab bead with boggling eyes. You can make the core with any kind of  twistie that you may have to hand and then encase with any light transparent.

I wind the fat ends of my twistie pull on to a pre-warmed coated (with bead release) mandrel to form the Amoeba core.
Next I melt and roughly wrap the part of my clear punty that was originally my maria to become the encasing layer of glass.
The next stage is to smooth the surface and even out the whole bead with gentle marvering to create nice bead ends and holes that are dimpled and not sharp.
 I then pre-warm my mashers so that the bead will not be chilled too rapidly at the pressing stage. You do not need posh mashers to make beads like these Amoebas, you could press your bead between two heat proof surfaces or heat and press one side at a time on your graphite marver.
I use the curve of my mashers to round out the bead so that the centre is slightly bigger than the ends. Other ways you can achieve the same look is to marver one end at a time to a slight angle with your graphite paddle or wrap an extra layer of glass around the middle of the bead and then gravity shape it into a slight barrel profile in the flame.
I then press my bead along the length of the mandrel to get the lovely tab shape I am looking for. Be sure not to press your bead too thin - leave at least a mandrels with of glass on either side of the mandrel. Flame kiss out the circular marks caused to the surface of the bead by rapid chilling due to the pressing process.
Choose where you would like your critters eyes to be and place two dots of white with thick stringer for the eyes. Melt the dots down just a little and then top both with a smaller dot of a dark transparent stringer for the iris colour and melt the topped dots down just a little to make them look well rounded and smooth.

Next top with a very small dot of black glass for the pupil and melt in. I like to use a stringer that is about 1mm to do this to make sure the pupils are nice and small.

Lastly warm the whole bead through thoroughly in the top of the flame  before popping into you kiln for garaging. I don't recommend making these kind of beads if you are cooling in bubbles, vermiculite or with a fibre blanket as large pressed beads have a higher rate of failure due to the thermal stresses involved in their making.

Here is a selection of Amoebas that will be making their way off to BoC - BCCA this week.

Jolene x

Frit N Chips lampwork supplies and Kitzbitz Art Beads


Making a simple two colour twistie cane

A quick guide to how I make a simple two tone twistie using a mandrel and 104 glass punty to pull the twistie cane out. First heat up an uncoated mandrel directly in your torch flame.
Next wrap 1 to 2 cm of your bare mandrel with small wraps of your base colour - in this case I am using CiM Peace which I find much stiffer in relation to Effetre white and it is my go to white for twistie making.

Wrap a second layer of glass over your foundation layer. Some people build their twistie gather extending out from the last few mm of an uncoated mandrel and have the majority of the gather off mandrel but I prefer to use the mandrel for stability through the entire core of my gather.
Keep on building up the layers until you have a gather size that you are comfortable with. Start small and build larger gathers as you confidence grows.
Next marver your gather smooth which will make it easier to judge where to add your stripes of accent glass and will make the gather pull out evenly.
Keep your gather warm behind the flame and swipe on generous lines of your top stripe colour. In this tutorial I am using Reichenbach Dense Black which tends to stay crisp and dense in tone when stretched diluted. Avoid Reichenbach Dense Black if you are looking for organic spreading and webbing from your twistie - use fine lines (added with stringer rather than a full rod) of CiM Hades or Effetre intense black instead.
I like to add 4 or 5 stripes of the accent glass over my base colour to give the illusion of a really tight twist.
Keep you gather warm behind the flame and prepare a chunky maria of CoE 104 clear glass for your punty. It wasn't possible to get a photo of this part of the process as I had both hands full!

Some people like to use a second mandrel, aluminium chopsticks or even a rod of boro glass as their punty - all of these work well and the choice what kind of handle to use to help you pull down your gather is entirely up to you. I use 104 clear as I use all of the tail ends of my twistie canes to make Amoeba beads for Beads of Courage UK (tutorial for that tomorrow).
Attach your CoE 104 maria (second mandrel/chopsticks/boro rod) to your gather and heat until the stripes are well melted in and the whole mass is fluid and glowing to the core.

Edit to add: aim all of the heat at at the gather and not the maria, especially on the bushy flame of a HH torch. If you heat the soft punty rod that will pull out instead of the gather which is why lot's of people would go for chopsticks or a mandrel to punty up.
Remove the whole gather from the flame and begin to slowly twist both gather mandrel and punty whist pulling the two further apart very slowly. As you pull your cane you will see and feel the twisted cane "set". At this point you can stop twisting the punty and twist the mandrel only, twisting it faster and pulling harder to get a long length of even straight twistie cane.
Place the twistie on a heat proof surface to cool and cut the mandrel and punty from your twistie with rod nippers. Leave the maria ends to cool and dunk the mandrel in a water jar to cool it. You can always repunty the remainder of a gather and go for a second pull if your gather is too large for your arm span once reduced.

Jolene x

Frit N Chips lampwork supplies and Kitzbitz Art Beads


The very first Beadathon, Ustream testing & Beads of Courage

I had this mad idea last January, literally dreamt it up I think because I woke up one morning with problem solving the logistics already on my mind and the idea already firmly rooted. What I was thinking of was special 24 hours of continuous bead making by a hardcore group of glass loving bead makers to create a really special collection of Act of Courage Beads for Beads of Courage UK.

I mulled it over for a while before finally floating the idea with John and Sarah Drummond of BCCA who gave me the go ahead to set the idea in motion. I was thrilled to bits that they loved the idea and when discussing the project with other bead makers for the first time it was suggested to make this event a sponsored project also and the Beadathon concept was born.

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!Several months of planning down the line I am thrilled to bits to be announcing the first ever Beadathon will be taking place here in my studio in Middlesex on October 13th and 14th 2012. I will be joined by several fabulous lampworkers including Laney Mead, Vanessa Hearn, Sue Reynolds, Michelle Ross, Sarah Thompson and Heather Kelly. Georgie Bristow and Samantha Capeling will be joining in from their home studios via the web. For full details of the event please visit our just giving page by clicking the Just Giving button.

We are planning to broadcast the whole event live on the web so you guys can see what we are all making and come by, say hi and leave a message of support on the chat box for us. I have spent 10 hours broadcasting live over the last three days, making sure that my WiFi can handle the distance from source to shed and things are looking good. The video below is a short clip from my last live broadcast and shows me making a little orange bead for BoC.
There are a few things left to address, cleaning/better positioning of the diddy specs that the camera is wearing and the feedback loop on the sound recording are issues, but these are things that can be dealt with in time. Here is a snap of all of the beads that I made live on the web over the last 3 days, each one will eventually find it's way on to a string of beads of a child or teen enrolled on the BoC program here.

Lastly I want to leave you with BCCA-BoC official video so that you can see why this project has struck such a chord with me and how it makes so much positive difference to Beads of Courage families.

If you are a lampwork bead maker and have any beads that you would like to donate to BoC for Act of Courage beads please Click Here for more information. If you have any questions for me about the Beadathon project please feel free to email me at

Thank You Jo xx