Resources: organisations, magazines, bulletin boards
UK Beaders: www.uk-beaders.co.uk. Provides links to all sorts of bead-related resources. A brilliant idea and badly needed. Check out the UK Beaders Blog to see my prize-winning entry for their challenge ‘Wrapping Paper’.
UK Beaders Forum: www.ukbeaders.forumup.org. This is the place to meet friendly, helpful beaders who can give you useful information on just about everything beady. Get on there if you’re not a member already!
Beadworkers Guild: www.beadworkersguild.org.uk. National organization who produce a quarterly members’ journal and organize lots of beady events. Regularly updated news, gallery, useful links.
Bead magazine: www.beadmagazine.co.uk. Finally we have our own beading publication in the UK…and it usually has some of my designs in it!
Bead Community forum: www.mycommunity.ashdown.co.uk. Get the latest from the editorial team, drool over lots of lovely photo albums, and participate in some lively conversation.
Bead Buddies forum: www.beadbuddies.co.uk. A friendly, chatty forum where we discuss all things beady (and quite a lot of other things as well), run by the lovely owners of the Bead Shed in Carlisle.
Beads and Beyond magazine: www.beadsandbeyondmagazine.com Our second UK beading magazine, with an eclectic mix of projects for beading, wirework, lampwork, metal clay, polymer, textiles, metalwork and more. And yes, you might find my projects in there too!
Etsy BeadWeavers Street Team blog: www.etsy-beadweavers.blogspot.com. I am proud to be a member of this talented team of seed beaders who sell their work via Etsy. They hold monthly Challenges, a feast for the eyes, and anybody can vote and comment on the blog, so please do!
Beadwork magazine: www.beadworkmagazine.com. American beading magazine with lots of interesting ideas and gorgeous photos; their editorial team radiate fun, enthusiasm and creative inspiration (and I’m not just saying that because they’re publishing my projects!)
Beading Daily: www.beadingdaily.com. Online community from the publishers of Beadwork. If you sign up you get weekly ‘digest’ emails and access to loads of really good free projects too. Instructions for my Marie Antoinette collar are now available as a download.
Bead and Button magazine: www.beadandbutton.com. Another ‘big’ American mag with lots more ‘eye candy’ projects for all skill levels, and a super gallery page. Check out their (scarily big!) discussion forum, where there is lots of interesting debate going on.
Frit-Happens!: www.frit-happens.co.uk. A UK forum for beadmakers. If you’re a lampwork addict and interested in all things glassy, whether you make them yourself or not, this is a friendly and fun place to find out what those brave torch-wielding people are up to.
Land of Odds: www.landofodds.com. Based in Nashville, they run the ‘Ugly Necklace Competition’, which is the best design competition ever – check it out and hopefully you’ll see what I mean!
Passion for Beads: www.passion-for-beads.de. A really useful site for European beady links, with lots of lovely photos to look at too.
Step by Step Beads magazine: www.stepbystepbeads.com. A magazine aimed at beginners and those with a little bit of beading experience, focusing on seed bead stitches but also embracing lampwork, precious metal and polymer clay, stringing and more. Another place you might find my projects!
Lampwork Bead Artists
Beads by Laura: www.beadsbylaura.co.uk. Laura Sparling’s beads are always immaculately perfect! They sell out very quickly though, so sign up for her newsletter to be sure not to miss them.
British Lampwork: www.britishlampwork.co.uk. Gateway site to a whole galaxy of British lampwork beads in all shapes, sizes and styles. Wow, there are some creative people out there!
Sally Carver: 'RedHotSal' creates unique lampwork beads with lots of colour and lively character. www.redhotsal.co.uk
Cheeky Cherub Designs: www.cheekycherubdesigns.co.uk Karen Baildon’s beads come in all shapes and sizes and are full of colour and ideas – check out those alien chrysanthemums!
Emma Green: makes gorgeous lampwork 'essentials' beads and fantastic creatures and aliens. www.beadenvy.co.uk
Pureshore Lampwork: www.pureshorelampwork.co.uk. Beadmaker Vicki Honeywill creates her beautiful designs in her garden shed (I know, because I visited her!) and is inspired by the Dorset coast and countryside. Her beads are finding their way into lots of my jewellery…
Emma Ralph: a unique beadmaking talent with both lampwork glass and polymer clay. Also has a tasty online shop with lots of lovely pearls, vintage buttons, silver, and everything you need to work with polymer. www.ejrbeads.co.uk
Rowanberry Glass Art: www.rowanberryglass.com. Claire Morris is well known in the beading community for her stunning signature ‘tree’ beads. I love working with Claire’s beads and now offer a jewellery-making service to her non-beading customers: if you purchase beads from her site you can opt to have them made into an exclusive necklace or bracelet by yours truly.
Caroline Hannon: www.craftedgems.co.uk/. Caroline is a talented lampworker who makes all sorts of beautiful beads, spacers and focals, striped, spotty, swirly, silver foiled and transparent… also dichroic pendants and finished jewellery.
Beady Sam Glass: www.beadysamglass.com. Sam makes gorgeous sexy elongated focal beads with a really distinctive shape, and also sells glass and other beadmaking supplies
Billie Jean Little: www.billiejeanlittle.com. This lady makes fabulous big focals, tree beads, and lots more besides!
Chameleon Designs: www.chameleondesigns.co.uk. Beautiful and unusual lampwork by the talented Becky, who has a great eye for colour and finish!
Lesley Nixon: www.flame-born-beads.co.uk. Les makes beautiful and distinctive lampwork beads with smooth shapes and subtle organic colours. Her new online bead shop is now up and running, so keep checking back for the latest additions.
Heather Webb: www.bumpybeads.co.uk. I love Heather’s beads, they’re not all bumpy but they are all beautiful! My project ‘Clunk Click Keyring’ in the February 2009 issue of Beads and Beyond magazine featured some of these beauties. A donation to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is made for every bead sold.
Little Castle Designs: www.littlecastledesigns.co.uk Roses all the way! Sabine Little is making a name for herself with her glass roses and everlasting cake toppers – you may have seen her work in Beads and Beyond magazine too.
Puffafish Designs: www.puffafishjewellery.co.uk Rachel Bishop makes beautiful beads and jewellery with an individual and delicate touch.
Tan, of Course: www.tanofcourse.co.uk. Tania Grey and I are creative kindred spirits: I love her lampwork beads and she loves my jewellery and we get on like a house on fire! She makes fabulous focals with lots of interest and detail, and also has a ‘budget’ range of mini-sets, spotty ‘frittetts’ and new ‘lollipop’ beads – watch out for some exclusive necklace kits from me, which should be on sale on her site soon!
Tuffnell Glass: www.tuffnellglass.co.uk. Martin and Teresa make fabulous focal beads! They also have a range of Tibetan silver and some unusual pressed-glass beads.
Lush Lampwork: www.lushlampwork.co.uk. Beautifully designed jewellery, and now a gorgeous range of handmade lampwork beads too, by artist Julie Fountain. She also has an Etsy shop.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxJewellery Designers and Bead Artists
Susan Lenart Kazmer: www.susanlenartkazmer.net. One amazing artist (even her website is a work of art!) who uses her metalworking skills to make jewellery out of anything, even old pencils or discarded Xmas tree lights. Truly fantastic work!
George Harper: www.designedbygeorge.co.uk. ‘Miz’ George is an awesomely good chainmaille artist and designer - I am indebted to her for lots of good design advice and hope one day to reach the same level of craftswomanship! She’s just started making lampwork beads too…
Laura McCabe: www.justletmebead.com. Laura is my beading heroine; she makes the sorts of things I dream of being able to create one day…
Jean Power: www.jeanpower.com. Apart from editing Bead magazine, Jean teaches regular workshops, writes beading projects, designs incredible creations that win prizes at major competitions, and somehow finds time for a host of other creative activities – check out her blog to see what she’s been up to.
Dustin Wedekind: www.bedesman.org. An inspirational and creative beader, ‘Bead Boy’ was on the Beadwork editorial team for many years. He’s also recently written the best beginners’ seed beading book ever, Getting Started with Seed Beads (Interweave Press, 2007), which is the book I’d like to have written myself, right down to the phrase ‘it’s not rocket science’! The current direction of my beading is largely his fault: it was those BB ‘Challenges’ in the back of the magazine that really opened my eyes to the possibilities of beading as an art form, and led to some of my best work (as well as to my Ugly Necklace!) and a voyage of discovery that is still ongoing…
Kerrie is a talented beadweaver who produces work of tremendous perfection – look out for her designs in the major beading magazines! Her beautiful pieces are also for sale on Etsy: www.kerrieslade.etsy.com
Suppliers – great places to buy beads, in alphabetical order, as that seemed fairest
Bead Addict: www.bead-addict.co.uk. These people are obviously nuts about beads; the site is packed with lovely beads, one-offs, Venetian glass, gemstones, silver… plus really detailed info about exactly what you’re buying.
Bead Merchant: www.beadmerchant.co.uk. Exquisite Japanese beads, fabulous kits, colour and texture themed collections. I love the project mixes. Very helpful, friendly service – if you send them samples they will do their best to find beads in coordinating colours
The Bead Shed: a friendly bunch who operate from a new spacious retail unit. They have lots of goodies in their ebay shop and also run a fun and chatty forum. www.thebeadshed.co.uk
The Bead Shop (Nottingham): www.mailorder-beads.co.uk. Good for crystals, unusual charms and bead magazines; also have a wide range of tiara-making components.
Beads 47, Poole High Street: www.beads47.co.uk. One of my local bead shops, a little treasure trove just up the street from the harbour, packed with all sorts of beads. They also have some of my jewellery for sale and they run beading classes – contact the shop for details.
Buffys Beads: www.buffysbeads.com. Fabulous gemstone and freshwater pearl range. Unfortunately their website is non-operational, so you’ll need to go to their London shop or catch them at a bead fair!
Creative Beadcraft: www.creativebeadcraft.co.uk. This company was my chief supplier of beads years and years ago when I first started out, so when I came back to beading I was pleased to find they were still going, much the same as ever but with a bigger range of beads! Good for Czech seed beads, bulk buys of findings, bargain mixed packs.
GJ Beads: www.gjbeads.co.uk. Huge range of seed beads (lots of Matsunos, which I like, especially the silver lined AB colours…), glass shapes, books, findings, bead mixes, kits
Jencel: www.jencel.co.uk. A lovely selection of beads, pendants and findings. Now selling online only.
Jezebels Jewels: www.jezebelsjewels.co.uk Dorset’s newest bead shop, in a lovely location in the middle of Weymouth. Full of gorgeous goodies, beautifully lit, and with a very inviting beading table and comfy armchairs! They’ve got some of my beadwork on display and I’m hoping to run some workshops there later in the year, so watch this space.
Jilly Beads: www.jillybeads.com. Very quick, helpful service; an ever-changing range of unusual beads, firepolished beads, hard-to-find findings, etc. Frequent bargains in the ‘Clearance’ section. A nice touch is that they send a little ‘freebie’ to say thank you!
Palmer Metals: www.palmermetals.co.uk. Very easy-to-use website and a nice range of reasonably priced beads, findings, chain, etc. in precious metals, which can be ordered in small quantities. I am particularly tempted by the silver alphabet beads!
The Rocking Rabbit Trading Company: www.rockingrabbit.co.uk. Exquisite and unusual beads that you won’t find anywhere else. Even their catalogue is a work of art! I am a big fan of their Venetian glass piattine, pink Bohemian pressed-glass hearts and Italian flat-link chains, and I love the ‘bargain bags’, always packed with gorgeous beads, which are thoughtfully supplied in pairs where possible. They have some of my jewellery on display in their East Anglia shop.
Stitch’n’Craft: www.stitchncraft.co.uk. Huge range of seed beads, drops, cubes, delicas, and Swarovski crystals including the new ‘fairy dust’ 2 mm rounds. Don’t forget to check out their craft section for unusual yarns too.
West Coast Gems and Beads: www.westcoastjewellery.com. Have a ‘beads of the month’ pack where you get coordinating gemstones and beads at a discounted price. Also a lovely selection of gemstone beads and hanks of Czech seed beads in mouthwatering colours. A range of kits featuring exclusive Lynn Davy designs is available
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