New Year – Needing Inspiration

My New Year has been slow to get going – Im not feeling hugely creative.

When this happens I find its helpful to take a step back and look at where I am and where it is I want to go . It helps me to stay positive and move forwards.

Im so excited that this year I have 6 classes Im teaching abroad – Im so looking forward to all these classes and meeting all the people who attend them its going to be a very special year in that respect ! Thats a huge positive 🙂

We have some wonderful artists coming to visit us here in the UK at out studio to give classes thats another super positive thing – seeing the workshop alive with eager excited people is so inspiring in so many ways.

Then I look back at my work and what I have recently acheived and how far I have moved forward with my own expectations of where I want to be on a personal level.

I can honestly say that last year was a great year for me and my work,  I feel I took another step up that ladder we never get to the top of and actually never want to – because then where would we go from there !

I never want my journey to end – I don’t feel the need anymore to be coming up with new ideas I just want to get better at what I already do –  I leave you with some images of my favourite work from last year !

… and now to the torch, well tomorrow anyway !

The Patchwork Bead Collection

Bezel set Harlequin Cabochon

Folklore Beads

Bobbles!

 

 

Silver and Glass

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be able to do something special with my cabochons. I’ve dabbled a bit before and Davids had a play too but at last I am feeling confident in my own skills to do it myself and to be brave enough to use some special glass work too.

The desire to work with silver comes purely from the glass. Cabochons need silver its as simple as that, and I want my designs to be pure and simple, to simply enhance the beauty of the glass which is where my heart is.

Its all pretty major stuff because obviously the price of each piece goes up, not only with the cost of the silver but the extra workmanship and the Hallmarking which here in the UK we have to have done if the weight of the silver is over 7.78grms.

This last week I sent 30 pieces off to be Hallmarked, my Assay Office is Goldsmiths Hall in London. I waited anxiously for their return. Im pleased to say that it all went well and my first batch of work is marked with the Full Traditional Hallmark:

This comprises five marks:

Sponsor’s mark
Traditional fineness mark
Millesimal fineness mark
Assay Office mark
Date letter mark

Its made my work feel very special and im excited to be able to give my glass work that extra special touch.

Chunky Bangle

Chunky Bangle

Soda Lime Times Featured Artist

Im really chuffed that I was invited to be the Featured Artist for the September issue of the Soda Lime Times dedicated to cabochons.

Ive been making cabochons now for many years and as time has gone on we have developed our own range of tools, classes and tutorials for other lamp workers to enjoy. I have enjoyed demonstrating and teaching cabs both here in the UK. Europe and the USA. With lots more planned for 2017.amanda-bio

amanda-tutorial

I had great plans to put together a little kit especially for the issue, but had a little unplanned visit and prolonged stay in hospital and am only just back behind my keyboard … I’ve yet to make my torch but Im hoping that will be soon !

Anyway today I did just that a simple Ringtopper/Cabochon Kit with the beginner in mind but its great for anyone !

The little kit includes everything you need to make your very own interchangeable Ringtopper.

We include one of our very own 14.5mm cabochon mandrel . 10 M2.5 nuts and one 8mm jewellery grade stainless steel ring in a the size of your choice.

( you can make a cab bigger than 14.5mm on this mandrel, we recommend this size mandrel as a perfect start to cabochon making )

The nuts fit directly on top of the nubble on the cabochon mandrel – the cab disc is welded not threaded onto the mandrel handle giving added stability and guaranteed ‘no wobble’

We have a free video available on how to prepare your Cab Mandrels and apply the nuts and also a tutorial

‘A Practical Guide to Cabs and Poppers‘ which details everything else you need to know about cleaning and finishing your cabs ready to wear or use in other projects.

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There is lots of useful information on cabochon making on our web site and also a little video on tiny cabochons earrings which includes a simple way to clean your cabs ready for whatever you want to do with them next. you can buy the kit for that here.

So if you fancy giving cabochons a go Mangobeads might be worth a look 🙂