Online forums and networking

I remember a time when there was no Internet and online forums but in a very quick time these have become the most fantastic way of meeting like minded people with similar interests. They are fab for support, for gossipping, for learning and generally having fun. I thought I would introduce you to 4 of my favourite forums.

First up is Frit Happens. This wonderful forum is the first one I ever truly got involved with during my lampworking journey. The guys on here are a truly amazing bunch. Many of them I can truly count among my friends. I have been lucky enough to meet many of them in person through events such as Flame Off and meets as peoples houses. This forum is not exclusively for lampworkers and fusers but also people who make jewellery using handmade glass beads, silver workers, seed bead jewellery makers, PMC and art clay and many many other things. I totally recommend having a look at this forum. Despite the fact that I am not currently making glass beads I still pop in and when I went through my really tough patch 2 years ago they were so very supportive and kept me going with their amazing kindness. I LOVE FRIT HAPPENS.

Second is Bead Buddies this fantastic bunch of people are jewellery makers and glass workers again. Very similar population to Frit Happens but more focused on different media and not just glass. Again I have many friends on this forum and the work that I look at is stunning. I continue to be amazed at the seed beaders work, I have tried that and failed miserably!!!

The third forum is a relatively new forum started by my friend Jolene who I made the rag doll for. Craft Pimp is for the many different crafts that people are involved in from photography to jewellery to fabrics, fusing, clay and ceramics, papercraft and anything else crafty! Jolene is like many crafty people her skills do not stop with one media so having many many different media is fab to look at. Many of the people on this forum are from FH and BB but there are lots of new faces as well.

Finally I found this one just now and am watching its growth with interest. Emma is simply a magician with poly clay. I tried it a couple of times and really struggled with it and have currently given up with it in favour of my sewing. The Poly Clay Forum is specifically aimed at those who work and / or play with poly clay such as Fimo and Cernit.

Go take a look people, if you have never participated in a forum before I urge you to have a look, they can be fantastic places to socialise and  meet people who are doing similar things to you.

Happy friday guys, have a lovely weekend and see you soon



Silver Metal Clay day


Syringe ring

Originally uploaded by Samantha Halliwell

I have had the most fab day. I travelled to Hastings (courtesy of my gorgeous husband) to meet with Joy Funnell and have a lesson on silver metal clay. Now I am quite familiar with silver metal clay as a medium but I am totally self taught and really really really want to complete my Level 1 (and at some point I hope Level 2) certification in Art Clay. After chatting with Joy we decided a day teaching would be fab to ensure that I have the necessary skills to make the 7 projects needed to obtain the certification so off I went.
I wanted to learn how to make rings properly, set stones and use syringe clay and I think I can confidently say that I managed all of these. Joy was a fantastic teacher, very easy to get on with and set me totally at ease straight away and I learned loads as well as got reassurance that what I have taught myself is ok as well.

The ring to the left was made using a basic flat band then with syringe detail around it and a stone to finish it off. The picture does not do it any justice at all cos the patiantion that I added has the most gorgeous colours in it , blue, purple and red in places! I am very chuffed with this ring and it has taken pride of place on my right hand.
Follow this link to Joy’s web pages and see her gorgeous work, especially her harlequins! Click here to see the most fantastic harlequin. I totally covet this piece!!


Ooh how excited am I?

I have just booked my first silver metal clay workshop. A little gift to myself courtesy of my Grandad who passed away earlier this year. He left a little money to me and most of it has been used sensibly to pay things like credit cards off etc especially useful at the moment as Tony has been made redundant. But all work and no play makes Jake a dull boy so I have used a bit of the money to book a day with Joy Funnell in Hastings, her website can be found here . I am very impressed with her work especially the enamelling and she is only an hour and a half away from me which  is not to bad for travelling. I have wanted to do my certification for  couple of years now but it costs so much money I never really get enough to do it but I also need to get some teaching in things like making rings and setting stones to practise before doing my level 1 cert so this is a very fab positive step for me to be taking!

I do have some experience in silver metal clay which you can browse here if you want to and it is getting to that time of year where my fingerprint service takes off a bit!

Ooh I can’t wait for the 14th December