Anyone can make jewelry. It is the unique and different beads that make one’s jewelry stand out to others.
I sell findings that one cannot find elsewhere because they make a big difference. The same beads with different findings give it a whole new look. They make each piece a little different. I am in LOVE with lampwork beads because they are the water color palette to the jewelry making world.
You can find beads in all sizes and shapes, but most especially, you can find them in multiple colors and in watercolor like designs. Every earring I made with a lampwork bead made by Jaci Sinkewicz sold. Every pendant I made with a bead made by Jen Hopkins was admired.
Here in Connecticut, there is the Lampwork Society with a listing of lampwork artists. I know that I have too many beads to count, and at least 20 Jen Hopkins beads, but I bought two more yesterday. My mother expressed dismay at my lack of financial and bead buying control, but I told her, “These are my crack cocaine. End of story.”
I went to Jen’s Studio, The Artsake Gallery, on Rt 74 in Tolland to have one of my watercolor pictures framed. Because she is an expert in this with years of framing experience, she could suggest different combinations of mats and frames for different looks one could achieve. She suggested a cream mat to offset the white in my buildings in the painting. She has a variety of beautiful framing option from which to choose. Jen suggested a white washed frame which would have been perfect if the painting was for a beach house. My painting was of an Inn at Martha’s vineyard so her suggestion really was a perfect one. Despite this, I went with gold- because I am partial to gold (and diamonds- they are a girl’s best friend) frames and have other gold ones in my house.
While there, I saw lampwork beads in front of me by the register. I saw a rainbow of sorts dazzling my eyes….. especially because once there, the lampwork pendant size beads only cost $5 to $15 and I saw the same things at a bead show in Philadelphia for $30-$50. I left with two beads and held them in my pocket like magic beans.
You can find handmade lampwork beads anywhere in Connecticut. I found more at Jen’s framing shop (The Artsake Gallery, RT 74 in Tolland) by the register, but anyone on the Lampwork Association listing will have them as well.
Jewelry making and other crafts are enjoyable in that we work on inspiration. We get in the mood to make jewelry or do other crafts. If you ever experience a jewelry making rut, the addition of a handmade lampwork bead is one way to ramp up inspiration. I see beautiful beads and my jewelry making ideas flow. (Sometimes I sketch them if I think I don’t have time to act now)