Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Sydney Bead Show - Part 1 - Lampworkers

Earlier this month I was happy to attend the Sydney Bead Show. Whilst there I got to thinking how we have so much talent in Australia and I was wondering if the rest of the world would like to see some.
I asked the Bead Show organisers if I may do a story or two for my blog and with their permission I would like to introduce you to some of our lamp workers and their art - in no particular order.

Wendy Bergamin - Bergamin Beads
I started lampworking around May 2007 I have been involved with art and crafts all my life, ever since I learnt to use a sewing machine at age six. I trained as a secondary school Arts and Crafts teacher and taught for over a decade. I then started beading wedding dresses for a private firm and had three finalist entries in 'The Gown of The Year' as 'The Little Aussie Beader'
After that I started a children's clothing label 'Birichino' followed by several years of making collectable teddy bears out of German mohair. This led onto making lamp work beads which in turn led me into making jewellery. I wanted to get more into jewellery so I went to several classes both here and in America with lamp work bead artists and lapidaries.
I have traded in shows around Australia with both the bears and then lamp work beads. I then went onto trading at the Bead and Button show in the U.S. I have been trading there for nine years now and for the past two years I have been at The Best Bead Show in Tucson. I sell lamp work beads, gemstone cabochons, which I polish myself, and also finished jewellery, combining both lamp work beads, cabochons and other gemstones.
For the last four years I have attended classes with Native American Indians and have been learning more metal working. I now do a lot of gemstone in Viking knitting and Kumihimo braiding with gemstones. My work is available on my website, at shows and also at The Studio at Flinders art gallery.

 Yunita YUDODIHARDJO - Yuri Glass Art  -

​I started lampworking around May 2007 after a 3 hour beginner class with a nice lady that worked at Finn's Glass, Revesby, NSW.​  I then read a lot of books, watched online tutorials that I could find, asked lots of questions on lamp working forums, with lots of practices in between. So basically, I'm self taught.

Encasing floral beads was the main reason I wanted to learn lampworking.  Jan Cahill and Kerry Harper are my favourite Australian lamp workers.  I mainly working on soft glass but occasionally I work on boro especially for sculpture works. I'm using cricket and mini CC torch with oxycon at the moment.  I mostly only melt glass on Saturday because I have full time job. (I work Sunday night - Friday morning)

Denise Smith - DKS Lampwork 
In 2003, I was talked into doing a lamp working class and fell in love with the process of melting glass to make beads. My beads are varied but feature a lot of flowers and geometric designs. 

All my beads are handmade by me in my studio in Sydney, Australia and go through the proper annealing process. I primarily use soft glass from Italy and the USA for their quality, vibrancy and colour.

Monday, September 7, 2015

"Brigit" The Goddess of Spring

When I first started beading we had a yearly Bead and Gem Show but with the global financial crisis the Bead & Gem Show became smaller and smaller and eventually ceased happening altogether.
 We were left without a show in Australia for a few years, which made it difficult to see and touch any of the new products coming into the market. 

Last year a new Bead Show began and was very successful (more will follow on The Bead Show soon) This year they held their first competition.
Generally I don't bother competing in anything, I don't really see myself as competitive, but this time I thought - why not have a go??

In April I designed "Brigit" and entered her in The Bead Show's inaugural Inspired Colour Competition. Here is Brigit's story and my inspiration.

In her maiden aspect the Goddess Brigit is honoured at the festival of Imbolc, which celebrates the first stirrings of Spring in the Celtic/Irish culture.

In my garden, due to a canopy of mature trees, not a lot of blooms happen. 
The first indication that Spring is on the way are my Clivias – luckily a shade loving plant and very prolific when flowering.  

Clivias can be found in a limited colour range with most of the common variety flower in varying shades of orange, therefore
I used the Clivia orange/s for my colour inspiration.

Not wanting to be too literal,  
the diamond shapes in my ‘rope’ represent leaves and how they bloom in varying shades of greens and different sizes. The three centrepieces are to represent the "flowers" of Spring.

I am not one who enjoys waiting to show a finished design so entering a competition in April and waiting to show images in September has been challenging and frustrating, but I managed.

Last week I received an email advising I was one of ten finalists in the competition. That was nice to know.


On Friday I attended the Bead Show and they announced the winner. Unfortunately it was not me but a beading buddy of mine. I was happy nevertheless as I am now able to show my design, and I hope you like "Brigit".
Will I enter next year? only time will tell.

I am very grateful to the presenters of The Bead Show and its sponsors for supporting Australian Beaders. 

If you would like to see the ten finalists and winner click on the link below