Persistence Pays Off

by Sarah Bunney, United Kingdom

Courtesy of Handmade Business

I've always made my own jewelry, but it wasn't until I decided to make my sister some jewelry for Christmas that I discovered the world of lampwork bead making. I wanted to make her something extra special, but couldn't find the right beads. Then I found a magazine article about making glass beads. I couldn't stop talking about it so my husband encouraged me to buy a starter kit. Once I did, I was completely hooked and haven't looked back since!

Now I've been lampworking for about five years. I'm completely self-taught and have probably learned the most through trial and error. While I dread to think about the amount of time I've spent researching on the internet, reading books, and practicing everything I've learned, it is pure pleasure to sit at my torch every day and make new creations.

My signature beads are my flower petal implosion beads. I had been admiring implosion beads for a long time and one day decided to have a go. The first bead I made wasn't very good. It took me a long time to master the technique and make it work for me. We all do things slightly differently and sometimes when you are learning you don't have the confidence to put the tutorial aside and make the bead using your own interpretation because you think it might be wrong. However, I strongly encourage you to do exactly that because it gives rise to your own style and creativity.

I find inspiration all around me and this is usually the spark for the beads that I make. I am always trying new techniques and working out ways to make my beads extra special. What started as a hobby has very quickly become a business. I love every minute I spend in my studio, don't take myself too seriously, and have lots of fun creating beads.