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Author Topic: AOTM March 2012 - Helen Chalmers  (Read 11514 times)
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sparrow
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« on: February 28, 2012, 02:53:41 AM »

Helen Chalmers

My journey in glass bead making started in 2008, when I began working at Edinburgh's Little Bead Shop, for the lovely Gil and Emma Baird. I had never heard of lampwork before, but came across one of Emma's beautiful organic focals, and was instantly intrigued. I must have pestered her for information day in and day out (sorry Emma!). I was totally thrilled when I was able to have a go on her torch, resulting in some wonky fritty beads! Goodness only knows where they are at the moment, but I was so proud of them. A couple more sessions, and I decided that it was worth purchasing a hot head. It took me a while to save up, and my hothead finally arrived in December 2009. Here are the first beads I made on it (I think I pretty much burned through a rod of Aurae by accident  Shocked )


the second 'set' of beads by helenfchalmers, on Flickr

Apart from my sessions with Emma, I did the Glass and Colour course with Sarah Hornik at Di East's in 2010, which was a big turning point for my work. There's not really that much opportunity for doing courses up in Scotland, so thats all I have done so far, though I am very excited to be doing Claudia Trimbur Pagel's course at the Flame Off this year! I learnt so much from Passing the Flame as a newbie, and a huge amount of knowledge has come from Frit Happens. Some more beads from the early Hothead days:


Jellyfish at 10 Fathoms by helenfchalmers, on Flickr


Urban Decay by helenfchalmers, on Flickr

In terms of people I admire, of course Emma Baird is high up there. I love the work of Mindy MacGregor (Moogin), Claudia Trimbur Pagel, Michou Anderson, Kristina Logan and Suzanne Noordewier, to mention but a few!

My inspiration tends to come from buildings, cities, urban environments and architecture. I like to draw and illustrate environments which inspire me, and these drawings in turn influence how my lampwork turns out.


Barcelona Door by helenfchalmers, on Flickr

You are probably familiar with my degree show work, since it swamped my life for a few months in 2011. This was all heavily inspired by death and remembrance, particularly from Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh.


DSCN1864 by helenfchalmers, on Flickr

Alongside all this organic work, the course with Sarah Hornik inspired me to play with all the pretty rods of colour on my desk, and I went through a bit of a dotty phase...


Seville by helenfchalmers, on Flickr


Constantinople 1 by helenfchalmers, on Flickr

It was a nice break from all the University work to play with such a fun palette.


Poppy Field 1 by helenfchalmers, on Flickr


Nolita by helenfchalmers, on Flickr

I guess if I were to have a signature style, I would like it to be quite illustrative as so much of my work is based around illustration. I'm slowly but surely getting the hang of stringer, so thats a good start! I have also been using a lot of enamel which I find represents my style of painting, but I have a long way to go yet!


Inca by helenfchalmers, on Flickr

I suppose my 'brick' beads could be considered my style too Smiley


Wallflowers by helenfchalmers, on Flickr


Graffiti Study by helenfchalmers, on Flickr

Next I would like to tackle silver glass a it more, and I am planning on putting aside a few days to get my head around focals... I just always seem to come up with sets! Maybe this week, we shall see!

In terms of what I am most proud of, this ring was a part of my degree show, and literally caused blood, sweat and tears Roll Eyes I refused to sell it, but wear it myself all the time! Its glass lined with a fine silver core.


Subway Wall Ring by helenfchalmers, on Flickr

I think (hope) my illustrative style comes through in my work, and judging by the number of different techniques and colours I have leapt through, my short attention is probably evident too!


Think of a name... by helenfchalmers, on Flickr

Currently I am working on jewellery more than 'raw' beads, exploring glass as a wearable form. I would like to make more rings like above...possibly with less stress this time, if possible! I have been playing with form in stud earrings too.


Bratislava Stud Earrings by helenfchalmers, on Flickr


Chiang Mai Studs by helenfchalmers, on Flickr

And some necklaces, I just love how powerful an impact beads can have when they a strung together in large quantities!


Rajasthan Necklace by helenfchalmers, on Flickr

You can see more of my work at http://www.flickr.com/photos/helenfchalmers/ and http://www.etsy.com/shop/helenjewellery?ref=si_shop

Thank you so much for reading this, I am so honoured to be chosen as AOTM Smiley
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