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Author Topic: AOTM June 2012 - Jennie Braid Lamb  (Read 13305 times)
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sparrow
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« on: May 31, 2012, 06:14:43 PM »

Jennie Braid Lamb

Glass has always fascinated me, as I child I was always mesmerised by marbles and paperweights and those snow globes that you shook to create endless landscapes within.   I would spend so much time staring into these interior worlds with all the swirling colour and different layers, I also had a kaleidoscope which was one of my favourite ‘toys’.  I couldn’t afford paperweights so along with cheap marbles I used to collect the little glass animals Dartington Glass used to make, swans and caterpillars and the like….infact there are a couple sitting on the windowsill in my studio that have survived life adventures and are still with me.
 
So a little about me….I didn’t go to College or University to study, I left school and after a short training course set up as a makeup artist working on pop promos and fashion shows.  This was during the 80s a manic and mad time but I loved it, from there I moved into Show Producing and then many years later came home to Devon. My husband ‘Lammy’ and I then bought and ran a gift shop for 7 years.  I loved Wire Work and was doing a lot of rings at the time and selling them in the shop but had never heard of lampwork I just bought my beads from a local bead store.

Then one day Manda (MangoBeads) walked into our shop with some of her beautiful handmade lampwork bead bracelets for us to look at, she described the process to me and I thought she was bonkers!  I couldn’t get my head around it at all, fast forward a few months and Manda’s daughter came to work for us and used to arrive every day with beautiful bead necklaces on which she insisted where her mums seconds!  Hmmmmm! Anyway, one thing led to another and in April 2009 I was sitting infront of Manda’s torch having a lesson!  And like everyone on this forum that was it….These are some of my first ever beads and I was SOOOOOO proud of them!



I bought myself a starter kit from Tuffnells and cleared out one of the outbuildings we had at our last house and set myself up.  I remember being really nervous about lighting the torch and having my heart in my mouth but, like everyone reading this there was no turning back and I had a colourful selection of glass rods winking at me and Manda around the corner if I ran into trouble,  so I held my breathe and went for it , and surprise surprise… I was completely hooked, here are some of my earlier beads.


 I lost my Mum in 2007 after a long battle with cancer and I was finding life really tough without her and melting glass  helped to fill that void and the creativity and spontaneity of flamework  helped me heal  and for that I will be eternally  gratefully.  It also meant I spent hours and hours on the torch as I couldn’t think about anything else when I was melting glass so I got lots of practice time and like everyone wanted to experiment with every style of bead and glass I could.



I used to sell mainly 5mm beads in the shop as that was what everyone wanted but I never really got a buzz out of them as I enjoyed working on big beads but I would experiment with different patterns, colours, reactive and silver glass on these tiny canvases.  This is the first bead that I was really chuffed with and it still adorns my business cards!  It is Triton on Grumpy Bear about the only mix I ever wrote down and remembered!



In 2010 we made a big decision, I wanted to concentrate on my glass and my husband wanted to go back to Stage Mangement.  So we sold the business and our house  and moved into rented housing  and started the search for a new home with a studio that had public access so I could sell both online and from my workshop.   I had nearly a year off the torch which was a frustrating time.  



Once I had settled in my lovely workshop I moved from a hothead to a GTT Cricket (I have recently upgraded again to a GTT Lynx and a Nuvo 8 Oxycon which I love!)  Now I was back on the torch I could start experimenting with all the designs that had been whizzing around my head whilst I was off the torch.


   
My first lesson was with Manda in March 2009 which gave me a great grounding  and I then spent the following months experimenting with online tutorials, reading  books and magazines, and of course Frit Happens!  I had a master class with Astrid Reidel  in 2010 and it was a real eye opener and scary as I had been off the torch for a month and felt abit out of my depth but I loved every minute and I am a huge fan of Astrids I love the way she keeps moving forward with her bead designs.
   
These are a few of my beads from that course, I came away having learnt, in principle, how to make wigwags and murrine, how to use silver glass, dichroic and how to  create reactions with glass and to design internally as well as on the surface of a bead. 


I then took a course with Carla Di Francesca which introduced me into how to work with your flame and gravity, off mandrel and some new thoughts about using colour.  Carla is such a fun tutor and her humour is infectious and I think it shows in her work….these are a few of my Carla inspired beads!



I then took a course with Julie Haveland Beer and George Harper East – From Cab To Fab.  Day one we made a selection of cabs.  Julie has completely changed the way I use murrine  and I can hear her voice in my head whenever I have a murrine in my tweezers……Day 2 George put us through silver bootcamp.  I had never worked with silver in my life and George a fabulous teacher and  SO patient! I finished the course with a ring which I made from scratch with one of my cabs.  I am wearing it today as I type and rarely take it off, here it is and a few of the cabs I made on this course.


I was also lucky enough to have a one to one session with Di East earlier this year and we played with some blown beads, her mini paperweights and fuming…….fantastic!  Here are a couple of my first paperweights.
 

I have also had a class with Anouk who unlocked the secrets of silver glass and some other great bead designs.  A great teacher and wow what a choice of beads she bought with her for us all to drool over! Here are a few of my Anouk inspired beads....you will also see her influence on my swirly lentils to!

 
I was asked to share my favourite jewellery designers and glass artist.  Well this was tricky the list of artist I admire is quite extensive but I am going to try and keep it short.  I have narrowed the  jewellery designers to two with difficulty!  I really admire The Hairy Growler, Harry Growler http://www.hairygrowler.com/  his jewellery is all made from recycled silver and his designs are incredible.  I have also recently found Iza Malczyk  http://www.izamalczyk.com/ my roots are in wire wrapping but this girl takes it to a whole new level. 

 In the glass world David Patchen has to be one of my favourite glass blowers http://www.davidpatchen.com/ one day I will own one of his stunning blown vases.  Andrew Brown for his coldworked marbles http://www.andrewbrownstudios.com/ Zachary Jorgenson and Chelsea Brent at Lazuli Flex for their incredible murrine marbles http://www.lazuliflux.com infact I better stop with the marbles or I will fill another page!  

So onto Lampwork ….I am lucky enough to be booked to do a course with Anita Schwegler-Juan http://www.das-unikal.ch/Home_en.html  I have so much respect for her beads and her glass wheels are something I aspire to.  Kathleen O’Connor is a lampwork artist I have only recently found and like another artist I admire hugely Bronwein Heilman  she uses enamels to decorate her beads and I love her work https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hot-Flame-Cool-Glass-Handmade-Lampwork-Beads-by-KAYO/137565332986164he .  I also have great respect for Astrid Reidel, Brad Pearson, Amy Waldman Smith, Debbie Sanders, Ayako Hattori, Lisa Aitchenson…..  gosh so many talented people out there and on here I will stop before I fill the page!

I was asked where I got my inspiration from and like so many artists it is from the world around me, I love colour and structure and I am constantly absorbing images during the day and dreaming beads by night!  I am not sure that I have nailed a single signature bead, I think people know me more for the size of my beads and my glass wheels.

    
I have recenty created my Swirl Tutorial (which is available in my Etsy shop  Wink) so I guess that the swirl technique has also become something of  a signature bead for me



  
I would love to learn more about paperweight techniques and I also am fascinated by coldworking.  Where will my art take me next…I don’t know!  I don’t make plans I just go with the flow and allow the glass to lead, some of my better designs have come out of mistakes. I hardly ever throw a bead in the water jar until I have tried everything I can to rescue it!  I enjoy sharing my knowledge and enjoy teaching and educating the visitors I get to my workshop on what lampwork is and of course talking glass NON STOP to anyone who is even vaguely interested.



Which bead or piece are you most proud of - can you tell us the story behind it?

I have two the first was a Glass Wheel……the first one that gave me the shivers when I pulled it from the kiln!

 
And this bead which was one of four in the finals of last years Bead Magazine Awards and was keeping some great company on the top table!

 
Which of your personality traits comes through in your work, do you think?

I hope my individuality, I have never been one to follow fashion in the pure sense, infact I nearly always pull away if I feel I am being sucked in!   That said I love an ecletic mix of things in this life and I hope that comes through in my beads….hopefully they have a twist to their designs that make them special ;0)


Currently I have been working on developing two strands of my flame work.  The first is my big beads that can either be bought as a necklace or bought individually to collect.

   
And the second is my mini paperweights based on my swirl design


   

Well I hope I haven’t bored the pants of you all, thank you so much for allowing me to share my work with you it has been so lovely to be asked and thank you to everyone who has helped me on my glassy adventure you know who you are .......….long may it continue!

If you would like to see more of my work I have a facebook page : www.facebook.com/raspberryrings
A blog:
www.raspberryrings.blogspot.com
My Etsy Shop:
www.raspberryrings.etsy.com
And if you are ever in North Devon I have my studio in Appledore, 1 Victoria Crescent, Irsha Street, EX39 1RS.   I am open between 3pm and 7pm, Tuesday to Saturday for visitors, and have a couple of cabinets with displays of my current work for sale.
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jammie
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« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2012, 06:44:01 PM »

Sigh, absolutely beautiful work and what a lovely and inspiring read!  Smiley
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Blue Kiln Beads
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« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2012, 06:45:59 PM »

Great article Jennie, its so nice to see the progression from starter to current standard.
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MyPrecious
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« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2012, 06:59:58 PM »

Gorgeous work! Smiley
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Helen G
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« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2012, 07:12:56 PM »

Congratulations Jenny It was a pleasure to read and view your fab work, loved the links too, the wire wrapping  Shocked Shocked Shocked
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Special Kay
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« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2012, 07:24:18 PM »

Fantastic article Jennie, loved reading what has inspired you. That was just a pleasure to read
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Jennie Lamb
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« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2012, 07:28:44 PM »

Wow! Thank you.....It was an honour to be asked!  Grin Grin Grin
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« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2012, 07:32:32 PM »

Brilliant article.  Next time we are in North Devon we will get to Appledore! 
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GaysieMay
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« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2012, 07:44:24 PM »

Wonderful read Jennie and Sabine, thoroughly deserved Jennie, your beads and jewellery are beautiful!  Smiley
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cbeadies
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« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2012, 08:05:42 PM »

 Smiley A great read, and stunning work, so colourful and individual  You are very talented!
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Pauline
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« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2012, 08:16:02 PM »

amazing, inspirational and beautiful work.
Thank you
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« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2012, 08:26:58 PM »

Great read, and droolworthy bead-photos! Congratulations and well done, Jennie!!  Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2012, 08:33:50 PM »

What a lovely read through your lampworking journey Jennie.  Your beads are stunning and so inspirational to us all.
Congratulations!  Grin
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« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2012, 08:50:00 PM »

What a great read, thank you for sharing your glass journey and so many great pictures of your beads  Grin
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« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2012, 10:04:13 PM »

Wow what talent, my jaw kept hitting the floor as I scrolled down and there were some OMG look at these nudges to DH sitting next to me. Thanks for sharing your story as well.
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