Tuesday 27 June 2023

I'm back

I've recently had the longest break I've ever had from beads. I had Covid so I didn't work for a bit and then that bit turned into weeks and then more weeks. At one point I didn't think I'd go back to lampworking. I was ready to get rid of the shed and everything in it but fortunately Chris advised me to just leave everything where it was and to just wait. I seemed to have simply lost all enthusiasm for going down to the torch and glass. I stayed indoors and crocheted instead. I crocheted and I knitted and I crocheted a bit more. I even thought about going and getting a job at the Post Office. (I don't know why but whenever I've considered getting a job I always think about the Post Office.) I felt a bit lost and like I just wasn't supposed to make beads anymore. I was feeling that my beads are rubbish and boring and my refusal to 'make myself the brand' and be sucked into creating social media content - churning out videos and reels and all that guff - meant that my beadmaking days were probably over.

And then one day last month I got up and decided that I was going to go down to the shed and make some beads.

Before I lit the torch I sat and looked through my Flickr gallery and my own Instagram, surprised at just how many beads I've made over the years.

And then I made beads.

Afterwards I felt like a total idiot for feeling the way I'd been feeling.

My beads aren't rubbish or boring. I know they're not fancy sculptural beads or ones that contain inclusions and metals, or big massive focals - they are simple-looking, honed-over-nineteen-years, unfussy, small beads - but they are my beads, and that's fine.

I make beads for me. No, I don't wear them or keep them but the making of them is for me. The act of creating a bead is a little challenge and that challenge is what I love about making in general. I've tried a huge amount of crafts over the years but none of them has ever satisfied my makery urge as much as beadmaking does.

So on I go, continuing to do my own bead thing in my own way.

Pink floral handmade lampwork glass Ditsybeads by Laura Sparling

This past week I've revisited my Ditsybeads. I've always liked these even though they take a lot of faffing to get right. I timed it yesterday and each successful one takes me about fifteen minutes to make. That's quite a while for a 12mm bead. I'm such a slow beadmaker and I set myself such daft standards but again, without those things my beads would not be my beads.

Anyway, that's quite enough of the self-obsessed introspective blah-blah. Next time I'm having an "I'm burning the shed and everything in it!" drama queen moment, this post will serve as a reminder to myself to keep going.

I'm going to write a boring blog post now about new postage rates for my webshop for balance.


  1. I didn't realize you had a Flickr account full of bead goodness in addition to your Instagram! I'm just done a little perusing there and...wow. So many spectacular designs! Love the "Starry Night", Poppies.. wait, CAT beads??! Hearts and Chirrups?! A mushroom with flowers? What fun..! I'm glad you are back at the torch!! :)

  2. Artist's block is a terrible thing - glad you got through it. Always love seeing your beads even though I don't make jewellery any more.

  3. I’m so glad that you are making your beads again. Your colour combinations and designs are simply beautiful.


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