I was a child of the Swinging Sixties born into the decade of peace, love and flower power. Growing up in a small village in the heart of Epping Forest and close to the end of the Central Line tube I was lucky enough to have easy access to the countryside and one of the most exciting cities in the world, London.
As a child I was a real tomboy roaming the forest with my brother and our friends, exploring, climbing trees, building hide-outs, hurtling down hills on bikes with no brakes until the snow came and then we used tea trays instead….I don’t remember any one of us getting into serious trouble or breaking anything but we didn’t understand the concept of safety, if it wasn’t scary it wasn’t fun.
At the weekends Dad would take me on the tube into London, he was a talented artist and intellectual and he loved going to all the galleries and museums, I trailed along 3′ behind him for the most part scuffing my feet and whining! I did love the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow with it’s mosaic floor and a fountain playing in the hall, even then I loved things surprising and out of the ordinary. As I got older I came to enjoy and appreciate our trips more and they are now some of my most treasured memories of my childhood. I like to think I must have absorbed some of the culture I saw just by being present if not actually paying much attention!
I was a teenager in the Seventies and I loved glitter, sparkle, glam rock and cider plus David Essex, mmmmm dreamy. I had platform shoes a bad perm and spots – the less said about the 70′s the better….. Here is a picture of Slade because they had better hair than me
In the 80′s I worked for a video facilities company in Soho, I went to outside broadcasts of bands with my access all areas crew pass, I sat in on post production editing and remember the excitement of digital audio and satellite t.v. as they were introduced . I drank even more cider often with a Babycham chaser, I had massive hair with a pink, red and orange fringe and I had way too much fun. I met and married George and we had way too much fun together screaming around London on his motorbike. I know there were a lot of high jinks, I just can’t remember much of it.
Moving swiftly on to the 90′s which brought me babies then beads. I had Natalie in 1990 and Robert 17 months later, they were beautiful babies, delightful children, tolerant teenagers and have grown up into wonderful adults which is quite extraordinary notwithstanding their gene pool.
Seriously, how gorgeous are these children?
and The Beads
I started playing with beads around 1996…Dad and I came out of the National Gallery and heading towards Covent Garden for lunch we came across Beadworks bead shop on Tower Street… the beadfreakery was born. I started stringing jewellery, then moved onto loom weaving and eventually on to off loom weaving. I constantly scoured the internet, looking for new techniques, different colours and finishes and then somewhere in 2001, I landed on Corinabeads home page with her perfect triangle lampwork beads and a new level of the madness was reached.
I found GBUK (Glass Beadmakers UK), booked a beginners class and loved it from the second I lit the torch. I set myself up in the tool shed and have not looked back.
Early Lampwork Beads 2002-ish
I have since taken classes with Kristina Logan, Loren Stump, Stephanie Siersich, Di East and others besides. I think that there is always more to learn and I get a huge kick out of meeting like minded souls and melting glass together. I am currently working on my beloved GTT Phantom torch using an OG 20 generator for the center fire and tanked oxy for the outer fire and a BeadHive Regular guy kiln, it is my perfect set up and all I need now is a bigger space so I can start teaching….