Thursday, 28 July 2011

Changes are afoot...

A little background...

I started out as a jewellery maker a few years ago, using gemstone and silver beads in my designs. Later on, I discovered lampwork beads and it was love at first sight! For a while, I was content to buy beads from other lampwork artists, but as the obsession took hold, I realised I couldn't stop there - I had to have a go at making them. And that was that.

My jewellery making has gradually fallen by the wayside as the beads have taken over, so I have made the decision now to concentrate on beads. And of course a new start deserves a new name.

So, as from today, Aroha Jewels is now Larksong Studio!

I will be changing the name of this blog, which I am hoping doesn't mean I lose you lot as my followers...I'm not an expert at these things though, so we'll see :o) If I suddenly disappear, you'll know why!

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Magical Dartmoor

Well, the weather wasn't the best...grey, cold and very damp, but that's not unusual for Dartmoor. It just added to the wild and moody atmosphere!
We decided to go to Wistman's Wood, as my cousin Helen had never been. It was a very wet trek across bogs, stone walls and rocks, passing huge black cows and blue sheep (yes, really!), but well worth the effort. There's nowhere else quite like it, it's an amazing place. I have borrowed the following description from, as they have described it better than I ever could!

"Nestled on the eastern slopes of the West Dart river stands a wood of dwarf oak trees. Once you walk into the tangled web of trees you are transported into a mystical world of moss carpeted boulders, lichens of all descript, finger like oak branches, all engulfed in a wonderful smell of earth and age. For millennia this small, mystical, stunted woodland has been held in awe and for many fear. Tales of Druids, ghosts, the Devil and a host of other supernatural creatures abound, some dating back to the long lost ages before man could write. Many writers have described the wood as being "the most haunted place on Dartmoor", others warn that every rocky crevice is filled with writhing adders who spawn their young amidst the moss and leaf strewn tree roots. Locals will never venture near once the sun begins it slow descent over the nearby granite outcrops for it is when the dark mantle of night draws tight that the heinous denizens of the wood stalk the moor in search of their human victims. So be afraid, very afraid, as the wagging finger of fate warns you to stay clear and risk not your mortal soul in the 'Wood of the Wisemen'."

I have already made a couple of Dartmoor inspired beads and have ideas for lots more...I am so lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the country!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Rocks and pebbles

Well, I've gone all organic with this week's beads! I think I've mentioned before that I'm fascinated by rocks and I'm always inspired by nature, so I love to play around trying to recreate it in glass...often with some elements of fantasy thrown in, like these 'Lightning Pebbles'  - so called because they look like little flashes of lightning trapped in rocks.

This one is actually quite simple, just a gorgeous multi toned glass called Fossil, with lots and lots of silvered ivory. SIS, as it's known to lampworkers, is made by rolling a rod of ivory in fine silver foil, then pulling it into a stringer (a thin piece of glass). I love it because it is so effective when used on certain glasses, it spreads out and little particles of silver pop to the surface, giving a lovely organic effect.

Finally, another nature inspired set. I saw these berries...
I've no idea what they are, not being particularly green-fingered, but I was inspired by those interesting colours to make this set of beads.

I'm off to Dartmoor tomorrow and will probably come back with even more ideas and inspiration, so expect to see a lot more organic beads soon!

You can find these beads on Ebay now :o)

Saturday, 9 July 2011


Fugly beads...otherwise known as 'ooops' or 'what on earth was I thinking'! Every beadmaker has them, because we all have our off days. A fugly often starts as a grand idea which somehow just doesn't work in reality; other times it is born from a bead that is going wrong and you decide to try to rescue it...'maybe if I add some dots here, a bit of silver foil...mmm I know, I think I'll encase it so it's even bigger and uglier' :( Before you know it, you've wasted precious time and a whole load of glass and you're staring in horror at the 'thing' on the end of the mandrel!

I now have a big fugly pot for the casualties and every now and then a friend or relative has a good root through and produces one or more of the beasts, exclaiming "oh, isn't it beautiful!"...which just goes to show that beauty is most definitely in the eye of the beholder!

Now I'm pretty sure that the beads I have listed on Ebay at the moment are NOT fuglies, so I'd recommend you pop over and have a look!