Sunday, 19 February 2017

The Best of British Beads ~ Josephine Wadman

Sometimes being a English jewellery maker can be a little frustrating.  A quick etsy search or a scroll through facebook groups for artisan beads often brings up reams of wonderful components that I'm enthralled by, only to find they are far, far away in America.  Unfortunately this means that, at least for me, these fabulous items are more or less locked away behind a paywall!

Ridiculous shipping costs and import taxes (and an £8 processing fee? really??) combined with the recent Brexit-driven slump in the pound make buying American beads very difficult for a part-time jewellery maker such as myself.  And with the UK likely to pull out of the EU single market and customs union, it's possible that European beads will soon carry a similar tax burden.

But not to fear!  Hidden amongst the out of reach treasures are fantastic artisan components made right here on British soil.  This is the first of what I hope will be a mini series of blog posts highlighting some of my favourite British bead makers.  Over the years I have discovered many extraordinarily talented ladies working in glass, metal and clay to create miniature works of art for us jewellery designers to play with and I am very, very grateful indeed!

First up is a lampwork bead maker who fulfils my need for crustiness in my bead collection.  Josephine Wadman of Josephine Wadman Designs mostly sells her wonderful beads through facebook groups.  It took me a while to get into this method of buying beads (I'm now hooked), and a strand of orphans from Josephine was the first set I ever brought via this method. Many of those beads were used in this bracelet (the creamy coloured ones) along with further lampwork by Calisto Beads and The Fyre Faerie.  Look at the scrumptious urchin bead in the front!

Available on Etsy!
I really loved the rustic feel of these beads and soon went back for more, including the wonderfully pitted rustic ring and bicone beads in this necklace, which also sports a ceramic spike by Petra of Scorched Earth (hopefully up next in this British bead series!).

Available on Etsy! 
And finally here is a pair of earrings, made  with beautiful blue beads that remind me of the sky, accented with colourful flowers, as is my wont :)

Available on Etsy!
I hope you agree that Josephine's beads are just scrumptious!  Please go check out more of her work at the following venues:


Thank you for reading and I hope to hear from you soon!

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