As many of you know, unlike the rest of the Art Bead Scene team, I am not from North America, but in fact from Britain. Currently, I like in England, but I’m originally from Scotland, the country that makes up the top part of the UK. (What’s the difference between the UK and the British Isles I hear some of you say? Well, the UK includes Northern Island, whereas Britain refers to the large island which makes up Scotland, England and Wales. Easy to get confused, I know but this means I am both Scottish AND British. My friend Lowri from Wales, is Welsh AND British. Whereas my friend Jill from Northern Ireland is just Irish. I definitely feel more Scottish than anything else though!)
Enough about geography and back to the beads! I’ve said it before, but one of the things I absolutely love about shopping online, and particularly in the giant hub that is etsy, is the ability to find individual bead artists from all over the world. I absolutely love that a single piece of jewellery can contain handmade elements from Scotland, Spain and Canada.
But whilst I love this multi-cultural aspect of bead-buying, I also love (and I mean LOVE!) to support and buy from UK bead artists. And I love to discover new ones! I wanted to share some of my favourite and most recent UK bead artist discoveries with you. There are many, many more artists out there, so this list is certainly not a complete or definitive one. But I do encourage you to go check out these talented artists’ shops. They may be based in the UK, but they ALL ship internationally!
“Taking some time out of an academic career, I turned to making jewellery (hence the shop name!), prompted by my love of vintage jewellery – of all jewellery, in fact… In time, I also started making my own beads, which I sell separately and use in my own handmade jewellery.”
“Beautiful beads and jewellery handmade with hot glass, gold, silver, steel and enamel. I graduated from a degree in Jewellery and Metal Design recently, and developed a passion for working with hot glass. All of the beads are handmade in my Edinburgh studio. ”
Leah of Beady Eyed Bunny
“I am a handmade jewellery artist who specialises in wirework. But it doesn’t stop there! I use a variety of materials in my one of a kind jewellery, from copper and cotton cord to handmade art beads, gemstones, and precious metals.”
Helen of Helen Vanek Design
My name is Helen Vanek and I have been creating glass beads since 2009 in my garden studio.
By profession I am a research nurse involved in setting up and running clinical trials of new drugs and therapies for people with neurological diseases. My job is demanding and stressful and I find no better way to relax than melting glass.”
“Hi, I’m Petra. Welcome to my new look shop!
Here you can find my original, hand-sculpted, ceramic components.
I hope you enjoy them.”
I hope you will take some time to visit these talented ladies’ shops and check out their wares! Look out next month for more British bead artists – I’m excited to share them with you.
Rebecca is a Scottish jewellery designer, currently living in Manchester, England. You can read more about her and her work at her blog, songbeads.blogspot.com and see more of her jewellery at songbead.etsy.com. She also has a supplies shop at thecuriousbeadshop.etsy.com.