Inside the Studio with Claire Lockwood

Welcome to Inside the Studio!

Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you’ll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.
Congratulations to Mokki
You have won a pair of Tari’s super cute house charms. 
Please send Tari an email with your information.

Oh boy, have I been busy!  As you may know if you regularly read this blog, I got a kiln fairly recently and have been making ceramic beads.  Prior to that, for a short while, I was getting my stuff fired at a local potter’s place.  I’m now falling into a production cycle of firings that results in large batches of beads.  I may be wrong, but as I understand it, many ceramic bead makers use a kiln that is a bit smaller than the one I chose (now christened Bertha).  So, my production cycle involves spending an age making up heaps and heaps of greenware to fill up all that space, ready to be bisque fired.

As you can see, I could actually get much more in here but I can only wait so long! I opted for a larger size because it was not that much more to get a kiln three times the size of the very smallest.  Also, I was bothered that I wouldn’t be able to get many beads racks in glaze firings if I went for the small kiln.  But, the drawback is that it takes a long time to get a batch of beads completed. It also means that I end up with a massive mountain of bisque that needs glazing, which can be a bit overwhelming.  All this aside, I’m still loving the whole process. It was very good to get this greenware cooking. Did I whisper, Go, Bertha, Go!, as she whirred into action? I may have… . Then, after four glaze firings – two different stonewares and two different earthenwares – I finally had my batch finished.  And then it was time for the dreaded photographing, editing and listing, which has taken much of this week. I finally got all these new beads into my bead shop last night.  Anyway, time for a photo feast. Like I said, there were rather a lot of them…

Lots of earring beads, including lots of my point pairs…
and a range of polka dot porcelain spears.
I’ve been experimenting with making breastplate pendant connectors, 
along with lots of other pendants:
And I’m still obsessed with all things seed pod and lily-like:
I have tiger stripe beads in a rainbow of shades, including these:
And plenty of these pennant sets –
I decided to go in for the whole Marsala thing – and bought too many Marsala-y glazes. Some worked better then others….
These roses have been very popular so I made up plenty of sets; here are just a few:
And, of course, there’s always a call for birds:
I had lots of fun selecting palettes for these sets:

And here’s a last few bits:
These are just a few from that mountain in the kiln, so if you’re interested in seeing the others, click here.
But, time for the giveaway. This week I’m giving away a mystery bundle of beads. 
Which means, I haven’t quite decided what it is yet but I’ll put together a little bag of beady goodness and I’ll send it out to the winner.  My question is: what is your favourite art bead medium?  Are you unable to resist lampwork, or are you more of a polymer fan? Are you, like me, in love with all things ceramic, or perhaps you’re crazy for enamelled elements?  Mind you, I love all these things – I’ll wager most of you do too.  Anyway, comment below with your answer to stand a chance of winning that mystery bundle!

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39 Comment

  1. Denise McCabe
    February 20, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    I'm definitely a lampwork fan but then I don't want to use them. Lately, I've also been leaning more to ceramic bead – there seems to be a lot of versatility with the designs. Thank you!

  2. Katherine Thompson
    February 20, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    What a trooper you are! I know how much work goes into filling a kiln but to fil t with small items is a job! Though a labor of love it still is a lot of work and you were successful! Being from a ceramic background I can't help but love it! Lamp work would be next.

  3. Alice
    February 20, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Clair Your beads are just lovely. To answer your question I like both ceramic and lampwork.

  4. Divya N
    February 20, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    To use I think lampwork in my favourite but I love to make metal components to make

  5. Karen Z
    February 20, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    Just a brief comment; b/c I have to run over to your etsy site to check on a few things 🙂 Just beautiful work!!

  6. Heather Tinkham
    February 20, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    What a wonderful assortment of beads! Thanks for sharing your experience with getting a new kiln.

    My favorite medium for making art beads is polymer, but I love to make jewelry with lampwork and ceramic beads from others as a change of pace. My latest set of lampwork beads travelled to MN all the way from Australia since I couldn't resist her amazing colors!

  7. Saraccino
    February 20, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    Hu… that is a difficult question. First: I love them all! Second: My personal favorite medium is still polymer clay. Except for lampworking I tried and use everything else (okay, always difficult with the kiln, so my last ceramic beads are some years old ^^) and every single material has it's own magic. As long as something falls into my general favorite asthetic (organic, a little bit tribal, textures and textures and textures…), I will love it! I am also easily bored so I need to change my material / methods from time to time and polymer clay is the one material I always come back to.

    I really love how you play with rough surfaces and beautiful smooth glass texture (as well as crackled surfaces) and what can I say, I am really hoping to win your mystery bundle! 🙂

  8. haezz
    February 20, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Oh my…it's a twin love. Lampwork and ceramics both capture me for different reasons. Lampwork for the amazing colors and patterns/shapes and ceramic for texture and glazes. I have enough love for both!

  9. Dawn of LaTouchables
    February 20, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    I love ceramic beads–stoneware and porcelain, and I love lampwork too…and especially to mix it up with bone and metal, matt and gloss–I love them all. Your work is beautiful. The larger format in this blogspot really brought it out.

  10. Marie
    February 21, 2015 at 12:17 am

    I love lamp work and enamel. But not to the exclusion of ceramics! It's not hard to love them all.

  11. Monique (A Half-Baked Notion)
    February 21, 2015 at 12:51 am

    Wow, what a lovely lot! Truly something for every taste 🙂

    For a personal touch from start to finish, nothing beats polymer clay for me. But I've gone through periods when I couldn't buy porcelain or stoneware beads fast enough. And lately I seem to have an unquenchable appetite for lampies. So apparently, my final answer is… it depends LOL

  12. Teresa D.
    February 21, 2015 at 1:15 am

    Love your talent, your work is beautiful! So far I have used many Lampwork Beads because of the cute little animals are a big fan with my grandkids! I also recently begun a collection of ceramic and some porcelain to use with my wire and metal designs.

  13. Kathy
    February 21, 2015 at 1:46 am

    I love all of your beads. They are beautiful! I love clay the best hands down. The love of my life after my family.

  14. Bijoux Gems Joy
    February 21, 2015 at 4:49 am

    Fantastic work. I'm amazed at how much effort goes into producing beautiful beads.

    Lampwork beads are the first art beads to capture me and are still my primary love. I've come to appreciate the talent that goes into all types of beads and "somehow" have developed a huge supply of stoneware and ceramic beads. Looks like they are running a close second.


  15. Marybeth
    February 21, 2015 at 6:50 am

    Polymer clay is it for me. Love to squish, pinch, press, roll and texture using my fingers and random objects for tools.

  16. Neena Shilvock
    February 21, 2015 at 8:41 am

    All your beads are beautiful, I have no skills with ceramics, but use polymer clay and love it

  17. Niky Sayers
    February 21, 2015 at 10:39 am

    My favourite art bead medium is lampwork as that was my first love but, I have found that recently I am being tempted more and more by ceramic beads. I think it is very much the artists work that speaks to me rather then the medium they use.

  18. Kristen
    February 21, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Your beads are wonderful! I love the pod shapes and bead bundles. I love to do enameling and I adore my kiln! I recently started making fused glass pendants which is fun. As for buying? I buy it all!

  19. Kathy Lindemer
    February 21, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    I love ceramics, especially like stoneware. I love the look and feel of it.

    I love your ceramics. It would be wonderful to be able to make the variety that you can. I struggle and dread the photography aspect of listing my jewelry just as you do. Glad to hear it isn't just me. I sure hope I win your bundle.

  20. Phil Clevenger
    February 21, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    Ah…Art Beads, they take my designs to a new level. Which bead medium to choose takes some mystique in the process. I peruse what is available and wait for the right choice to speak to me. Lampwork and ceramics still remain my favorites.

  21. Deb Fortin
    February 21, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    If i make the beads its messy wire ones. If i buy them it's lamp work first because i love the translucency of glass. Having said that some of the new polymer translucent beads are also fabulous. Oh darn i just can't choose one, can I?

  22. Cory Tompkins
    February 21, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    I love glass because of the depths it reveals but I also love the matte look of clay especially when there is a contrast of matte and gloss together, oh so pretty! I am a sucker for all art beads especially and working with polymer clay is what I love right now. Your open pods are beautiful, I just love your work!!

  23. Tari of ClayButtons.com
    February 21, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    Wow! You have been very busy. That is a lot of beads! Which equals a lot of time.

  24. Kirsten Jakobsen
    February 21, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    I like lampwork, to look at and sometimes to incorporate in my jewellery – I dabble a bit in polymer clay myself – and I LOVE ceramic beads – their rustic-ness, them hardly ever being quite alike – like they have a mind of their own – and although I know of a fair few makers now, you all each have your own style. Ceramic/clay is a bit mystic to me, feels very alive when working with them.

  25. Deborah
    February 21, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    WOW! Claire – ALL of these are just wonderful – so many different styles evoke so many different moods!

    I'm first & foremost a natural, earthy, rustic gal, so I love all things out of the ground (clay, metals, gemstones, etc.) I also love glass & enamel – they actually start out in the ground, too! Ha! I'd rather have a diamond right out of the ground than a shiny, faceted one. I'd rather have rusty, patinated, "trip-weary" than glossy, polished.

    The same goes for things from the sea: pearls, shells, metals, sea glass – I love them all, but want all the lumps, bumps, & scratches (which to me represent the "mystery of the source/journey").

    I'd be thrilled to win ANY mystery batch from you, for sure – THANK YOU for this giveaway!

  26. Klassy Joolz
    February 22, 2015 at 12:18 am

    Your beads are wonderful! I'm in love with Lampwork Beads, but Ceramics are a favorite of mine as well.

  27. Mary Harding
    February 22, 2015 at 11:48 am

    Wonderful variety of ceramic beads you have made Claire. Love your different shapes and wonderful glaze colors. I can feel the hours of work you put into these but worth it all!!

  28. Melanie McGready
    February 22, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    WOW!! Impressive haul there Claire! I'm somewhat hooked on ceramic beads at the moment as I too have recently bought a kiln (a much smaller one though). And I love polymer clay so I can never stay away from it for long. I absolutely love your bunting like pendants!! They're gorgeous!!

  29. Chrys Art Glass
    February 23, 2015 at 12:23 am

    What a great variety of beads you have created Claire.
    I am a lampworker but have recently begun to experiment with clay. I'm using the local clay from the Artesian basin mud springs. It's not much good for wheel throwing but I've made some beads and wind-chimes.
    Your ceramic beads are very inspiring, love all the different glazes.

    February 23, 2015 at 12:42 am

    I started out as a big lampwork lover, but I've come to really love the whimsical, rustic charm of ceramic beads and charms, as well the lightweight yet versatile polymer beads and pendants.
    Just like you, I love them all 🙂

    [email protected]

  31. Debra Gibson
    February 23, 2015 at 4:35 am

    I would love to win Claire! I am a huge fan of your work! I hope my last comment was received as I have a new phone and am just learning how to operate it. Good Luck to all! I live all ceramic beads but I also live polymer clay beads ad I am a polymer clay artist myself but I am a bead addict there I said it and I am not ashamed! Lol! I love enamel work and artist made glass beads toi! I told you I'm an addict !!

  32. Shaiha
    February 23, 2015 at 6:26 am

    That is such a difficult question to answer because it really depends on the bead. Lately however I have been using more ceramic beads then lampies.

  33. beadrecipes
    February 23, 2015 at 11:11 am

    I love art beads but I have to admit I'm most drawn to ceramic beads. I think it's because my Mum is a potter, so I've been surrounded by clay since I was a child. I love the range of colours and textures that can be achieved by ceramic techniques.

  34. bairozan
    February 23, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    I fell for ceramic beads, preferably glazed, just recently but I'm fascinated! I don't know if it is the connection to the earth or the ancient history of ceramics and the many artifacts – old and new – that always amaze me with the diversity of shapes and color!

  35. Sarajo Wentling
    February 23, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    Thanks for sharing all your lovelies! So many gorgeous things you've been up to! For me, my biggest weakness is probably lampwork glass but ceramics are a close second.

  36. Janea aka Naya
    February 23, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    I'm a big lover of all things metal, and enameled so much better! But Lampwork thrills my color soul and cute ceramics melt my heart. I guess I just love beads!

  37. Janelice Bastiani
    February 23, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    Adorei seu blog e as postagens, agora sou seguidora do blog.
    Venha visitar meu blog www. crochelinhasagulhas.com.br
    Você será muito bem vinda.
    Janelice Bastiani

  38. Colleen
    February 26, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    Love getting to take a look at what our awesome art bead people are doing in their studio.

    My favorite art bead element is probably lampwork. But I love it all.

  39. Jess Green
    March 24, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Oh wow, I'm loving those leaf style drops o_O

    Personally I'm in love with copper – I'm playing with fold forming at the moment and it's fascinating!

Comments are closed.