Inside the Studio with Claire Lockwood

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 Marybeth!
You have won a set of selection of handwoven beads from Rebecca at Songbead
Please send Rebecca a message with your information.

I’m struggling to know where to start with this post! Jewellery or beads? Let’s start with beads. As I mentioned last time, I recently started making ceramic beads.  I did ceramics when I was younger – here’s a porcelain piece I made years and years ago, which sits on my parents’ mantlepiece –

but my knowledge and technique were in need of some refreshment, so I started doing a class. This quickly snowballed into me taking clay home, then acquiring my own materials, then more materials, and so on.

My current favourite trip out is a visit to Bath Potters, my conveniently local-ish pottery supply place; a trip that is made all the more enjoyable if followed up by lunch in a country pub.  I’ve just finished work on a huge batch of beads. (Apologies for the slightly blurry shots!)

There was much glazing to be done.  As you can see, it was all conducted in the orderly fashion typical of my workspace.
Anyway, after several weeks and a good amount of traipsing to and from the studio of my wonderfully obliging pottery instructor, for numerous firings, this morning I picked up a fully finished bumper load of beads. I couldn’t have been more excited.  
(The abject creatures on the left belong to my dog, in case you’re wondering… And, yep, that’s my finger just below them!)
Obviously, I haven’t had chance to photograph them individually yet.  I’ll be back next Thursday to share some images of the results! And I’ll be adding them to my currently bare bead shop in the near future.
As you’ll see, looking at those pictures of my workspace, not all the clutter was clay based. As I was concentrating on making beads I had little opportunity to make jewellery. But did that stop me buying more beads? Ha! Once I’d got the clay out of the way, I spread out the haul that had accumulated.
Profligate? Moi?! I should note in my defence that these accumulated over a fairly long while. There’s a good few art beads amongst the gems and czech glass.
I found time to have a bit of a making spree whilst waiting on some firing. Here’s just a few pieces made using some of these new goodies. A pair of asymmetrical earrings –
A simple but sweet bracelet –

And another pair of earrings – I can’t decide whether they need more doing to them.  What do you think?

Finally here’s the first item I’ve made using some of my new ceramic beads.  These are from an earlier firing.  There’s some crazing but I’m happy to live with that! I quite like it… Anyway, I’ll be holding on to these.

I’ve paired my birds with some Gardanne lampwork drops. I hope these will encourage you to comment below and enter this week’s giveaway. The prize will be a for-now-mystery bundle of my new beads – which will certainly include at least one bird! I’ll share a shot with you on Thursday. The question to answer if you want to enter, is: If money and space were no object, what piece of equipment or tool would you most like for your workspace?  I’m trying to work out how to house a kiln!
Bye for now, Claire

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41 Comment

  1. Kathy Lindemer
    August 22, 2014 at 11:26 am

    If money and space were no object, I would like to have some system installed that would enable all of my beads, wires, tools etc. be organized in a way that I can quickly locate what I am looking for and also create a pretty and peaceful work space. I waist so much time and energy looking for things and then cleaning up my work area.

  2. beadrecipes
    August 22, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Love your birdies (and your stash!)! I have access to a kiln, my Mum is a potter, and one of these days I'm going to learn more about clay and making beads. But right now, I'd like a tumbler!

  3. Divya N
    August 22, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    Oh These beads are super gorgeous. I would love to have a good setup to do metal work – soldering station, rolling milling, filters for enameling, that kind of thing. I live in an apartment with hardly any ventilation, so even soldering is a big challenge for me

  4. rouladen
    August 22, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    If money & space were no object, I don't think I could possibly narrow it down to just one thing that I'd want. I'd want everything – a kiln, a rig for lamp working, a giant oven for polymer, a huge table for working on, dedicated photo taking area w/lots of good lights, a cool 1/2 mannequin to model jewelry…

    But, if I absolutely had to pick just one thing, I think I'd go with a kiln. There's a lot of cool stuff you can do in a kiln and I can totally see myself getting into PMC in a heartbeat if I had a kiln on hand.

  5. Saraccino
    August 22, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    Easy: Also a kiln! One I could use for metal clay as well as ceramics… and (yes, always all ^^) just because… you never now… a possibility to temper glass beads.

    It is not sooo much the space as rather the money: To buy it as well as all the energy cost to run it… *sighs*

    But still… and: I also always accumulate too many new things if I try new material and methods (and since I get bored easily and need change.. ehm… I have a lot of stuff)


  6. Erin S
    August 22, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    If money and/or space was no object, I'd run out and buy a roller mill. And then a kiln.

  7. suzi
    August 22, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    Love the crackle glaze on your birdies! I'm with the rest of the ladies here & would lurve a kiln. Am wondering if I could trade in oven space in the kitchen & if my family would notice a difference in the quality of singed food???

  8. Tari of ClayButtons.com
    August 22, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    Very cool Claire!
    You need a baby kiln, Aim 88, that so many of us use. It uses 110 so you don't have to wire the house for 220.
    I would get a slab roller and an extruder if money were no object. OK, that's two things but if only one the slab roller wins.
    Isn't clay fun!!

  9. thecolorofdreams
    August 23, 2014 at 12:04 am

    I would like to have floor to ceiling storage containers so that I can organize all my beads! I might need an extra room built onto the house too.

    Love seeing your beads.

  10. Shaiha
    August 23, 2014 at 2:58 am

    Now see I love the crackling on the birds. It adds to the uniqueness of the earrings.

    If money was no object, I would want a set up to be able to work with enamels including a kiln, the tools and enamels. That's just one thing if I get it as a kit, isn't it?

  11. Marybeth
    August 23, 2014 at 4:20 am

    I would like an air compresser to use with air pressurized drills and carving tools. A quiet one, if such a thing exists. Love your little decorated birdies!

  12. Katherine Thompson
    August 23, 2014 at 11:16 am

    I would purchase a test kiln. I have a large kiln and a wheel but my kiln is too big for making beads. I also need a lot of glaze, and……

  13. Katherine Thompson
    August 23, 2014 at 11:19 am

    I would purchase a test kiln so I could make beads. I have other clay equiptment and this would be the perfect addition.

  14. Kristen
    August 23, 2014 at 11:26 am

    I would love a rolling mill! I have a small kiln and I use it all the time for enameling and I would love to pair my enameled things with more rustic, patinated embossed components.Your stash is gorgeous. You have the wire wrapped spikes from Scorched earth that I have favorited!

  15. Ann Schroeder
    August 23, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    First of all, I love all your jewelry and your birdies are the cutest! I also loved seeing your newest beads. You introduced me to at least one bead artist. That is always appreciated. I've wanted a disc cutter for a long time, so that would be first. But if money and space were no object, I'm sure I'd just keep right on going!

  16. Sarajo Wentling
    August 23, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Love seeing all the goodies in your stash and would love to win some of your cool beads! (Wipes drool away.)

    With where I'm at now in my craft, I'd probably say what I want/need is a tumbler. Like Divya, I'd really love a work space set up for metal work… one where I don't have to put everything away to do something else! One day the room that is now our office will get converted into a studio for me but we aren't there yet!

  17. CraftyHope
    August 23, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Oh, what wouldn't I get? I think what comes to mind first is enameling equipment. I'd really love to get those yummy colors on metal. Mmmmm.

    Your beads are looking awesome!

  18. haezz
    August 23, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    Well, since money is no object, I'd have to grab three things. Honesty is the best policy, you know. lol I'd love a rolling mill, flex shaft and a huge dual tumbler. I'm a sheet metal kinda girl who loves texture and fire! Your foray into ceramic bead making is amazing; you're truly talented, Claire!

  19. MaryRose
    August 23, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    I would love to have a roller mill!

  20. Carol Briody
    August 23, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    Hi Claire! I love all of your new 'makes' and can't hardly wait to see your newly created beads! I'll be checking back, for sure!

    Hmm let's see..what would I want to add to my tiny space?…I think a rolling mill so that I could create tons of texture from unique items. That's it! Space and providing a milk with a solid foundation table are holding me back (they are a little expensive, too,..but I would sacrifice!)

  21. pliccb
    August 24, 2014 at 1:38 am

    What sweet little birdies! Love your orderly workspace, looks very similar to mine. I am currently drooling over the Fretz hammers & stakes. Does that count as one thing?

  22. Alice
    August 24, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    How fun to try your hand at ceramics again.I love art class and my favorite was ceramics.
    Your jewelry is lovely.

    I would love a kiln as I have been wanting to make my own beads. Also I could use a setup for photographing my jewelry as the one I have now is not working for me.

  23. bairozan
    August 25, 2014 at 9:20 am

    For now, I'd like to have a really good pair of crimping pliers and money to buy only genuine silver or silver filled findings. I loved your studio tour πŸ™‚

  24. Mokki
    August 25, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Can I say I would want a whole studio? I work from a desk in my tiny living room at the moment. A kiln would be awesome and a silversmithing kit! Ah, dreams.. Thanks for the eye-candy, this was a very pretty post! I'd love to see your finished beads.

  25. Colleen
    August 25, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    If money were no object, I'd probably get a lampwork or ceramic setup.

  26. Kathy
    August 25, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    I'd first have my kiln, next, my wood power tools, especially my scroll saw. I'm so glad that I'm not the only one searching for my things constantly with my bead abundance taking over… πŸ™‚
    –Kathy (PajegoArtHouse)

  27. Rosanne
    August 27, 2014 at 4:27 am

    Love your little ceramic birds Claire.
    If I had the money I'd get myself a little kiln. (I had one once, but thought I wasn't going to use it…wrong!) I'd like to give metal clay a try.

  28. wanda shave
    August 27, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    First off I would want to get a tumbler, and all the extras to go with metal working. Then I would have to go with enameling equipment next.

  29. Gale
    August 28, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Kiln or rolling mill. But if one of those were to fall out of the air, I'd settle for now on the rolling mill as that would let me work with the materials I already have at hand. I'll save all the chemistry involved in ceramics for a later date!

  30. Sandy
    August 28, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    I dream about a swanstrom disc cutter, maybe some day! :o)

  31. Sherri Stokey
    August 28, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    I would love to have an actual place for working with a nice work table and comfy seating and definitely a better system for housing my stash of beads!

  32. Becky Pancake
    August 28, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    Hi Claire, Thank you for a chance to win some of your lovely beads. I adore roses. I would add a ventilation system so I can work safer and not be breathing all the fumes.My second thing would be a system for organizing my seed beads.

  33. Bijoux Gems Joy
    August 28, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    I'm a metals girl, and gemstones, and pearls, and…and…and.

    Isn't it amazing how we get hooked onto something? I think I'll keep with the metals theme and say if I could have one tool, no limits, it would be a good kiln for metal clay.

    I love the idea of starting from what looks like clay and turning it into art. Very similar to you but a different direction.

  34. Roxanne Mendoza
    August 28, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    Those little birds are amazing!!! I would like to try my hand at soldering. I wouldn't even know where to begin to make a bead so I would probably buy one of those vintage printer tray cabinets…if money and space were no object!

  35. lindalandig
    August 29, 2014 at 8:08 am

    I love reading your posts, because I've just started with ceramics too! A few weeks ago I would have said a kiln too, but I have a birthday at the end of September and my husband has said that he wants to get a kiln for me!!! I'm getting a small Paragon Caldera to be housed in the garage. If money and space were no problem, I think I'd like to have a small slab roller.

  36. Leah Curtis
    August 29, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    I would absolutely love a kiln! I often think of all the things I could do with a kiln…look at it, fill it with stuff, watch it…I'd love to get into ceramics and lampwork, so a kiln would be much needed.

    Wow! What a stash of art beads you have! And your new ceramics are just gorgeous. I can't wait to see them in your shop.

  37. Leah Curtis
    August 29, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    I would absolutely love a kiln! I often think of all the things I could do with a kiln…look at it, fill it with stuff, watch it…I'd love to get into ceramics and lampwork, so a kiln would be much needed.

    Wow! What a stash of art beads you have! And your new ceramics are just gorgeous. I can't wait to see them in your shop.

  38. Klassy Joolz
    August 30, 2014 at 6:27 am

    I would love a kiln, a room to work in and a lot of your wonderful beads!!! Great post!

    August 30, 2014 at 9:54 am

    I'd love a kiln and lampwork equipment!!!
    I love your work, thank you for the chance
    [email protected]

  40. Debra Gibson
    September 2, 2014 at 1:09 am

    I love your beads! And love reading your blog ! Thanks gor the chance to win those pretty beads! I would love to afford a tumbler as I have to sand my beads by hand so I think this would save me time and save my hands ftom all the pain I suffer from the sanding ! Thanks again !!

  41. Cory Tompkins
    September 6, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    I love your jewelry style so much I have had your blog link pinned to my favorites bar for some time now!! You always post great eye candy. Your ceramics will be fabulous I'm sure, the birds are adorable and I love the crackle too. Let's see…one piece of equipment or tool, I would like a convection oven since I recently started making polymer beads. I would love to have a nice big studio with stations for different purposes and lots of pretty storage containers. Thanks for a chance to win!

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