Where it all began
It had all started in 2001 when Carol Dickens accompanied by Natasha Fountain, went to Stourbridge glass festival specifically to the bead fair the had at the bonded warehouse. Both were into making lace, and the beads are used to spangle the bobbins used to make the lace.
At the bead fair held in the Bonded warehouse, Martin Tuffnell was demonstrating how to make glass beads. Well they were hooked, bought a starter kit then and then, Mapp gas on the way home, and have never looked back.
Bonded warehouse Stourbridge
In 2008 Carol and Natasha booked on a Carina Tettinger course at Studio 19, The dairy. However Carina was unable to attend last minute and Diana East stepped in to take the class.
The class was very informative, and the Highlight was Diana demonstrating the Aladdin bead. Each stage from building up the base with dichroic, through to adding the enamel, gold fuming and sand blasting.
Natasha only went for one day of the course, but Carol went back for a second day to see the completion of the iconic bead.
Aladdin Bead by Dianna East
Natasha went on a course with Red Hot Sal who at that time lived in Hinkley. The course was one to one and was designed to build on the skills Natasha had already developed on the Hot Head.
The course focused on silver core bead shape and exploring the diversity of double helix glass on the Hot head.
Sal was fantastic inspiration, its a shame she has moved so far away, but she is wished luck in her venture.
Beads made on the course with RedHot Sal
2007 Natasha saw a course at the Pittsburgh
glass studio with Corina Tettinger.The opportunity was seized and Carol and Natasha hopped on a plane for an adventure in Pittsburgh.
The course was 5 days in duration, starting and 9 am and finishing at 5 pm with an hour for lunch. pm. The evenings 5 pm - 10 pm were available to practice what was learnt in the day, but Corina could not help herself and continued teaching from 6 pm to 10 pm. It was tough
Corina at the torch
going, but extremely informative, and was a thoroughly exhausting but enjoyable experience for all who attended. There were lampworkers from over the united states. The course started with basics of bead shape and stringer control and worked up to making a lizard sitting on a barrel bead.
In 2011, work began on a studio in Ringstead. Earlier pictures should have been taken to show the forgotten building behind and oil tank and cars waiting for repair and the 2 stables, last used 30 years ago for the family pony. The original building, had solid brick walls where the windows now are and the interior was divided into two stables, both with large wooden mangers along the back wall, and the right hand side still has the brick floor. With the windows in place, the studio took shape and after, making it draft proof, and water tight, work could
Mark making the supporting wall for the windows.