In My Studio - Susan and Tim Heaton

Tim, my husband of 45 years, makes beautiful hand made glass beads, one at a time, over a torch.   I create jewelry that features Tim’s beads as well as Swarovski Crystal and high quality metals.  When I see a new handful of Tim’s unique, diverse beads, cleaned and ready for me to use, I become inspired to see how they can fit in one or more new jewelry creations.  I feel like a kid at Christmas, with new toys to play with.   When Tim sees a jewelry creation, that I have just completed, he is always amazed at how I have made the individually, unique beads come together in a rhythmic symmetry of wearable art.

I have been saving these beads that feature pure silver foil inside the bead for a while.  Then some beads with beautiful colorful mixed melted dots appeared in my studio and I liked them too, I just couldn’t come up with one design that featured both types of beads. A friend of mine, who has exceptional jewelry, wore a necklace one day, that was very inspiring and as I studied it, I realized it would be the perfect medium for these beads I had hoarded for so long. I decided to use chain and more sterling silver than I usually do.  Of course, I had to get some Swarovski crystal into the mix and found those beautiful 4mm aurora borealis black diamond crystals, a perfect compliment.  I also used 4mm jet color Swarovskis on top of the Czech glass teardrops to lend visual interest.  8 mm jet Swarovski bicones were also included. Then two different sizes of sterling silver patterned rings.  It was quite the collecting process. I assembled all the components I wanted in my work area and began to see if I could get them together and on to the chain. (Picture 1)

Sure enough, the piece began to take shape, little by little, with many attempts at getting the correct spacing between the beaded components.  The various components added lot of swing and swagger to the already beautiful beads. The 4mm plain crystals did not add enough pizazz, so I changed them out for the 4mm squares—much better.

(Picture 2)

I began the design in the middle, as I often do and worked my way up one whole side, just to see if the design is really going to work or not.  With a piece with this many diverse components, it is really hard to predict how it will look and secondarily, how it will feel when it is on your neck!  So far, so good. (Picture 3)

I worked my way up the other side and I liked what was going on!  It had lots of motion and a certain attitude to it.  The two different types of beads Tim had made took on new depth when near each other, yet separated just a bit and stood out as individuals. 
What I wanted to have happen, did.  Tim’s comment when I showed him the final result was; “how did you do that?”  I blamed his beautiful beads, he blamed my eye for design. And so it goes!  (Picture 4)

Our latest designs will be waiting for you to see at our studio which is catalog location #38.

 

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