Diana East BBQ

Diana East is a highly respected conceptual lampwork glass artist, she is visiting New Zealand and will be having a BBQ at the studio on Saturday 19 Feb 2011 at 1pm.

We will also be doing demonstrations and in general catching up as lampworkers

Just bring your own meat and drinks and I’ll provide the salads

Hope to see you there 🙂

Anastasia Coming to New Zealand June 2011


$1400 includes materials listed below, some tools must be provided by the student
Duration: Saturday 4th June – Monday 6th June 2011 from 09h00 – 17h30 per day
Where: Born to Bead studio 12 Minaret Drive Bucklands Beach Auckland

This class schedule includes:

“Tree beads”

Focusing onto the use of hair-thin stringers, the class will contain every step necessary to make a focal bead with a complete design.

–       how to use hair-thin stringers (includes drawing of lines from every angle and tiny dots)

–       how does it work on different backgrounds, such as opaque or transparent glass, or on enamels

–       focal shaping for imagery

–       background design (use of enamel, thin stringers, frit, silver leaf, different glass colour reactions and advice)

–       how to draw a tree off glass on glass

–       different ways to create leaves (tiny dots, enamel, both)

–       use of  two-colour stringers definition of a tree



Focusing on different ways to use enamels, this class also contains techniques like leaves, floral elements and murrini, with the end result being a focal bead.

–       Easy to apply enamels (including safety!!!)

–       different ways of heating the applied enamels

–       applying different layers of enamels and mixing colours

–       enamels on different backgrounds/colour reactions

–       enamels and transparent stringers (dots, stripes)

–       separating colours from each other

–       cutting technique

–       enamels inside of a bead (resulting into a spiral)

–       techniques for creating leaves and flower petals

–       murrini cane applications

“Ocean shapes”

Focusing on shaping, this class includes different techniques to create organic/abstract shapes in beads, concentrates on heat control, but also on other components like canes/murrini…all of them related to the ocean.

–       squeezing without using a press (masher, paddle)

–       compensating design for using different  glass in a shape (for example ivory=soft, clear=not that soft)

–       creating different layers of sculptural components on the front side of the bead and keeping them in balance

–       shaping by adding and removing glass techniques

–       application of enamels and their influence onto a shape (introduction)

–       hair thin stringers in creating ocean movements and designs

–       cutting and pushing techniques

–       pulling technique

–       creating waves

–       Creating sculptural elements by using thick stringers (heat control!)

–       sculpturing of holes

–       corals (on the surface of the bead and small coral shaped beads)

–       tide pools

–       creating different murrini and cane and using them in beads

CiM is in the house

Check it out!!! we have got our first shipment of CiM Creation is Messy COE 104 compatible to Effetre and Vetrofond. The colours we have imported are complimentary to the existing ranges of COE104 supplied by Annie Rose, so come on into the studio and have a look.

Sarah Hornik has arrived and is getting soaked in the city no doubt hahaha welcome to Auckland is all I can say 🙂 Sorry Sarah Island weather is all I can say

What do you get from entering?

I remember the very first year I entered the glass bead competition, it was the first year we formed NZGBA. I sort of forgot about the deadline and had only been torching for a few months but to be fair did actually own my own torch so chose not to enter in the beginners category as I felt having a torch meant I was serious and should participate as such. The theme was Aotearoa, and I played with concepts such as sea and mountains. I imagined creating a towering Mitre Peak encased in clear with floating clouds and sea on the lower half of the bead. I then though it would be awesome to separate the two sea and land with a Maori motif a koru type design with dots and that would be very challenging. As I thought about it more the design became even more complex and I ended up creating a wire wrapped pyramid, supposed to be a silver fern, and encased it in Light grass green and Light blue glass, then tried to create the motif. I was working full time so only had a few hours a week to try something new.

Then the deadline was suddenly on my doorstep and I had to take a day off work to try get my design into the competition in time, alas I missed the deadline but the girls at Annie Rose were kind enough to include my bead. When we had the awards ceremony and I saw the beads that had been entered I was absolutely floored. I could not in my wildest dreams imagine how Justin created his Pacific Sunrise bead, when I asked him and he said it was a reversed incalmo I immediately thought, holy heck I am such an amateur.

I then saw Tokiko’s amazing bead and her layers of petals and the depth she got from the colours, I lusted over flowers like that for the whole year following and still have not been able to create one quite like hers (how does she keep those crisp clean edges?!?). The next bead that amazed me was Donna’s bead with her beautiful flowers, amazing twisted cane and the absolutely gorgeous 3 dimensional lady bugs. I remember hounding her the next day to teach me encasing as I had no idea how she managed to keep everything 3D and not smeared. People were asking me “did you enter?” “which one is your bead?” I was mortified with my efforts, I entered half assed, I barely threw it together last minute, and had no practise and it showed, as I was new and no-one knew me I was able to lie convincingly and denied ever entering.

I left that competition with so much enthusiam to be Justin Culina, to have flowers like Tokiko and to achieve the incredible encasing that Donna had, and to put in the effort. The following year the competition was announced.

I was secretary of NZGBA and was so excited to prove to myself that my skills has improved from the previous year and to put a bead in that my peers would look at and say wow she really gave it her all. I took months to design my piece, I eventually decided on learning new techniques. My approach was to use the competition to test my skills and push the boundaries. The competition was being judged on technical ability so I approached it as such. I chose techniques I had no experience in, the implosion bead as I love these, then the murinni which I used as the iris for my eye, stringer control which I used to wrap the bead in vines, and pink glass which till then (and possibly still now) I loathed. First I made implosion beads for 3 weeks, one after the next. I could have easily made over 25 beads to see if I could get it right, I tried different colours, I tried different dot sizes, poking, pinching, flattening, melting and eventually settled on my technique for implosions that I created in my time. Then I was nervous adding it to anything so the next step was to practise stacking beads as totems, I must’ve made about 15 totems before I thought I’d be able to stack the beads without destroying the implosion I’d worked so hard on.

The next step was creating the eye, I studied Dustin Tabor and Stephanie Sersich, I took out a book on drawing eyes, I studied making murrinis, and eventually I shaded a murrini cane that had various colours of transparency and started creating eyes. Again a number of tries, then I did eyes in totems to see if I could handle the glass all in one go. Finally, after all this preparation I sat down and created my totem. It came out perfect! I was so excited I sat down to make another and it sucked. It took another 6 totems before finally I gave up and went with the original “hole in one” bead that I had made. I was so proud I couldn’t wait for everyone to see it. I was so nervous on the night of the awards as I had participated I was not allowed to judge or even see the entries before the awards evening. When I got there I found that only Donna; one of the hero’s who had inspired me to really stretch myself was in the competition. I was so disappointed I really wanted to see how my skill and hours invested would hold up against the likes of Justin, Donna, and Tokiko. As it turned out I won the competition. I couldn’t believe it! just 12 months previously I denied my critter bead and left it in the cold homeless (I threw it away! poor thing), and now with my totem I had won. I was so proud of the hours and their fruition. It was awesome.

The following year when the competition was announced “Translate your world” I was pressed to achieve the same as the previous year, not win the competition but rather take a new technique one I had never used and learn it, and master it (well I’m still not sure you can master anything in glass in one lifetime but you get what I mean). The earth bead used Fusing, sheet encasing and enameling. Each bead took about 3 hours from start to finish. I made, broke and mangled 8 separate worlds before the final success. Again I won and I was proud. I had invested no less than 24 hours of torch time to gain the skills I had learnt for that bead.

This year I am unable to participate as I am President, but I wanted to share my story with you becuase I wonder how many of our members are still approaching the competition as I did in my first year.

I ask you what are you learning?
What techniques are you choosing?

How many hours are you actually investing in developing yourself? Which artist will you be on the awards evening night? Will you be the one who denies ever entering or will you be proud of the work you have submitted? Will you really give it a go?

How will your skills in the last 12 months on measure against your last years competition entry? Will you be eager to show your peers what you have achieved?

In my mind this is the purpose of exhibitions, competitions and calls for submission. It gives you a unique opportunity to focus on your art, the passion to focus, upskill and really stretch your boundaries, it is an excuse for you to stop your production every day run of the mill beads and really test yourself as an artist. It gives you the opportunity to be taken seriously by your peers, for those who really get what you have done and say well done you have really improved since last year, we can see your hard work, and your efforts. This year which is the only year I want to win the competition the first prize is a wild cat torch, I urge you to think about this and really put your efforts in. I want the world to someday stand up and think Wow New Zealand has something to contribute, and to think that the competition has had some part in making that a reality. I want each and every one of you to enter, who cares if you win or not, it’s what you learn in your efforts to give it all you got to win that torch, win that Bullseye and Gaffer glass, get a whole days free tuition. So let me ask you this… What do you get from entering?

Born to Bead Survey

Born to Bead has now been in business for 2 years and I am blown away with how fast that has gone for us.

Now that we are over the critical 2 year mark we would like to ask for some feedback on your thoughts of the studio and what it has to offer. We are currently offering workshops in Lampworking, Fusing and Art Clay silver and the ability to rent the studio until you invest in your own.

We have an opportunity to expand our offering to include Glass, Tools and studio equipment but need your help to know how we are currently doing, how you view what we are doing and would this expansion be of interest to you.

Whether you have done a workshop or not your feedback will help us with our business.

Please be so kind as to take a moment to answer the 6 questions in our survey.

Click here to start your survey

NB answers are anonymous

Akihiro Okhama

In that moment my life flashed before my eyes.

There have been those momentous occasions in my life that have had an amazing and profound impact on the path my journey follows. You always remember the first job interview, the first pay check, the first love and for those of us most fortunate discovering your passion. I had always had an understanding of what was possible with glass and torching.

In May 2009 we had the Annual Bead Competition which was hosted at Annie Rose. Annie Rose had brought out a Japanese Glass Artists which 12 of us had enrolled to understudy. I remember the night before the class was to commence Peter Viesnik, Carolyn Hewlitt and myself went for a vino and to see an art exhibit at The Quarry (a must see when in Whangarei). Upon returning to the studio Aki had placed his beads and marbles out for display and sale.

As any self respecting woman would do I reached for the most expensive item on the table, a marble. The marble has a dark black background inhibiting light entering the centre so you had to move the marble to gaze into it… It was this moment that my life flashed before my eyes, not the past but the future!

I have never seen anything like this in my life. Three miniature bouquets of flowers in intricate detail, roses, arum lilies, ferns and leaves clustered on three separate plains creating a tunnel of floral designs in a marble no more than 7cm in diameter. I didn’t realise this was possible. Who knew this could be achieved with the equipment I have in my studio.

A path of development began to form in my mind, a goal to be able to create such beautiful intricate designs and be able to do so in the comfort of my own studio. The task laid before me and the journey I am to take was all starting the next morning when I would be introduced to Aki’s world of glass.

It is in this moment standing there with pure clarity that I realised I will be creating glass in miniature for the rest of my life and I will always be continually learning, I had found a passion that would keep me on the edge of discovery for the rest of my life, and I couldn’t wait to begin…

April 2009 Beads of Courage

What an amazing day we couldn’t have asked for a better day in weather. Did anyone else notice that Sunny Sydney is flooding and Rainy Auckland is sunbathing… I’m just saying I noticed it

The day started with an unreal show of volunteers for the Beads of Courage program. The Times article has generated a wonderful increase in interest to help us donate beads to the Child Cancer Foundation. The CCF let the children in our know we had the day happening and we had a few visitors come over to see how their beads are made. A big thank you to everyone for the help and visitation. It was fantastic for us as artists to meet children that are directly benefiting from the program. Now us lampworkers have to get melting as we need way more beads than volunteers, don’t clean your beads as we can do that on the day of the next BOC.

The team who volunteered with Beads of Courage a big thanks to everyone it was much appreciated. here we have Sean getting initiated by Karilea in the art of grinning and bearing it when a rod experiences thermal shock here we have everyone hard at work, Debbie and Eva cutting and packing, Frances, Helen, Kari and Liz lampworking and me being totally paparazzi . Happy children helping Debbie package beads, all in all a very successful Beads of Courage day and hopefully we’ll have many more as productive as this day, we have packaged up an additional 30 beads so it’s very exciting that we can actively contribute. Annie Rose were very kind enough not only to shut shop and join us (MWHA I love you guys) but they also donated a whole heap of beads for the program.

I am unsure how to handle money donations as we are really running this program as a voluntary program, however we need to pay for boxes for the Butterfly beads. I am looking to negotiate a manner in which you can purchase the boxes from the company who provides them as part of your donations. Stay posted I’ll be emailing you all to ask for your help with this.

2008 Wanganui glass festival

I’ve just received word that they are planning the 2009 Wanganui glass festival and we will be hearing the details sooner than later. This year they are also looking to include a jazz music festival. I would like to propose us hiring a van and have a retreat with a few of us. I’ll work on costings and see what packages we can come up with for us to share the drive down. There will be workshops available as well for those who wish to try their hand at glass fusing with David Traub, and hot glass at Chronicle glass studios.

Here’s what happened at the 2008 glass festival, great fun! had by all.

2008 Wanganui Glass Festival…
Year on year the Wanganui Glass festival is growing not just in size but in quality and experience. I absolutely LOVED the festival this year. My friend (Helen Moore from Moore beads) decided to take a road trip to the festival and see what it was all about. Following a somewhat late night and pickled celebratory evening after the NZGBA first (very successful) opening evening of our 2008 Wearable Glass Exhibition; Helen and I hopped into the car at 06h30 and headed down to Wanganui. The trip by Wises standards should have taken an approximate 6hrs, we managed to stretch that to 9hrs. Such a glorious day of sunshine and cloudless skies we were greeted halfway by the magnificent Mt Ruhapehu and had to stop for a few hours on the mountain. catching the shuttle up as we weren’t sure of the roads Helen and I bought tourist passes and faffed in the snow like real Jaffa’s boots and all.

The whole main street has glass artists exhibited in shop windows, everyone of note from Katie Brown to David Traub, Dominic Burrell, Karen Ellett, Greg Hall, Lyndsay Patterson, Brendon Sole, Rachel Ravenscroft, Mark Rolinson, Larinae Steward and our very own Donna Sole. The list was extensive too many literally to mention here and with that alone I was very impressed. Not to mention the beautiful town of Wanganui! Tulips and blossom trees lining the streets, fantastic cafes with delightful decor, boutique shopping that would appease the average Jaffa appetite and an ambiance of peace and happiness. Not once did we feel threatened so all those who warned us about dangerous Wanganui have yet to experience Danger Danger in Whangarei.

We had the pleasure of attending UCOL’s student exhibit and regretted missing the opening ceremony at Chronicle Glass studio.

This is a festival not to be missed next year and I urge you if ever you played with marbles and grew a love for glass objects you simply cannot miss this festival next year.


The Beads of Courage program is a very niche charity program that we as lampworkers can become very involved with. There are few opportunties such as these where we can offer our art to a child who has reached a milestone in their treatment or has had to undergo an act of courage during their journey. It holds a special place in my heart to be able to offer an open studio where artists can gather and put their hearts and soul into beads for these children.

Last week we were very fortunate to have The Born to Bead studio aired on MaryTV, an internet based TV station here in New Zealand. Click below to view the interview.


please note this content is copyright by MaryTV and Born to Bead Ltd