Thursday, 31 October 2013

British Bead Awards 2013

*Insert obligatory apology for not blogging for ages here*

On Saturday 19th October I got up at a time rather earlier than I might like to on a Saturday and navigated two mainline trains and wee zip round on the London Underground to arrive at Sandown Racecourse for the Big Bead Show. The reason for my early start? My entry into the British Bead Awards 2013, run by Bead Magazine, had been selected as a finalist in the seed bead jewellery category and I was off to the awards ceremony to find out the results of the competition.

As always, the standard of the finalist pieces was amazing, covering a wide range of jewellery making techniques including beading, embroidery, polymer clay, wirework and much more. When the results of my category were announced, although I did not place in top 3, my entry - entitled 'Fallen,' was awarded a commendation by the judges. I was very pleased to receive this, especially since I had a) entered the category which received the most entries and made the final selection, and b) I only decided to make the piece I entered 12 days before the deadline!

I had made a necklace with some CRAW teardrop shapes linked to form a pendant, and suddenly had the idea to make a necklace which featured this motif in multiples.

The necklace which sparked the idea for my competition piece.

Whilst I completed my entry in 12 days, it still took a considerable amount of time to bead and I had to snatch every available minute of free time (including my London commute on the train) to keep beading teardrops. I would estimate that each teardrop in the necklace took on average around 25 minutes to bead and embellish - and there are 27 teardrops of varying sizes in the whole piece, plus 5 bezelled Swarovski rivolis and the beaded toggle clasp. I'd put an estimate of roughly 20 hours beading time on the entire necklace, although it is probably more as obviously when I got to doing the second half I had the first one to refer to for all my sizings. 

I am very happy with what I achieved in that short timescale, although naturally I can also think of things I might have done differently had I had more time to experiment. I am proud that Fallen made it to the finals and it was a pleasure to be in the same category as all the other finalists and prize winners. If you want to have a look at the all of the winning entries for this years awards, there is a brand new website at 

I had a fabulous day at the bead show (as always), catching up with beady friends and of course doing some bead shopping! 

My purchases from the day being surveyed by Beadrick Featherington.

All in all, a wonderfully enjoyable day....although it did mean I was falling asleep by 8pm after such an early start! Roll on the Big Bead Show in April 2014 :)