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EJR Beads Archive - Autumn / Winter 2009 / 2010



Studio Update: Friday 26th February

Weight Watching!


microfine glitter kits I have spent the last few days weight watching!

Not myself (although I am quite porky now so could do with losing a few pounds!) No, I have been glued to my digiscales, weighing out glitters and deco beads.

You have no idea until you start selling these things by weight just how time consuming it is to weigh out hundreds of little baggies.

But it was all worth while. I have built up a good stock of all my Ultrafine and Microfine glitter kits.

These kits have been put together for polymer clay users to mimic the look of anodized metals, heat treated metals or dichroic glass. Although they are equally well suited to scrappers, card-makers etc as many of the techniques can be adapted to use on paper and card. 


As you can see, all the kits come beautifully packaged - they would make fantastic Mother's Day gifts, don't you think? Each kit comes with written instructions on how to achieve the look. My tutorials page also shows one of the kits in action with my Roll-Up Beads project.deco beads

Also - I have been weighing out oodles of Deco Beads.

There are many new colours of these fantastic tiny hole-less glass beads, as soon as I have finished doing the photos they will be listed in the online store. This is just a few of the new colours I have! I have metallics and transparents, large and small.

The EJR Beads Deco Beads are perfect for adding to polymer clay projects  - they will happily withstand the heat of baking. Or add them to liquid clay such as Fimo Deko Gel. They are solvent-resistant and can also be used in your resin projects!

They are wonderful for paper-crafts too, just use them like glitters. Use a white PVA crafting glue to apply.

And nail artists - don't you think Deco Beads would be a fab addition to your nail art?



Studio Update: Saturday 6th February

Psst! Wanna know a secret?


ceramic art beads 

I have snuck a few more sets of my art beads up in the online store today!

Firstly, a whole slew of my ceramic beads, such as this lovely set of Troikesque beads.

My Troikesque beads are, as the name probably tells you, loosely inspired by the Troika pottery from the South West of England in the 60's and 70s.

polymer clay art beads by Emma Ralph 

As well as the Ceramic beads, I have listed some of my polymer clay art beads too.

As always, the beads are all one-off sets sold on a First Come, First Served basis. So don't delay, click today!




Studio Update: Monday 25th January

Here we go!

lampwork glass beads  Well, some of you may have noticed me sneaking up some polymer clay art beads into the online store over the last few days.

I am sorry I didn't send out an email about those - I was waiting for the lampwork beads to be ready to list so I could only send one email rather than spam you all each time I listed a set of beads this week.

Well, the good news is the lampwork beads should be up for sale tonight in the online store. I should also have more polymer clay beads for sale and if that all sounds a bit too easy - there is an auction up here too!

The auction is for a mixed lot of my ceramic beads - some older work here that I found when tidying up. You decide what it is worth - the auction starts at just 99p with no reserve. Click here to see the beads and details on how to bid.



Studio Update: Thursday 14th January

Happy Noo Year!


Well here we are, another year gone. Another decade even.

Would you believe, this year marks ten full years for me as as a professional bead maker, selling my art beads online. I started out on auction sites, back when they meant something. Some of you will remember me from ebay and Justbeads. In time, of course, EJR Beads was born and I started to sell my work exclusively from my online store here.

Lot's of things have happened since I left my last "real" job to pursue all this nonsense. I got old, fat and boring of course. But that is just how it should be and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.  I wrote a couple of polymer clay books, set up EJR Beads. I learned to make passable lampwork glass beads, ceramic beads and dabbled in the odd bit of art clay silver.

I learned various computer skills - all out of necessity of course, I cannot say that side of things interests me. But I cobbled together this site - and I even kinda like it. Probably in the same way you love a cat that has lost an eye. A sort of sympathy-love at its crude pathetic-ness. But it's all good.

There have certainly been challenges behind the scenes that I won't bore you with, both personal and professional. On the whole though, I am a happy duck with what I have learned along the way throughout the Noughties.

And if that all sounds a bit "me, me, me" - well, I am getting to the point now, I promise. It is actually all about you, you, you. Because without you guys coming here and buying stuff from me, supporting my art beads and allowing me to be your clay and glitter pusher, well it would all come tumbling down. So a HUGE big thank you for your support.  It means more than you would ever imagine.

polymer clay beads by Emma Ralph

Anyway, I am not drunk. In case you were wondering where this random bout of sentimentality was coming from. Probably more just a bit stir crazy from being stuck inside for so long because of the snow!

I haven't had any chance to get out into the shed to melt glass, so have been inside over the last couple of weeks working on my polymer clay art beads. I have been using the new range of Cernit clay for all these beads and just loving it! Those of you who have been claying a long while will understand this - it reminds me of old skool Fimo so much. And the colours..... swoon.

I hope to have these beads up for sale over the next few weeks. So please do keep an eye on the online store. I am still playing catch-up trying to get the images all done, so it will be a few days yet before the first ones are listed, but they's a'comin!



Studio Update: Thursday 24th December

Merry Christmas Everyone!


So, another year almost over eh? Hardly seems possible does it?

Lots of cool crafty and beady things have flown in and out of the doors here at EJR Beads over the last year and it doesn't end yet. No, to take us out of 2009 with a bang, EJR Beads has a new range of polymer clay to introduce to you all - Cernit

cernit polymer clay  Cernit is an oven-bake polymer clay that has been around for many years. Made in Europe, it was favoured by dollmakers and modellers especially because many of the colours have a porcelain-like finish and a slight translucency. The range also has a superb range of fleshtone colours. I think UK and US beadmakers and polymer clay jewellery artists were probably a little slower in realising Cernit's incredible potential - I know I was! Possibly due to the fact that it was hard to come by in the UK. Although that has changed now EJR Beads is carrying Cernit !

Over the last couple of years, ALL the polymer clay brands have been reformulated, to remove plasticizers called Phthalates and meet new EU regulations.  And many users of clay - whatever the brand - found slight differences in how their new clay handled to the old. Sometimes these differences were good. In the case of Fimo, for instance, I think the handling vastly improved in many ways. Sometimes the differences were not so good though. We found little niggles here and there and had to adjust to the new formulations, learning new ways to do some things

I think with Cernit  clay, the transition has gone very smoothly. The phthalate-free Cernit handles beautifully for me and I have found myself using it pretty much equally to Fimo in my own art beads over the last few months. In many ways it reminds me of how polymer clays used to be in the 80s and 90s. So, a little firm and crumbly to get going - but conditions easily and can even be prone to getting too soft if you over-handle it. But the more I use it, the more I like it - so it seemed very natural to offer up Cernit at EJR Beads alongside our existing Fimo range.

There are 5 ranges of Cernit currently available at EJR Beads. Number One is their standard range of colours - these all have a semi-translucent quality, what they call their Porcellaneous finish (although the term reminds me of pigs for some reason).  There is an opaque white in this range too.

The Glamour range contains metallic and pearlescent clays. It seems much like the pearlescent Fimo clays back in the 80s. Subtle shimmers in the clay come from metal and pearl nacre particles. So these are not heavily laden with Mica like the Fimo metallics, and not suitable for Mica shift techniques. For that you will need to use Fimo Silver, copper or gold mica clays. But they are just perfect if you want a softly metallic clay that doesn't bruise and exhibit mica-shift qualities where you don't want them!

cernit nature polymer clay The Nature range is just fab! I was really impressed with these clays, all stone / earth effect colours that prove surprisingly effective. Try them for pebble beads, faux jade etc. The faux jade pendant I made has been indented and accented with Adirondack Alcohol inks. Such a simple project - I just shaped the clay pendant and indented some patterns. Baked and covered the patterns in ink. Sanded back slightly to remove the surplus ink. Finally a quick dab of Renaissance wax polish was wiped over the clay and quickly buffed off by hand.  Absolutely yummy and very, very easy!

The Translucents range is pretty self-explanatory. A range of six different translucent clays, including a white translucent and glow-in-the-dark too. The white is snowy-white, rather like the Fimo soft translucent. Almost see-through in very thin layers. The coloured translucents are very saturated and best diluted with the transparent white I think.

The Neon Light range contains the fluorescent, day-glo colours. Great for clubbing or rave jewellery, these colours do actually fluoresce under UV light. Very cool and funky!

 So, now you have met the Cernit  family! Larger blocks of some colours will also be available soon - so if there are any colours you would like to see in larger bricks, please do ask me about it and I will see what I can do!


Studio Update: Tuesday 15th December

Getting Closer!

adirondack alcohol inks 

Well, Christmas is fast approaching, so I hope you have all your pressies bought, wrapped and sitting under the tree?

If not - well, why not pick up a few last minute gifts at the  EJR Beads online store?  There's always lots of great gift ideas in store for anyone crafty. Also, I have added some new earrings to the Emma's Jewellery section!

If you are buying for Christmas, please be aware that the last posting date for packet post has now passed, so you MUST visit the Insurance for Orders section of the store and upgrade your shipping to Special Delivery if you wish it to arrive in time.

Other new items in store include the full Lights and Brights ranges of the wonderful Adirondack alcohol inks are now available individually.

These inks are fantastic to use over paper, card and also all glossy surfaces too from ceramic and glass to leather, metal and more. And of course, they are fantastic to use with polymer clay too. Use them over baked or unbaked polymer clay, to tint translucent, liquid clays or varnishes or to pep up metal leaf and foils. There really are just so many different ways to use these cool inks.




Studio Update: Monday 30th November

Here we go!


Well, here we go again - headlong into the Silly Season. It seems to me Christmas comes around quicker and quicker each year. Maybe I am just getting old!

Still it does mean we get to go Christmas shopping doesn't it. And that doesn't just mean pressies for our loved ones, as far as I am concerned it also means the odd treat for ourselves just for surviving it all!

If your loved ones are into beads and crafts, you will find loads they will enjoy in the EJR Beads online store. Maybe the polymer clay fans will enjoy one of our claying kits, glitter kits or Perfect Pearls powder kits in their stocking this year?

bead magazine 

Maybe you just need to escape into your own little world for a bit while the Christmas turkey is cooking away.

If so, now is the time to visit the magazines section of the store and pick yourself up a few issues of your favourite beady reads. Perfect for sitting down to enjoy with a glass of mulled wine!

We have the latest issues in stock for Bead, Beads & Beyond, Ornament and many more. Plus, loads of back issues too!

Whatever your crafting needs this Christmas, I am sure you will find something at EJR Beads to satisfy them!




Studio Update: Tuesday 24th November

Check out my Hooters!


Ceramic SRA Focal Owl BeadsI have listed lots of of new art beads in the online store this week, including both ceramic and lampwork glass beads.

There are oodles of ceramic beads up for sale. Lots of sets and also a range of collectable focal beads  - my Hooter's!

These beads are probably the first beads I have designed very much with collectors in mind as much as jewellery designers. A lot of work went into them - with many "back to the drawing board" moments, but I am so happy with how they have come out finally! I only wish the photo could do them justice.

So, being collectable beads,  of course you can make jewellery with them and I think they would be a marvellous focal for some elaborate piece. But shift the emphasis to "collectable" if you wish, as they would be just as happy on display with your other can't-bear-to-part-with beads.



Studio Update: Thursday 19th November

Getting back to normal!


ornament magazine


So the annoying strikes are out of the way, my cold is almost gone - and finally EJR Beads is getting back to some sort of normality!

New in the online store this week - latest issues of Making Jewellery and Ornament magazine to name but a few of the new issues arrived lately. Just check out the books and Magazines section of the online store.

New ceramic clay and lampwork art beads will be up in a day or two also!





Studio Update: Monday 9th November


orphan lampwork bead auction

Well, it has been an age since I had some lampwork beads ready to show you, hasn't it?

And now, here we are, like buses - they all come along at once. Beadies for sale in the online store AND a fantastic set of orphans for auction on this website.

So, firstly the auction beads.

As you can see, quite a substantial number of beads there! All of these are orphan beads, slight seconds or left-overs from other sets. There is well over a metre of beads on that there strand and I am starting the auction at just 65.  To see more details about the beads and how to place your bid - please click here on the auction page link!


byzantine tabs lampwork beads by Emma Ralph 

Meanwhile, if you prefer to buy rather than bid - new beads are also up for sale at the online store.

This set of my Byzantine tabs is probably my favourite this week.

I just love the honey ambers and warn pinks in these beads, together with the odd flash of metallic and iridescence thanks to the wonders of silver-rich glass.

To see all the available lampwork beads in the store, just visit the Emma's Art Beads section. And remember - all my beads are sold on a first come, first served basis. So don't leave it too long if you see something you like!





Studio Update: Monday 2nd November

Long time no speak!


Well, hello everyone!

It seems like a lifetime since I updated this page last, although obviously not - only a week or two! Just seems longer because we had a lovely short break away in Winchester, which was delightful. I will have to get some photos up soon.

Meanwhile, just a quickie to remind you all I am back, and postal strike delays withstanding, it's business as usual at the EJR Beads online store!