Category Archives: news

Northern Lights 2016

A superb showcase of Lancashire and North-West craft can be found at the Platform Gallery annual Christmas exhibition. There are a number of handmade Christmas themed pieces as well as lovely designer art and craft gifts.

I was really excited to be invited to take part in the exhibition again and am exhibiting a selection of abstract fused glass and beaded sculptural wirework with bronze, copper, red, fuchsia and vivid emerald green colours (Autumn/Winter colour theme).

The Platform Gallery hosts a number of different exhibitions each year and is a great place to visit on a day out in the lovely picturesque market town of Clitheroe. The Gallery – in what used to be the train station ticket office – is ideally situated next to the trains, buses and car parking and is also the Visitor Information Centre.

Christmas cards

The Northern Star Christmas exhibition is a great opportunity to buy something handmade locally, whether its ‘just a card’ and a Christmas decoration or a unique present!

In the Education Gallery space, there’s often something on; either demonstration, workshops and talks linked to the main exhibition, or pop-up art and craft exhibitions by artists and designer-makers.

northernlight16red
Red Thumb Print Rudolph’s

Which leads me onto… Meet the Designer-Makers Christmas pop-up shop in the Education Gallery.

David from RedThumbPrint furniture and I will be there on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 December. An opportunity for you to come along and meet us, chat with us about our work and buy your last minute Christmas gifts.

Friday 23  December 11-5pm and Saturday 24 December 10-3pm

Watch me making unique Christmas decorations with vintage chandelier crystals, recycled beads and wire.

Thanks for joining me on my creative journey,
Sam Rowena, jewellery artist x

more info:

www.ribblevalley.gov.uk/platformgallery
Platform Gallery info

www.redthumbprint.co.uk
Red Thumb Print Makes Contemporary Furniture, Wine Racks, and Home Accessories. Furniture with Personality, Handmade with Love in Lancashire!

Lytham Hall Winter Art Fair 2016

It was lovely to be back at Lytham Hall to take part in the first weekend of the Hopeful and Glorious Winter Art Fairs 2016. Despite the bad weather on Saturday – a mix of rain, snow, sleet, and hail – thankfully it improved and we had some sunshine on Sunday, which made a big difference, everyone seemed happier, we had lots of visitors and a better day all round.

There’s always a great selection of arts and crafts with some amazing displays… So, with this in mind, I’ve been revamping and de-cluttering my display, as I wanted to make room for some new glass designs.

It’s a hidden gem, a beautiful building in a lovely location that’s brought back to life hosting the arts and crafts fair. Hopeful and Glorious do a brilliant job, selecting the 30 plus artists, managing and promoting it. I’ve really seen it grow since the first event 2 years ago, which is great for Lancashire art and craft as we have very few really good events for us to showcase our work and we usually have to travel further afield to do events.

I enjoyed taking part in it, catching up with other artists and friends that came to visit, and having the opportunity for visitors to see my work. Even better, my jewellery got lots of compliments and some of it went off to new homes.

“I look forward to hopefully being back there again at another glorious event in the Spring!”

Thanks for joining me on my creative journey,
Sam Rowena, jewellery artist x

more info: 
Lytham Hall, Lytham, Lancashire
Hopeful and Glorious, art and craft fairs in Lancashire

an earlier blog post from 2015 with more photos and info about Lytham Hall

Brantwood Winter Fair 2016

What a gorgeous location it has on the bank of Lake Coniston in Cumbria.  Brantwood, the former home of artist/writer john Ruskin is a real treat of an event and I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to be part of its Annual Winter Craft Fair for a number of years.

Its a stunning location set on the side of Lake Coniston and a lovely venue with super arts and crafts, but its a pretty long journey from Lancashire, heading off really early in the morning before the event starts and coming back home at the end of the weekend along small country lanes in the dark, so just in case it’s my last time for a while, I brought my camera along to capture some of its beauty.

A few photos of its stunning setting on the Lake and its ever-changing gorgeous Lakeland views as well as a photo of one of the wirework button brooches I created during the event whilst sitting at my stall.

Luckily, my artist friend, Sally Anne has moved up to the Lakes and invited me to stay,  it was a big help and great to be able to have a good catch up, plus interesting chats with her mum about fairies, fairytale books, and the artists.

Thanks for joining me on my creative journey,
Sam Rowena, jewellery artist x

jewellery making classes Autumn 2016

Some of the fab jewellery created by my students on my last jewellery making classes of 2016. There’s always such a great creative vibe at the classes with everyone choosing their own beads and later on in the class, choosing designs to work on.

Everyone in the classes makes something different, unique and personalised.

See more photos on the bebeady website 

Everyone managed so well creating some super jewellery.

Thanks for joining me on my creative journey,
Sam Rowena, jewellery artist x

creative roots studios exhibition

the studios 3-day November 2015 pop-up exhibition at Barton Grange Garden Centre

Its been a long-held dream of mine to work from my own studio and move off my kitchen table. I finally did it and moved into a studio-workshop. It’s rural, an old converted farm outbuilding and in some of my neighbouring studios there’s a lovely diverse mix of artists and crafters; a potter, a porcelain ceramicist, a textile artist who runs workshops and has a textile group ‘ Diversity’ and a part-time crafter who does sewing, knitting and card making and runs a weekly craft group. Next door to the studios we have a nice cafe, ‘Roots cafe’ and there’s also car parking.

Before deciding whether to move into the studio, I made a list of things that I could do there that I couldn’t do at home, alongside teaching were also doing ‘open studios’, as I wasn’t normally going to be open to the public and selling my work from the studio.

Last year we got together and organised 2 studio open weekends, learning and trying out new ideas along the way. It developed; we had meetings to choose our group name, sort our pictures and text for our website and leaflets/posters and then I designed them. But, the studios are very much off the beaten track, so we ended up with more nosy hens from the neighbouring farm coming to visit us than actual people (not counting friends and family that came to visit).

studio open 2014studio open 2014

Doing these ‘open studios’ clearly wasn’t working, rather than trying to get people to come to us, we needed to ‘go to the people’.

That was how our ‘creative roots studios’ event idea began and I felt the nearby exhibitions room at Barton Grange Garden Centre would be ideal for us, as there would be ample room to fit the 5 of us, plus 2 or 3 guest artists. Over the years, I’ve hired the exhibitions room, otherwise, known as the ‘green room’ (its painted green) a number of times for teaching jewellery making classes. I’ve also taken part in the jewellery and craft fairs that Barton Grange ran, plus the Art and Craft Guild of Lancashire exhibitions there.

The event
Although a lot of work went into organising the event, it’s been such a great learning experience for me (being the main driving force and organiser) and given us as studios the opportunity to get together, get to know each other more whilst taking our work out to a wider audience.

From the studio group:

  • myself, jewelart – beaded sculptural wirework and glass jewellery
  • Josh, Joshua Coupe Ceramics
  • Brenda, Brenda Fee Porcelain
  • Jan, Craftybunnies
  • Pauline, Creative Stitch Studio, as she was ill her textile group ‘Diversity’ exhibited in her space

plus guest artists:
Diversity textile group, William Poole wood-turner and artist Siobhan on Friday and Lorraine rag rugs over the weekend.

Luckily the table plan, which gave us 2 tables each, pretty much worked out and we managed to fit all the tables and our displays in the room, with enough room for visitors to access each of our displays.

jewelart display and sheila
Sheila came to visit, looking lovely in her blue squiggle necklace and brought me a cake

It was really wonderful that our studio group exhibition got some great comments and feedback from both the venue, visitors and customers and overall it was a successful event for us selling and promoting our work.
I loved that a number of our friends and customers came along to support us and visit our studio group exhibition.
Sam Rowena x

jewelart pop-up exhibition 2015

some photos from my recent pop-up jewellery display at the Platform Gallery in Clitheroe, Lancashire

The education gallery, situated at the back of the Platform Gallery, is a lovely space for solo and group exhibitions, workshops, and meetings.

I enjoyed spending a few days there, meeting and chatting about my work to gallery visitors whilst making some new work; wired pieces and hooks for my new light-catcher glass pendant display on Thursday, brooches on Friday and Celtic wire-work designs on Saturday.

It always fills me with joy when my display and work gets great compliments and even better some of my jewellery went off to new homes across the British Isles; to Scotland, Brighton and Essex, as well as places closer to home in Lancashire.
Sam Rowena x

For more info about the Platform Gallery visit their website

jewellery classes Autumn15

There was a great creative vibe at the weekend on my Autumn jewellery making classes and students enjoyed their day spent making bead-strung necklaces and bracelets using leather and cord.  Most students brought along some of their own beads to use in their designs, alongside beads and cord available at the class.

bebeady jewellery making leather and cord class
Gillian’s cord and leather necklaces from Autumn 2015 classes

The jewellery making bead stringing with leather and cord has been a popular topic and was chosen by my students as the topic for my Autumn classes (some of the students had been interested in it when I taught it earlier in the year, but couldn’t make it to my April class date).

All my classes include a number of design options and examples, which really helps my students develop their own creativity and personalise the jewellery they make.

“Had great day today Samantha… My sister loved, loved, loved the red and silver necklace I made in class for her. She thinks it really looks professional. Well it’s all in the tuition . Thanks and best wishes,” Norma

bebeady autumn class 2015
Norma’s red and silver cord necklace

“Thanks, Samantha, for another fantastic day at the leather/cord jewellery class yesterday. I agree with Norma, the tuition and relaxed way in which the classes are run make them enjoyable and easy to follow. Thanks again and I look forward to attending more classes in the Spring.” Andrea

Bead stringing is quite therapeutic and its a bit easier than my other wirework classes, so ideal for both beginners or students wanting to add to their existing skills and learn how to work with a variety of cords, leather and suede.  My first foray into knotting and bead stringing began when I taught myself how to make friendship bracelets in the early 1980s and my skills and range of designs have developed further over the past 10 years (or so) of teaching classes.

In order to be able to teach at my studio-workshop I first have to spend a few hours tidying up my studio and putting all my work away, then turn it into a classroom; setting up the tables, chairs, work-lights, mats. Check what refreshments I need to buy and bring on the day. There’s also all the class topic items to bring, such as materials, examples and handouts. After the class is over its tidying all my teaching stuff away and turning it from a classroom back to my studio-workshop… by which time I’m shattered! Anyone that teaches knows the amount of preparation that goes into teaching. Last year, was my first year in my studio and I was doing monthly classes, but its better now that I’ve cut it back now to just one weekend in the Spring, Summer and Autumn.
Sam Rowena x