discover - explore - find. EJR Beads - utterly unique beads and crafts
EJR Beads was established in 2004 by bead artist Emma Ralph. You'll find links here to classes and tutorials and the EJR Beads online store.
There you'll discover unusual beads and supplies that will re-ignite your passion for making. We've timeless vintage pieces - beads, buttons and jewellery for you to wear or up-cycle. Unique art beads in lampwork glass, ceramic and polymer by in-house artist, Emma Ralph. Plus accent beads, hypo-allergenic findings and other creative ways to assemble your designs.
You'll love the store and the service - we offer same-day despatch for most orders, ship worldwide and if you're not 100 percent happy, a no-quibble returns policy. UK customers can enjoy FREEPOST on all orders of just £25 or more!
If you're a polymer clay artist, you've really hit the jackpot here. We've everything to whet your appetite and get you racing to the clay table. EJR Beads stocks a huge range of tools and supplies plus a full range of Cernit polymer clay. We specialise in embellishments including mica powders and EJR Bead's famous glitter kits. Increase your skills with our polymer clay tutorials - or pay a visit to our Polyclay Forum where you can meet like-minded clay addicts.
To keep up-to-date, find EJR Beads on facebook, twitter or pinterest. Also more importantly - Scroll down for the latest Studio News.
Click here for the EJR Beads online store or scroll down for studio news.
Oh, and you can use the online store to join to our mailing list too.
Set up a customer login profile in the store, opting IN to the email newsletters. You'll receive emails when new art beads or other cool products hit the store. (You can opt out at anytime - just in case you get bored of exciting bead news and fabulous offers!)
In the meantime, thanks for visiting ejrbeads.co.uk today. Relax, take your time and have a look around. I hope you enjoy your visit - if so, please spread the word!
Best wishes, Emma Ralph
Studio Update: Saturday 21st May 2016
It has been a shockingly long time since I updated this page - my apologies! We are working, albeit slowly, on a new website as this one is rather dated and old now. Do check out the online store though - that has had a little facelift recently to make it more mobile and tablet friendly.
In other news:
I am now offering private Polymer Clay tuition from my home studio in the beautiful seaside village of Felpham, West Sussex. Classes can be tailored to suit your needs from introduction courses to more advanced sessions. You can book a class alone or with a friend, why not make a mini-break of it? There is plenty to see and do in local Bognor Regis, Chichester and Arundel and plenty of local accommodation. Email me if you'd like to learn more
Art bead fans will be glad to know I am now offering a Made to Order service on some of my more popular designs - check out the Emma's Art Beads section of the store for more details
Studio Update: Saturday 26th October 2013
Well, the clocks go back tomorrow and to my shame, I see I haven't updated this page all Summer long!
In my excuse, we were pretty busy enjoying Mr Man's new motorbike by taking a bit of a Staycation and going out for brums any spare moment when the weather was fine. And wasn't it fine? I can't remember such a nice Summer for a long while - really great weather all Summer long and even now, at the end of October still really mild.
But just because I wasn't updating the page, don't think I haven't been updating my online store!
Loads of great jewellery-making and crafting products have been streaming into EJR Towers all Summer long - including your favourite Premo, Cernit and Fimo polymer clays, an array of polymer tools and embellishments and much more. We've restocked the Lisa Pavelka range of texture tools and moulds. We are now carrying Inka Gold paints, along with our regular alcohol inks and mica powders and so much more. We've some great finishing tools and supplies too - anything from our handy sanding kits to the incredible Micromesh sanding sheets and sponges.
I've been busy in the studio too.
There's plenty of new lampwork glass and ceramic clay art beads for you to enjoy - including this rather mouthwatering set of jewel-toned rondells.
I've dabbled in a little jewellery making myself from time to time - putting some of my handmade art beads into earrings ready for you to enjoy or gift to that special someone in your life.
Lastly - but probably most importantly - I've set up a new mailing list system for EJR Beads news.
If you were already subscribed to our lists, you should still receive our new general newsletter going forward (if not - check your email program isn't sending us to your spam folder and make sure emails from the ejrbeads.co.uk domain are on your safe, allowed list)
I've also set up a second, additional mailing list that will give advanced notice about art beads news only.
Feel free to join up to both or either of the newsletters. You can subscribe / unsubscribe to either by clicking here
Please remember though - if you sign up, you MUST confirm your subscription before you'll be added. You'll be sent an email walking you through this process so be sure to follow the instructions to complete your sign up.
Studio Update: Sunday 10th March 2013
Spring is starting to spring
I've no idea where the time is going - how is it that I felt as though I updated this page the other week, yet it was really months ago?
Probably mostly because facebook is so instant, I find myself posting most of the current EJR Beads news over there or on the polyclay forum. So if you are a regular reader of this page, be sure to keep an eye on those places too so you don't miss out.
One photo I posted to the facebook page recently was this collection of my ceramic pendants.
These pendants are from my Troikaesque series of handmade ceramic clay art beads, buttons and jewellery. As you can probably guess, these are ceramic clay pieces loosely inspired by Troika, studio pottery from the south west of England in the 1960s and 1970s
Each piece - be it a pendant, button or art bead - is entirely made by hand without the use of any moulds. So the piece is shaped, built up, layer-by-layer then individually textured, coloured or glazed. The result is a very unique, one-of-a-kind stoneware piece that captures that timeless look of Troika but re-invented for wearable art designers today to use in their collections.
These Troikaesque pendants are multi-use. Wear them as they come, tying the silk strings to secure to your chose length. Or use the parts in your own, new designs.
There's also ceramic clay beads and indeed, art buttons too in the Troikaesque series. These ceramic beads have been handmade and lightly coloured in denim blue. They'd be perfect used together, but you might prefer to separate them and use each bead as a focal bead in its own right. They come complete with little aqua green handmade ceramic clay spacer beads
Studio Update: Wednesday 9th January 2012
Happy New Year !
I'd like to wish you all a very Happy New Year!
Thank you for your support of EJR Beads over the last year - it was another great year at EJR Towers. You all kept me nice and busy and I thank you for that!
I'm hoping 2013 will prove just as great. I've exiting plans for the up-coming year. I hope to continue with the art beads and have promised myself to spend more time in the studio this year and less time faffing about! To that end, you can hope to see new Lampwork Beads and new Ceramic Art Beads listed in the store very soon.
I hope to also do more tutorials this year. I've made a great start with my Illuminare & Clarice Beads tutorial. This tute walks you through exactly how I make my polymer clay art beads. I'm thrilled that so many of you have already purchased and are enjoying this tutorial - thank you! I've already seen some great Illuminare and Clarice beads being made. And if you want to see what everyone is making for yourself, check out the Polyclay Forum for more details
Studio Update: Saturday 1st December 2012
Clarice Beads - Made to Make Your Mouth Water !
If you've purchased my Illuminare & Clarice Beads tutorial you will already be working this out for yourself, but it never ceases to amaze me how subtly different my Clarice beads are each time I make them.
Of course, they all have their characteristic rainbow colours - that's what makes them Clarice beads. But the exact hues are always slightly different each time. I guess this is why I still love making them, even after all these years.
This week, I've listed 4 different sets of these beads for sale in the online store, illustrating the point perfectly. Some of the sets have very cool, almost frosty colours. Others feature much warmer shades, full of tropical heat.
The cooler toned sets would perfectly suit fairer colouring. If you are nicely tanned or have darker skin tones, the warmer colours of the set pictured, would look stunning. Whichever set though - you're bound to create some spectacular jewellery either for yourself or for sale. I mean - come on, who doesn't like rainbows?
Studio Update: Saturday 3rd November 2012
It's here! My first polymer clay tutorial e-book!
I've finally put fingers-to-keyboard and published how to make my Illuminare and Clarice art beads. Whether you are a polymer clay artist looking for new ideas or an art bead lover wanting to know more about the process - you'll find this 45 page downloadable e-book fascinating.
In the e-book, you get two FULL beadmaking tutorials with step-by-step instructions on making my two best selling bead designs.
The Illuminare beads we make in the project are my traditional round beads with their metallic shimmer and "beach ball" effect stripes.
You will see in step-by-step detail how to form the beads and shape them and learn how to create different looks with the Illuminare technique.
You will also learn how to easily sand baked polymer clay beads smooth and how to varnish polymer clay beads so you don't get drips or streaks!
In the second project, we make the classic Clarice beads. I will show you how to make these colourful beads and how to form them into distortion-free lentil shapes.
I've also included a 5 page gallery section with a range of example beads to show you the different directions you can take what you have learned. The gallery includes loads of tips and titbits on how to get the best from the Clarice and Illuminare techniques!
If you buy this tutorial, you will also get full technical support - you can email me if you have any questions, or better still pop along to The Polyclay Forum! I've set aside a special private room on the forum for owners of the tutorial to get together and freely discuss the tutorial and share tips and ideas. If you have any questions about the techniques you can ask them in this area. But do explore all the forum too - you'll find a warm welcome and a wealth of polymer clay info!
The e-book is available from EJR Beads at a special price until Christmas. Save 20% off the full price!
The e-book comes in PDF format, so you will need a PDF reader to view it (Adobe Reader for example, available free from www.adobe.com ). The book is available from EJR Beads as an immediate download - just add it to your cart and checkout in the normal way. Way to be re-directed back to the online store and you will be able to download the file to your computer. The file is just under 8MB
Please note that this product contains copyrighted material which may not be shared, copied or broadcast in any way. Your purchase acts as your agreement to abide by these terms. This book is NON-REFUNDABLE so please ask any questions before ordering! Thank you!
Studio Update: Saturday 13th October 2012
Win Some / Buy Some!
There are several ways to get your hands on some of my lampwork glass beads this week.
Firstly you can be in with a chance to win some! Check out my giveaway page for details on my latest prize draw. You can have your name thrown into the hat to win these beads simply by emailing me. But if you find the picture of them on my EJR Beads Facebook Page and share that to your FB page, I'll enter your name into the hat 5 times!
Alternatively, you can go old skool and buy some - although you'll need to hurry as my latest sets are already selling out fast!
Studio Update: Thursday 11th October 2012
Read all About it!
We've had various jewellery-making, crafty and beady magazines arriving here of late.
Have a really good look around our magazine section because many back issues of these titles are also available, with some at some amazing discounts.
And if you are a regular reader of Wire Jewelry, Jewelry Artist or Art Jewelry - take a look at our "Pay-in-Advance" deals - buy a year's worth of these magazines from us and we'll send them out to you throughout the year. So much easier than faffing around with overseas subscriptions!
Studio Update: Thursday 30th August 2012
The Green Green Grass!
Well, it's been a funny old week here at EJR Towers. I've been hobbling about in agony thanks to two pulled neck muscles and my plantar fasciitis crippling my left foot. Can't move my feet properly, can't move my head, neck or shoulders either. Luckily the middle of me was sound as a pound though.
So consequently, all the work I had planned to do on my up-coming polymer clay tutorial went out of the window. I did manage to get some of my lampwork beads cleaned and listed in the online store though. So that is something!
All this week's beads have a decidedly green theme. Maybe its the thought of Autumn approaching? Makes me want one last summer fling with green maybe? Who cares, who needs an excuse to use green - its a fabby colour. Kermit the frog is green. What more evidence does one need for its pedigree as a colour?
So, in the online store - green bead various. Including this set of rather unusual Griffonage beads, worked in a variety of different shapes. You'll also find some of my new bobble beads - fun, traditionally bumpy lampwork in bright and zingy colours.
Of course it isn't all beads at EJR Beads. Rather confusingly we do a lot of craft supplies as well. In fact EJR Beads is one of the UK's longest running online supplier for polymer clay supplies and tools. I like to think we are one of the best too :-)
Studio Update: Saturday 11th August 2012
You Can Haz Nooo Beadz!
If you see something for sale in the Etsy store, but would prefer to purchase it from EJR Beads (or vice versa) just email me and let me know!
One of the sets I have listed this week is this large set of smaller-sized silver glass Savannah beads. Perfect for earrings, you should find several pairs in the set. If you are like me and like to make asymmetrical earrings from odd beads, well you will find even more to work with! Or just be traditional and create necklaces and bracelets from the beads. With 17 handmade lampwork beads in the set, you will have plenty to keep you going and will be able to make a whole range of pieces for sale or for keepsies.
We've also had LOTS of restock deliveries arriving this week. Browse the online store to find lots of lovely fresh Fimo polymer clay, Adirondack Alcohol Inks, Glitter and Perfect Pearls powders and various other polymer clay embellishments including our ever popular Deco beads. Not only great for polymer clay beads, but also used in resin art, as nail art supplies and much more!
As ever, the magazine section of the store gets its fair share of delivery action too with new issues of popular titles arriving all the time.
So, if like me, you are one of those peeps who likes nothing better than turning off all the gadgets for half an hour and having a good old fashioned "cuppa and real magazines break" you will find all sorts of stuff to tickle your fancy!
We have many back issues available at fantastic discounted rates too! Some you will find in the "Specials" category of the store. Others are just hiding out in their regular sections, so be sure to have a good browse!
Studio Update: Saturday 30th June 2012
Going, Going, Gone!
I have a new auction to share with you all for some of my Raggydoll beads.
This is a strand of 23 silver-glass laden beads that will be up for auction here on this website next week. A larger photo of the beads and full details on how to bid can be seen over on the auction page.
The auction will kick off on Monday 2nd July, but you are welcome to email me your bid before then if you wish. I'll update the auction listing page on Monday with any bids received over the weekend.
My auctions are a great way to nab my lampwork beads if you keep missing out on the shop listings. Just email me the highest amount you want to go to, and I will bid for you against any other bidders on my book up to that amount. Simples!
In other news.... the very popular Titanium Earwires are now back in stock in the online store. Also, the Niobium wires in the coppery bronze colour.
Both the Titanium and Niobium are hypo-allergenic and the quality of these earwires is amazing. I use them almost exlusively these days for my own jewellery. The dark silver colour of the titanium teams really well with oxidized sterling silver wire, and the bronze niobium matches well with antiqued copper. Of course, if you don't like those colours - the anodized niobium comes in a range of other funky colours too! Find them all in the Titanium and Niobium Findings section of the store.
Lastly - polymer clay fans will be glad to hear I am now a UK stockist for Pardo Professional Art Clay. This German polymer clay made by Viva Decor is gaining a loyal following amongst clayers, especially for its translucent clay which has incredible clarity.
Also we are stocking Viva Decor's Inka Gold paints. These acrylic wax paste paints are incredibly versatile. They can be used over any porous surface including paper, card, wood etc. Apply with a dry sponge and then buff up to a high metallic shine. Polymer clayers are also enjoying using these paints on both baked and unbaked polymer clay.
Studio Update: Friday 15th June 2012
And they're Up!
I've listed a couple more sets of lampwork beads in the online store this afternoon.
Firstly a couple more sets of my Djed beads, since I was having a lot of fun making those. They are all hand-formed (well, marver formed - obviously I don't want to get my hands anywhere near red-hot glass!) so they have a rather unique rustic charm rather than all looking like identical clones of each other, as so often the case with moulded beads.
I've also listed another set of my Flamenco tabs.
I never get bored of making that shape. Again, my Flamenco tabs are all hand-shaped - no moulds or bead presses are used. They are a beautiful bead shape for making bracelets as they lie against the wrist beautifully and reflect the light here and there with their gorgeous curves.
Also added today - new magazines.
We've also got the latest Polymer CAFE magazine in stock now.
Polymer CAFE magazine has been around a long while now - almost a decade I think. It will always hold a special place in my heart and that of many other clayers too I think, because it was "our" first magazine. I was also on their advisory panel too, so felt connected to this mag from the very first issue.
But there was a time a year or so ago where I think it lost its way a little - and I stress only a LITTLE. Maybe it was because other clay magazines were being published and the really great content was getting split up between more magazines? Or that other mainstream craft mags were taking on more advanced claying projects? I don't know.
All I know is that time is OVER! The last 3 or 4 issues of Polymer CAFE have been some of the best they have ever put out IMO. We are seeing some LOVELY projects, by well known "big name" clayers and new talent alike. Projects you will WANT to make.
So when you are visiting the PolymerCAFE area of our Books & Magazines section of the store, why not pick up a few back issues too? You'll find postage and packing is often the same on 2 or 3 mags as it is on 1 so it's more economical too. What a great excuse to treat yourself to a polymer classic!
Studio Update: Wednesday 6th June 2012
I'm trying to update this page a little more frequently from now on - and so to prove it - I am pleased to announce that I will be listing some new lampwork glass beads for sale in the online store.
The first listing is a set of my Festival beads worked in vibrant shades of orange and blue, with plenty of silver glass action! If you want to see a larger picture, click here or visit the listing page
This was one of those bead sets that just refused to photograph well, so I am sure whoever buys them will be especially pleased when they unwrap their package (at least that is always the hope!). Sometimes with silver glass reactions, it can be so hard to capture the ethereal effects on camera without losing some of the other colours along the way. Oh well.... I guess its better than the other way around - no bead seller wants the photos to look better than the actual beads!
I've also been working on some other new ideas - such as this fun little set of Djed beads.
Studio Update: Saturday 2nd June 2012
To celebrate the Jubilee weekend, I'm offering free UK shipping on any orders over £50 this weekend.
To take advantage of this regal offer, visit the online store, place your order and enter the redemption code JUBILEE when you go through checkout. You will find the box for the code on page 2 of checkout.
Offer applies to UK mainland delivery addresses only - valid until Tuesday 5th June 2012
In store, the very popular silk strings are now back in stock. These hand-dyed silk strings are perfect for jewellery making. Use them incorporated into your bead or wirework designs, or use them to display treasured focal beads from. They work beautifully for knotting projects too.
The silk strings are available in a variety of themed colour collections, find them in our Stringing Materials category in the online store.
We have also added a range of beautiful silk ribbons. These raggedy delights are hemmed both sides and tapered to a point - ideal for jewellery and necklace designs.
Studio Update: Tuesday 1st May 2012
I can't believe that so many months have passed since I last updated this page!
Needless to say, many many new products have been added to the EJR Beads online store since I was last here. Whether you are into polymer clay and crafts or more into beads and jewellery, there will be so many things over there that will take your fancy
There are also oddles of new colours from the Perfect Pearls range of mica pigment powders.
If that isn't enough, we also stock the stunning Cosmic Shimmer range of mica pigment powders too. Both the Perfect Pearls and the Cosmic Shimmer work beautifully over unbaked polymer clay. They also have an inbuilt resin which allows you to mix with water into a paint, or mix with lots of water into a shimmer mist for spritzing over paper and card.
We have also added the latest polymer clay publication to our "portfolio" of magazines - The Polymer Arts is a stunning new publication from the US that is already holding it's own and bridging the gap between a project and a concept magazine.
So my apologies for not keeping this page up to date - I promise to do better in the future!
Studio Update: Wednesday 16th November 2011
I cannot believe the best part of a month has flown by since I last updated this page. I really don't know where the time goes these days!
Anyway.... thought I would make a mention that I've listed lots of new pairs of earrings in the online store. All the earrings are handmade by me, of course, and feature my handmade lampwork glass beads or ceramic components. What's more - they are all hypo allergenic as I have only used gorgeous anodized Niobium findings on these pieces. So they will be safe and comfortable for anyone to wear.
You can find all my handmade jewellery over at the Emma's Jewellery section of the store - but I bet you figured that one out for yourselves :-)
If you prefer to make your own jewellery, you'll want to check out my lampwork bead auction this week. A lovely trio of focal beads, worked with sparkles and shimmers thanks to bluestone glass and silver-rich glass. I only wish I could get my camera to capture the moonstone like glow these beads have.
The auction is running for a week starting this evening, here on my website. Just visit the auction page to read more about the beads and how to place your bids. These beads are listed with NO reserve, so don't let someone else snatch them up for a bargain now!
Studio Update: Wednesday 21st September 2011
This issue is ORANGE and as you can imagine, will give you oodles of ideas on projects with a distinctly citrus flavour!
Orange can sometimes be a difficult colour to work with. I've found that often people can almost be afraid to design with it. But also a really rewarding and uplifting colour to use when you get it right.
So - be brave and try Orange today! You might just be surprised!
Studio Update: Thursday 15th September 2011
After a few light-hearted grumbles this week about my lampwork bead "Slight Seconds" sets selling too quickly, I decided to put my next set of beads up for Auction.
These beads are not actually seconds, but they are Orphans - prototypes or beads left from other sets. The auction runs from this website, please take a look at the actual Auction page for more details on the beads and how to place your bid.
The auction is live for 7 days. There is a sensible start price, but NO reserve. And unlike my store sales, with my auctions insured worldwide shipping is included free. So if you win, your winning bid will be all you pay!
Please do remember to email me your bids nice and early - its amazing how many people leave bidding until the last moment and then miss the cut-off deadline. And if your bid is just a minute too late, it won't count!
In other news ..... I'm really pleased to announce EJR Beads as a stockist of the newest polymer clay magazine, The Polymer Arts.
This magazine is an American indie publication and looks set to become a firm favourite with anyone interested in polymer clay. The magazine features a great mix of techniques articles (rather than finished projects) as well as design theory, business matters and (of course) lots of inspiring gallery pages and article profiles.
With many new niche publications - the first issue often goes on to sell quickly and end up out of print. So don't dilly-dally if you want to add this, the Genesis issue, to your magazine collection!
Studio Update: Monday 12th September 2011
Return of the Mummy!
I've put a new FREE polymer clay tutorial up in the Tutorials section of the website today.
This project is actually a re-hash of my first ever published tutorial - Mummy Beads. This project was originally printed in the much-missed Jewelry Crafts magazine, back in 2001. Having found the photos and article on an old CD when tidying up, I thought it might be nice to put the project online for today's new generation of clayers to enjoy!
I hope you have fun with this project. It is great not only for making beads but also larger curved bangle components. In fact, there are lots of ways you can vary the project so if you are going to give it a go, try out different colours, different lengths of clay section etc.
Studio Update: Sunday August 7th 2011
Well, it has been an age since I last updated this page - my apologies for that. More and more these days I am taking advantage of the easy and immediate nature of Facebook for updating about new beads etc.
So, what's new over in the EJR Beads online store lately?
Well, I listed some new lampwork beads today, including this set of my Griffonage Flamenco beads among others. I've had a real passion for making this style of beads lately and even though I am not a "gold" person usually, I just love it on these beads. In fact - some beady trivia here - each bead has a full sheet of gold leaf worked into it, layered and blended with various glass enamels.
Various other stuff has arrived at EJR Beads -
We seem to have deliveries arriving almost constantly, so if you having been waiting on something - do check back as it could well be with us now. Lots of lovely Fimo clay arrived the other day for example. The week before, the popular Silk Strings arrived (I just can't seem to get enough of these for you all!). We've all had a new delivery of the gorgeous beaded jewellery bags.
Also check out the Copper & Copper Finish Findings area of the store for some beautiful new copper finish toggle clasps and cord end fasteners.
Studio Update: Thursday June 9th 2011
You're not as green as you're cabbage looking - that's what an old boss used to say to me. Never quite did get if it was calling me a vegetable or not?
Anyway.... The latest issue of From Polymer To Art is now available in the EJR Beads online store. And whilst it is definitely not cabbage looking, it certainly is GREEN!
Each issue of this new European-published polymer clay magazine has a colour theme. In GREEN, you can learn some fantastic millefiore canework ideas, learn all about using halogen table-top ovens to bake your polymer clay and way more besides.
Oh, and if you missed the last issue - BLUE, there are a few copies of that one still available also! Check out the magazines section also for the latest issues of Polymer Cafe, Jewelry Artist, Art Jewelry and more!
Studio Update: Monday May 30th 2011
I've listed a new set of lampwork beads for Auction this week, here on my website.
For those of you new to EJR Beads, these auctions are well worth keeping an eye on as very often I will list beads for a silly low price, with no reserve and all you need to do is email me your highest proxy bid.
In this case however, there is a reserve for this week's set. Just because I like to mix things up a little every now and then.
The auction is live until next Monday evening. The start price is 99p, although there IS a reserve that will need to be met in order for the beads to sell. For more details, a larger piccy of the beads and to find out how to bid - please visit the Auction page.
Studio Update: Wednesday May 25th 2011
Happy Birthday to Me!
Yup - another year older today - and the sun is shining. So I think I will trot out for a nice cup of tea somewhere later and a country walk. I'm nothing if not a cheap date.
My apologies for not getting this page updated too frequently lately - what with running the online store and The Polyclay Forum, there never seems to be a free moment these days. But do keep checking back as anything important will be put here in the Studio News section. For more day-to-day updates, you can also keep an eye on my facebook page don't forget.
So - what is new in the EJR Beads online store since I last posted here?
Well, polymer clay fans will be glad to hear we are now stocking Premo! Sculpey polymer clay alongside our existing Fimo and Cernit ranges. Oh and if you are a clayer and still haven't heard about The Polyclay Forum I do hope you will pop by and say hello!
Beaders and Stringers will enjoy the increased range of Preciosa beads. These quality Czech crystal and nacre beads are absolutely stunning and will lift any design. The nacre pearls are simply stunning - almost impossible to tell from top grade real pearls, since they are made with real shell in much the same way as Mother Nature does the job (only a lot quicker!)
For anyone wanting my Art Beads - I haven't had too much studio time lately sadly, and when beads have been made and listed, they have sold before I have really had much chance to tell anyone they are there! But I fully intend to be working hard in the shed again soon! So there are new polymer clay and lampwork art beads due shortly, I promise.
Meanwhile I do have some rather snazzy new ceramic charms that I made recently. Just visit the "Emma's Art Beads" section of the store to see all my own handmade focal beads and sets.
Studio Update: Tuesday April 5th 2011
The Polyclay Forum is now open!
Hello all - well, it's been a while since I updated this page. One reason is that I have been pretty busy working on a new project for polymer clay enthusiasts, The Polyclay Forum.
This internet forum was created with a couple of aims in mind. Firstly - I get asked an awful lot of questions about using polymer clay each week. Whilst I really like to give everyone a full and thorough reply to their query, it is getting very hard to find the time.
So I thought it made sense to have a place where I can answer people's questions in public. That way - it's a win win situation for everyone. I don't have to answer the same question multiple times in a week (and indeed if you do email me a question that I have covered on the forum, I will now be referring people straight there). The other advantage is that you will get many replies to your question, not just my ideas and experiences. We have many very talented polymer clay artists already signed up as members, so don't be afraid to pick their brains!
The other aim to the forum was to provide a platform for independent polymer clay bead and jewellery artists to showcase their work, and indeed their sales if they are selling online.
So, if you are a polymer clay enthusiast, I do hope you will pay a visit to The Polyclay Forum and join us!
Studio Update: Sunday March 6th 2011
Amber & Spice and All Things Nice
I've listed lots of new beads in the Baltic Amber beads section of the store this week.
Not only do we have chip beads in a variety of colours and co-ordinating hypo-allergenic plastic necklace clasps, also these gorgeous pre-strung nugget beads necklaces. Wear them as they are or just snip them apart to get your hands on the gorgeous beads!
I have also listed some more of the 'new' trade beads that I have collected.
These glass beads were made in their hundreds of thousands, mostly in the 19th to the early 20th century and traded into Africa and beyond.
Time might have caught up with them a little bit, sometimes they are even a little raggedy around the edges, but I still adore them. I think they have a charm all of their own and look as fantastic in jewellery today as the day they were made.
Try teaming them with antiqued silver wirework or copper - they make a gorgeous addition to chain maille projects too.
Studio Update: Wednesday February 16th 2011
The online store's Stringing Materials section has had a little restock this week - the very popular silk strings are back in stock, as is the Flex-rite 49 quality beading wire in various diameters and finishes, including sterling silver.
I also have a new auction for some of my lampwork beads running from this website.
Again, its a set with just a 99p start and no reserve. Check out the Auction page to see the beads and details on how to bid!
Studio Update: Tuesday 31st January 2011
Damson in Distress
I haven't had much chance to make any beads over the last few weeks - I have started back at the torch now, but it will be a while yet before the mojo fully returns and I have anything much to show!
Meanwhile, I have one last set of my orphan beads up for Auction this coming week.
Please see the Auction page for more details. As is so often the case, I will be starting this auction with a crazy 99p starting price! So don't forget to get your bids in, or someone else might nab the beads at a bargain price!
Studio Update: Friday 14th January 2011
Going once, Going Twice!
I have been listing sets of orphan lampwork beads for sale over the last couple of weeks and today listed the last few sets for a while. Do check out the online store to see the latest of those beads. You will find them in the "Emma's Art Beads" area.
Also - I have listed one set as an Auction running here from this website.
This auction is live for one week and has a crazy 99p start price with no reserve. Please see my auction page for a closer view of the beads and details on how to bid.
Studio Update: Tuesday 4th January 2011
Happy New Year!
It's that time of year where I sort through all the odd beads left over from other sets I have made throughout the year.
Over the next couple of weeks you will find me listing for sale the occasional set of my orphan lampwork beads.
These beads are all great quality handmade SRA lampwork beads. They are simply prototypes or beads that didn't make it into previous sets for one reason or another, but I will be selling them here at bargain prices to be sure they find a warm and loving home for 2011.
Be warned though - you will need to keep your eye on the store. I won't be sending out customer email notifications when I list these Orphan sets and they do tend to sell out quite quickly. So check the"Emma's Art Beads" area of the store regularly and keep 'em peeled to find the bargains!
Studio Update: Wednesday 29th December
Yes - EJR Beads is having a little sale! From now until New Year's Eve, you can enjoy 10 percent discount off all my available art beads and charms. Just visit the "Emma's Art Beads" section of the store to see the sale beads available. But hurry - once the sale is over, prices will return to normal!
This is a great opportunity for you to try out my handmade Art beads if you never have previously - why not snaffle up one of my ceramic focal beads? They make stunning centre-pieces for jewellery designs or just look great in the collectors cabinet!
Also listed in the store - more of my handmade jewellery. All these new pieces have been created by me (mostly when we were snowed in!) They feature sterling silver and/or Niobium and titanium and all with some of my own handmade art beads or charms.
I have made it my New Year's resolution to wear more jewellery, so it made sense to get back into the habit of making some. Some pairs, I had to keep for myself, but you will still find lots of lovely pieces over in the Emma's Jewellery area of the store.
Studio Update: Thursday 16th December
Pretty Polly.... Pretty Polly
Just one set of my polymer clay art beads is still available in the online store this week. Each bead in the Mardi Gras set features a mix of fiery reds, emerald greens and soft brassy golds, although for some reason I managed to photograph them with the most vibrant sides away from the camera each time!
Just visit the "Emma's Art Beads" section of the store to see them in closer detail.
I have also started to list some of the 'new' trade beads that we now have in stock. I have a large selection of these gorgeous antique Venetian glass beads to list over the coming weeks but have already listed some beauties in the Vintage beads section of the online store.
These beads would make great additions to your collection. Or why not team them with chunky sterling silver wirework? They look fantastic against oxidized metals such as silver, brass or copper.
Studio Update: Monday 6th December
Fake it while you Make it!
This collection of pressed glass beads is inspired by the beautiful look of semi-precious stone beads. Many of you are turning away from gemstone beads these days - either for ethical reasons or price considerations. But that doesn't mean you need turn your back on all those qualities that made us fall in love with gemstone beads in the first place.
This selection of beads works to scratch that itch - to capture some of those qualities via the medium of glass, giving you attractive, affordable beads that you will love turning into beautiful jewellery.
Keep an eye on this section of the store - I have yet more beads to add to this category. So, check back often and don't forget to check out all the pages!
Studio Update: Saturday 6th November
I have listed a new Auction here at EJR Beads this week.
And this time, the beads are up for a crazy 99p start price with NO reserve.
So - unless you go and bid for these babies, someone else could steal them away for less than a quid!
Visit the auction page to see a larger piccy of the beads and details on how to bid.
Studio Update: Friday 5th November
Well, whatdayaknow? I did get a chance to come here and waffle today after all. I have made a silent pact with myself to get back to updating this page more frequently.
So what news have I for you today? Well, I have lots of new Art Beads almost ready for sale! Time ran away with me today and I lost the light before I could finish photographing them all. So I hope to have everything up and listed either Sunday or Monday in the online store. My apologies for the delays.
Just to tempt you though - there will be new lampwork beads as well and some new ceramic beads including more Hooters! I should also have a set of beads up for auction too - so watch this space and keep an eye on the online store!
Meanwhile, a new magazine arrived today. A one-off special issue from the editors of Beadwork - it is called Handcrafted Jewellery and you can find it in the Special Issues area of the magazines section.
This magazine features lots of Mixed Media projects, with simple jewellery fabrication, stringing and more.
I particularly liked the project for making your own simple enamelled beads, shown on the cover. Projects use a variety of different media including resin, polymer clay, enamel, fabrics and more.
Studio Update: Thursday 4th November
Ok, its the 5th of November that we need to "Remember, Remember" - but I probably won't get a chance to update this page tomorrow, so will have to settle for being a day early.
So - Happy Guy Fawkes for tomorrow, everyone. Hope you all have lots of fun with fireworks and whatnot. I am a misery because I cannot stand the things. Even the mildest banger makes me jump out of my skin and I never did see the point in sparklers either. Bah Humbug, just wake me up in January please ;-)
So what is new at EJR Beads lately?
Well, I finally have one of our most popular products back in stock - The Easy Transfer Holographic Foil. So sorry about the wait - unforeseen circumstances and blah blah....
This silvery holographic foil transfers easily on to sheets of unbaked polymer clay. You can then use the sheets in your projects decoratively. For ideas and full instructions on how to use the foil, check out my Tutorials page.
Another cool use for the sheets of foiled clay, is to use them as the final wrap on millefiori canes. Then, any cane slices you cut will have a shimmery, holographic edge to them.
Studio Update: Thursday 21st October
Howdy..I have a new article for you!
How can it be that I haven't updated this page for a month? I am sorry about that!
So, what's been keeping me busy I hear you ask? Well, this and that. I have started a silver-smithing class! Although I have been making bead and wire jewellery since I was practically in the womb, I never did get around to learning all that "proper" stuff, like filing and soldering and whatnot! And I have to say, I am loving it!
The classes are run by our local council and I have to say we lucked out with our teacher, Linda Connelly. Look here to see her beautiful enamelling work.
And guess what? Mr Man started alongside me too - so we are in a bit of a competitive mood every Friday morning, as we try to out-file and out-saw each other. He is convinced he will be better at it than me. Ha - yeah right! Actually, the scary thing is, he might be right and ickle bit. Just don't tell him. So far, I am pretty pants at filing metal. I think I am just too used to sanding polymer clay and haven't yet learned that with metal I really do need to give it a bit more wellie!
Other good news? I have written another article for the Tutorials page. Running a Successful Jewellery Party - well, I guess the title says it all there really. Hopefully this article will give you the confidence to try out one of my favourite direct methods for selling your handmade jewellery.
Consequently what with all the classes and the writing, I haven't made many lampwork beads over the last two or three weeks.
There is one lone set available now in the online store. I don't think I will have anymore up for a week or so at least, because this week I have been playing around with ceramic clay and am half-way through about a million different mud projects.
Studio Update: Monday 20th September
Back to normality ..
Well, I am back to reality after a lovely weekend away in the country - and if that isn't bad enough its a Monday too. Thank heavens for all these beads around to lift the spirits or I could be quite glum.
Before I left, I did actually list a new set of lampwork glass beads for auction here on the site, but I forgot to actually tell any of you about it! So, to give everyone a fair crack at the whip I have extended the finish date for this auction and it will now end next Monday on the 27th.
Meanwhile I also have a couple of sets of lampwork beads to list in the online store - they will be going up shortly!
Studio Update: Friday 10th September
This week I am offering up a couple of sets of my classic Clarice beads. Worked in bright citrus-ey colours, inspired by the work of ceramicist Clarice Cliff. Also a set of my Illuminare beads just for fun! You can find them along with my other art beads in the appropriately titled "Emma's Art Beads" section of the store!
If lampwork glass beads are more your thing - don't forget my auction ends tonight at 7pm UK time!
Studio Update: Tuesday 7th September
Goin' Once... Goin' Twice....
Yes, a new week and a new auction at EJR Beads.
I have listed this set of silver-glass accented lampwork beads for auction this week. The auction started last Friday, so we are about half-way through now. But you still have time to email me your bids before it ends at 7pm on Friday night.
To see the beads in better detail, read about them and find out how to place your bid, please click on the auction page link.
New lampwork and polymer clay beads will also be up for sale in the online store over the next few days. So please keep 'em peeled as ST used to say!
Polymer clay fans will be glad to see the latest Polymer CAFE magazine has arrived. You can find this, plus a range of cool polymer clay project booklets from Designs Originals in the Magazines section of the store.
And if you like your polymer clay, chances are you like cool embellishments - check out the new Microfine Iridescent glitters at EJR Beads. They really are too cool for school....
Studio Update: Thursday 19th August
Roll up, Roll up....
Well folks, after a little bit of a wait, I have a new auction for you this week.
My auctions are run here, on this website. Just click on the link and follow the instructions if you want to place a bid.
This week's auction is for a rather experimental set of my Nemo beads. I am starting the auction at just £10 GBP - To see more details about the beads and how to place your bid - please click here on the auction page link!
The other great thing about my auctions?
No shipping charges - I offer free postage and packing worldwide on my auction wins. So if you win - what you bid is what you pay!
Meanwhile, back at the online store things have been as busy as usual!
In the magazines section, I have the latest issue of Jewelry Artist magazine in stock. There are also still a few discounted back-issues left for Bead, Beads & Beyond and Making Jewellery magazine too. Just look in the Specials section of the store to see more.
The glitter section has been restocked too - I also have two new white iridescent glitters to show you, but those won't be up and ready for a few days yet. I want to make some test beads with them and show you how cool these glitters are with polymer clay!
Studio Update: Friday 13th August
Clay Baby Yeah.......
If you every fancied making your own polymer clay art beads, the EJR Beads online store has everything you need.
We carry a wide range of polymer clay, plus a huge selection of tools and magical embellishments.
In the Magazines section, you will find fantastic instructional booklets and the world-famous Polymer CAFE magazine. In no time at all, you can be teaching yourself to create wonderful things with polymer clay. Be sure to check out our new Design Originals booklets - such as this one, teaching you a variety of beads you can make using our Bead Roller tools
Studio Update: Saturday 7th August
Is it me, or is this year just whizzing by faster than a pug on its way to the dinner bowl?
I am sorry this page has been so neglected lately - many of you will recall, I had some trouble with RSI in my hands and arms, which has made typing less comfy than it could be. Coupled with a recent cold, you see see this page became very much bottom of the priorities list for a while. But I will try to do better.
So the bad news is, in case you hadn't yet read betweeen the lines, no new art beads this week. I hope to be back melting glass very soon though, so please keep an eye on my sites!
Studio Update: Friday 30th July
Sometimes, it is nice to revisit old friends I think - which is exactly what I have done this week in the old lampworking shedio.
This week's old friend was my Savannah Rocks beads. I love these beads - all worked with silver-rich glass, each one with it's own little quirks, sometimes quite orderly and sometimes quite organic and chaotic.
Although I often make these beads in a variety of quite bright colours, this set is all blues and browns, one of my favourite colour combinations.
Studio Update: Thursday 8th July
Going once.... going twice.......
Well, I know it has been some time since I had some lampwork beads for you, and I am afraid it will still be a day or so before I get this weeks beads up and into the online store.
This week's auction is for a set of my Nouveau tabs, in soft earthy pastels. I am starting the auction at just £45. To see more details about the beads and how to place your bid - please click here on the auction page link!
Studio Update: Thursday 1st July
So, how are we over half-way through the year already? How in the heck did THAT happen? I swear it was only 1992 just a moment ago.
Anyway, enough of my "in my day" shenanagins.....lets get onto more interesting news, such as beads and stuff.
As many of you might have seen from my moaning facebook posts etc, my arms have been giving me serious problems lately.
Problems to the point that lampworking has been very painful, as has typing. The good news, is that I think things are improving, and it is mostly a case of adjusting the ergonomics of how I work and being a little less gung-ho about everything.
But that should go someway to explaining if the lampwork beads are a little scarcer than usual at the moment (although there is one lone set of my ice beads looking for a home!)
However, I have been able to work more on my ceramic beads, which has been hugely fun. I have managed over the last couple of weeks to finish up many ceramics projects that have been hanging around for ages. And I don't mind admitting, I had an absolutely blast doing it!
So, if you visit the online store today, you will find LOADS of new ceramic beads. Everything from my glazed Medallion pendants, Hooter owl focals, my Troikesque beads and much more. Be sure to check out all the pages in that section too!
Talking of Ceramic beads, that brings me on nicely to the latest magazine to hit the doormat at EJR Towers - Easy Wire magazine. Because I always feel that ceramic art beads look particularly stunning in wire jewellery designs. Don't you?
Easy Wire magazine is a once-yearly publication from the people who put out Beadwork magazine.
It is, as the name suggests, dedicated to beginners in wirework, but I thnk anyone would appreciate the quality of the 50+ wire jewellery designs.
Studio Update: Monday 22nd June
Wake Up Maggie...
Nope, I hadn't fallen off the face of the earth - just been very busy and shamefully neglectful in updating this site lately. I am so sorry about that.
So what is new in the online store. this week?
Well, lots of new magazines for starters. We have in the new issues of Jewelry Artist and Art Jewelry ( two different but equally cool American jewellery magazines that focus more on the fabrication of jewellery rather than stringing projects etc). Stocks are limited already on both of these titles so please don't leave it too late if you want to pick a copy of either up.
Also new in - the wonderful Polymer Cafe magazine. This is the only magazine dedicated solely to polymer clay art and features some wonderful project ideas and techniques as well as inspirational gallery pages.
Meanwhile, if you tuned in looking for news about art beads, I promise beads ARE on their way. Work progress is slow at the moment as I have some problems with my arms which is making everything from beadmaking to typing painful and slow, but being the trooper I am, I still have lots of lovely lampwork beads and ceramic beads in the pipeline and they should be ready for sale shortly!
Studio Update: Wednesday 2nd June
Ear, Ear! Want to hear some news?
Much of the jewellery is now sold, but you will find a couple of pairs left - just visit the Emma's Jewellery section of the store to see what is still available. All the earrings come with Hypo-Allergenic Niobium earwires, so they are comfy to wear, even if you have metal allergies to most other earrings.
If you prefer to bend and shape the wire yourself though - do check out the magazines section of the store.
The latest issue of Step-by-Step Wire Jewelry is now in stock and it is a corker of an issue.
This American published magazine is now being produced on a bi-monthly basis as the readers obviously felt quarterly just wasn't cutting it. It focuses on all aspects of wire working and chain maille jewellery. In this issue, there are many chain maille projects - I am seriously tempted to get the pliers out myself even!
Did someone mention pliers?
I thought I would point out, we have some great new sets of jewellery making tools in the online store.
Everything from full sets of gorgeous colour-coordinated tools, to mini pliers - great for when you are on the go.
These tools would make a fantastic gift for anyone crafty - or why not just treat yourself?
Studio Update: Wednesday 19th May
New lampwork beadies and more!
Well, I have been very busy today loading the online store with lots of new stuff. Firstly a few new sets of my lampwork beads went in - including this set of silver-rich encased nugget beads.
Also, I listed a few pairs of my earrings too. One afternoon this week I just had an urge to make lots of earrings - so look in the Emma's Jewellery section of the store to see what I came up with. There are new earrings scattered throughout the different sub-sections there, so you will have to hunt them down!
As well as my own artistic endeavours - the shelves of the stock room have also been filling up again.
Another large order of Fimo clay, tools and other supplies arrived. So, if you maybe found something out of stock on your last visit - please do check again as it could well be here now. Don't forget, I still do the very popular Beadmaker's Starter Kit if you fancy trying out polymer clay but don't know where to start.
The best thing about my starter kits is that you can chose what clay you want - take your kit with Fimo Classic, Fimo Soft / Effect or even Cernit. The choice is yours.
I also do a modelling kit for those not so interested in beadmaking, containing a section of Cernit clay and modelling / extruding tools.
New issues of Ornament, Jewelry Artist and various other magazines have also come in.
Studio Update: Tuesday 11th May
Where does the time go?
Sorry to take so long to update this page. I don't know where the time is going these days!
So business first - for those of you who have been waiting for the Makin's Clay Extruders - they are now back in stock!
I have also added some new Sterling Silver findings to the store this week, including these lovely Israeli silver toggle clasps. You can find these toggles and plenty other designs in the online store.
Studio Update: Sunday 18th April
Free Bird Seed!
Ok, well not free bird seed exactly. Its better than that - its free beads!
Yes - I thought it was about time I gave away some of my lampwork beads again. This set of lampies is really two sets in one, just prototypes of different ideas I was trying out. Nothing fancy, but maybe you will enjoy them?
If you want to win these beads though, you will have to work for it!
To enter, you must email me the name of any of my new sets of lampwork beads listed in the online store today. So just take a stroll around the online store, find the section where I list all my art beads and take a look - simples! Don't forget to include your name and address in your email!
The competition closes on Monday 19th April at 7pm. So please don't email after this time, because the winner will already have been chosen by then!
Studio Update: Saturday 3rd April
Going once....going twice...!
Well, for old times' sake I thought I would pop a set of beads up for auction over at ebay.com this week.
I used to sell my lampwork beads over on the US ebay site some years ago, when really that was the best place for anyone to showcase their beads.
We have come along way since them of course. British lampwork artists have found a warm and welcoming customer base right here at home. But sometimes it is fun to just step back in time - not to mention giving my overseas customers a venue (and time zone!) that is a little more friendly to them!
So, of course, prices for this auction are in US dollars - but bidders from all countries are of course welcome. The auction ends on April 6th. My seller idea over at ebay is ejralph - you can see my auctions by clicking here
Studio Update: Monday 29th March
Charmed I'm Sure!
Where does all the time go? I am, so sorry for not updating this page as regularly as usual. I have just been rushed off my feet lately (thank you though! I'm sure not complaining!)
I have also been pretty busy in the studio too of course. The last few weeks have been mostly dedicated to my ceramic work. As you can see, I have been making oodles of ceramic buttons and a new range of ceramic charms.
The buttons are all sold in matched sets on collectors' cards. The new ceramic charms come in bags of anything from 6 to 10 matched charms, depending on the design.
These charms really are my babies! I worked long and hard to find a way of making ceramic charms that were delicate and strong, like stoneware and porcelain, but still retained the beautiful colourful look of lower fire clays. After many back to the drawing board moments, I have hit upon the right mix I think! Phew!
These charms are fabulous for making all types of jewellery from earrings to charm bracelets and necklaces. They have a fantastic vintage feel to them, and will look great with all types of wire work too or the fashionable raw brass components so popular at the moment. Use them in fibre arts too. They are glazed back and front, very durable and will even survive washing (although I do recommend, as with my buttons, you hand wash the garment inside out to be extra safe)
The EJR Beads Archive - don't miss my waffle - see what has been and gone!
All text and images © Emma Ralph 2006, 2007, 2008
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