1 February 2012

{friendship} february & a giveaway

Hello there!
How is all with you? Here in the UK things are getting very, very cold - but I have some exciting news to share which hopefully will help you feel warm & fuzzy inside....
February is the month of Valentines & of love. Its a time to show someone special how much they mean to you. Its also a time to celebrate friendships, some new, some which have lasted a lifetime. I thought it would be a great opportunity to link up with some of the incredibly gifted & lovely people who I am lucky to have met on my creative journey. So I'm delighted to present {friendship} February a series of bloggy fun, giveaways & inspiration which celebrates crafty friendship across the globe! 
First up, I'm so thrilled to introduce you to Catherine Keenan, who makes incredible lampworked jewellery and glass-blown pieces like this

I met Catherine when I took a glass beading class with her at our local arts centre & I had a great (but not overly productive) time making this little lot
Actually these are Catherines beads, not mine.... but I did have a great time with that bunsen burner!
Catherine trained at the National College of Art and Design Dublin, & the International Glass Centre West Midlands. She lives nearby & has kindly agreed to let me interview her...
Why glass?
I love glass' ability to affect light and transmit colour.  The process of working in molten glass, whether blowing or working on the torch, making beads, is fascinating, the way the glass moves, the red/orange glow is mesmerizing.
What has been your favourite thing to make?
My favourite thing to blow are plates whether it's for my 'Poppy Patch' installations or 'Wild Flower' vessels.  
The technique of spinning out the form as the final stage is very dramatic and good fun! This is a video of me making a 'Wild Flower' 
My favourite beads to make at the minute are my new 'rose bud studs', I fuse a transparent rod to an opaque colour and spiral the 2 together.

Where do you find inspiration?
My inspiration mainly comes from nature. I like to simplify forms often abstracting them to create something new and yet familiar.  Colour and pattern are always central to my work.
Is there one tip you could share about being a successful artist?
So far I think the key to success as an artist is to keep a fascination and curiosity in how you see things. It is important to always be learning and developing so that you remember why you are doing what you are doing!
Thanks so much Catherine! Its so lovely to get some insight into your work & creative life! Catherine has also kindly agreed to sponsor the February giveaway, which is for a beautiful set of Rose Bud Studs like these.....
So, to enter, simply pop over to Catherine's jewellery shop by clicking here, then come back & let me know which of her pieces is your favourite... its that simple! We will keep the giveaway open until 12MN (gmt) on 13th February & announce the winner on 14th.... 
Good luck everyone!
PS. Call back on Friday for some more {friendship} February fun!


  1. Everything is lovely, but I'm rather partial to the bluebird pendant - it's very simple and pretty :)

    Thank you for the chance to win!

    Sandra (in Canada) :)

  2. I love the studs and I think I need them in every color! I really like the aqua and darker green, but I think the coral would go with anything!

  3. fabulous post Karen - I love glass beads - they are so gorgeous - and all of Catherine's pieces are gorgeous but the rubber duck earrings are sooo cute :) thanks for the fabulous giveaway as well !

  4. This is really cool! Thanks so much for sharing. I love glass and her work is just gorgeous!

  5. I think I just fell in love with the rubber duck earrings! They are so sweet and quirky!!!

  6. What a talented lady!
    I like the Molecule necklace!

  7. Great post! I love the blackbird pendant but it was a hard choice as it's all so wonderful!!

  8. Oooh lovely - great video x

    I love the blackbirds and bluebirds the mostest xxx

  9. Great post Karen and this looks like a lot of fun! Thanks to you and Catherine for a great giveaway...I love the droplet cluster beads - so pretty!

  10. The molecule necklaces are really interesting! Thanks for the chance!

  11. Catherine's work is beautiful! I love the rosebud studs closely followed by the rubber duck necklace. I adore glass and love the craftsmanship involved!

  12. WOW they are all fantastic! I really like the blue five petal flowers on the hoops (of course) but I also can't get past the cuteness of that rubber ducky! :)