Breaking a block with focal beads

Lately I have been stuck in rut where bead sets are concerned. It seems to me that they all look, “the same but different”. In the past I have found that the creation of large focal beads seem to break this cycle a bit. The “canvas” is much larger with a great deal of possibility in which to apply detail. The break doesn’t happen immediately though. It is only after I’ve created many similar beads that a new look begins to emerge. Sometimes, a new look doesn’t emerge at all. While that can be disappointing, I do continue to gain a little something in the process.


Recently, my friend Andrea of “Four Tails Lampwork” mentioned that my latest lampwork focal beads have an “Edwardian” look to them. I thought, “Hmm. . .She’s right. They do look “Renaissance Revival” to me. When I created the focals, I wasn’t exactly thinking of any particular inspiration they just sort of emerged from my torch while my mind was vacationing at some far off place in the back of my head. (This is NOT uncommon for me. I go on autopilot quite often while torching and my mind goes where ever it pleases. Half the time, I can’t recall where it went.)

The conversation with my friend had me thinking about where my inspiration may have come from. It was then that I realized I had watched a movie days before that was set in the Renaissance Period. The movie was Lady Jane Grey and the costumes were extremely ornate in their design. Personally, I can’t image wearing those clothes or even decorating my surroundings with such ornate detail. A bit stuffy for me, but none the less beautiful. That’s why I thought it would be fun to capture the ornate look of the Renaissance Period in focal bead trio. A little bit of Baroque goes a long way and although I’m not a Renaissance kind of girl, I would definitely wear these beads. I only hope that others like them much as I do.

Lydia Muell is a glass bead maker who blogs in her studio from Lexington, NC. For more information please visit here website at


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