About The Artist
Julie Fountain is the award winning artist behind Beach Art Glass, working from her studio in beautiful Malvern, England, where she has been making and teaching glass beadmaking since 2007. She was first drawn to bead making when she discovered the glass itself, beautiful rods in gleaming jewel colours, just waiting to be melted and combined into new shapes and textures. In 2014 Julie was thrilled to be invited to work with international brand Trollbeads. She is now a Trollbeads Accredited Lampworker, and can be seen demonstrating for the company at events around the UK.
In November 2015, after a successful first 6 months of trading, Beach Art Glass won the Enterprising Worcestershire Creative Business Award 2015.
About The Process
Julie is as fascinated by working with molten glass today as she was when she made her first bead and is still thrilled to be able to turn simple rods of glass into beautiful, hard-wearing pieces of wearable art.
She creates each bead by hand using a technique known as lampwork, or flamework – melting and shaping rods of Italian glass in a high temperature flame, first to create the decorative components, then the beads themselves to which she adds fine silver highlights and those intricate handmade details. Later Julie turns these beads into incredibly wearable jewellery using sterling silver findings, most of which are also handmade in the UK.
She also creates unique treats for the home in the form of her gorgeous themed door knobs and light pulls, and hopes to one day enhance this offering with complementary fused glass dishes and decorations.
About Glass Beads
Every handmade lampwork bead is individual, unique, and surprisingly robust. After creation, each one is annealed to remove stress from the glass, a process which cools the bead very slowly and carefully in a digitally controlled kiln, increasing strength and durability – annealed beads can be described as being of “heirloom quality” and should provide countless years of pleasure. Indeed, this strength is occasionally put to the test by the unintentional studio floor bounce … and Alfie, Chief QA Manager at Beach Art Glass, efficiently retrieves them from under the table.
ABOUT THE BEACH ART GLASS BRAND
Whilst clearly redolent of the seashore, and evoking seaside memories from both at home and abroad, Julie’s designs are highly influenced by the glass itself – the colours and patterns, textures and shapes. What originally started out as simple swirls of colour and shape have over time developed into a distinctive and highly focused collection of shapes and finished pieces that have delighted customers all over the world.