I have been bead making since 2004 after I attended an ‘Introduction to Bead Making Course’ with Diana East earlier that year. I have since taken workshops with Kate Drew Wilkinson, Sarah Hornik, Dora Schubert and Andrea Guarino.
Immediately addicted, I set up my own studio in the garden shed and a new hobby quickly became a full time occupation.
In 2007, I became one of the first in the UK to line beads with Sterling Silver. Much time was spent sourcing materials needed to make the cored beads small enough to be of interest to the collectable market. Mangobeads silver cored beads then known as ‘Buddies’, very soon became collectable in their own right.
All my beads were then lined with silver using the traditional dapping punch and hammer process. To successfully achieve between 8 and 10 beads a week to sell was an enormous challenge, breakages were a very common occurrence. Perseverance, determination and a wonderful customer database saw Mangobeads develop and grow to where it is today.
Manda now has a partner David Knight (BA Hons Ceramics with Glass), who although a Glass blower by trade, has a host of engineering skills tucked up his sleeve.
We both now work together on the beads, with David preparing and polishing the silver (Manda has yet to relinquish the process of lining the beads to him, there are some things a girl just cannot let go of!)
The beads are finished to the highest standard with beautifully turned silver lining the holes. Several different presses combined with adapted dies, seamless silver and beautiful glass ensure that Mangobeads maintain their reputation for some of the finest UK Handmade Silver Core beads available.
We feel passionately about Glass and Bead making. We hope to raise the profile of British Lamp workers, their skills and their work, and to dispel the poor reputation that mass production and cheap imports has created. We are confident we have enough combined experience to help educate people in an ancient craft that deserves recognition for being skilful, artistic and unique.
The Glass Workshop is fully equipped with 6 Cricket torches, Nuvo 8 Oxygen concentrators, glass, tools, expert advice and professional tuition. The courses available will cater for all levels of ability from the complete beginner to the advanced bead maker. There will be something for everyone with new courses being added all the time. Currently we offer Professional Bead making tuition, there are several different options available.
I am a member of the ISGB (International Society Of Glass Bead Makers) and am listed on their registered list of Instructors Worldwide. Our Beginners Tuition closely follows the recommended curriculum as set out by the ISGB.
Our aim is to provide a much needed facility for the growing lampworking community within North Devon. Regular ‘Show and Tell’ nights and additional evenings of interest will enable those with a Flame Working passion to develop themselves and their skills with other like minded enthusiasts.
Studio Hire is also available.