Making Glass Beads & Christmas Jewellery

To see the web version of this newsletter with photos click

See us next weekend, 30th Nov-1st Dec, at Burges Hall Gem n Bead Fair, One Leisure, Westwood Rd, St Ives, Cambs PE27 6WU. A very busy new show, and our last of the year – so not to be missed!

See our many NEW beads in our 800 kg shipment of 37 boxes, plus some of MiMi’s ready-made jewellery, boxed ready to wrap for Xmas.

Shows booked so far next year, click 2020 Bead Fairs.

For our bead shop click or

Follow Us On Twitter

Tweet a link to this newsletter to all your followers - just click here
Join our 15,500 followers on Twitter!
Follow us on Twitter at MrBead@UKMrBead and follow Nigel at Nigel@NigelMckay

Follow Nigel on his personal site at

Carole Mcalister & Making Glass Beads
Christmas Beads
Turquoise – December’s Gemstone
Norwich Beading Group
Last Bead Fair
Beads Up North!
Join Newsletter
Free Shipping

Free Shipping On All MrBead Orders

For free shipping with no minimum order key TURQUOISE at checkout now, as offer ends Friday 29th November.

No minimum order, but can only for used at or

For overseas customers, use the same code before 1st December for free airmail shipping, but the minimum order is US$20 at


Carlole has been making glass beads for over 20-years. She sells her one-of-kind beads at the first and last Kempton Park Gem n Bead Fairs, as well as other craft outlets.

Some of her beads take a few minutes to make, while more elaborate designs can take up to half an hour. All are made by hand, ensuring each is original, with no two the same.

How They Are Made
Hand made glass beads are formed by gravity and winding a molten rod of glass around a metal wire called a mandrel. The bead maker sits in front of a flame, heating the glass and winding the bead. Sometimes the hot bead is dipped into coloured metal flakes and returned to the flame to form different patterns.

This is where the term ‘lampwork beads’ comes from. These handcrafted pieces are the most time consuming method of making glass beads – as each bead is individually formed, taking between a few minutes to half an hour depending on the complexity of the design.

However, a stress point develops between the cool shrinking glass and the hot center, which can cause a bead to crack. To prevent cracks, some soak the beads in a kiln to ensure all glass within them is the same temperature. After soaking the artist reduces the kiln’s heat over several hours to bring the beads to room temperature.

Tuffness Glass sell special beginner kits with everything you need to start making these beautiful beads.

For more on lampwork beads & Murano beads, see my article Warm Up Winter With Lampwork Beads

See Our Lampwork Beads For Sale Here


Beaded jewellery makes great presents. Small and light, simple to mail or tucked in a stocking. It’s also personal and easy to remember who the gift came from. You can even hang jewellery on the Christmas tree!

Boxed necklaces with matching earring sets make great presents and easy to wrap. Offer your customers free gift wrapping and mailing.

For personal gifts buy ready-made jewellery online, requesting your supplier to mail direct with no invoice and a happy Christmas note.

December is the peak retail season, when many stores take one-third of their entire year’s sales. So ensure you make lots of quality necklaces and bracelets well in advance. You can always give away as presents if they don’t all sell.

Turquoise is the gemstone for December, but pearls make ideal Christmas presents too – try combining the two or mixing pearls with silver. All give an air of sophisticated quality.

To read about pearls and how to make a pearl necklace click here.


For selling, turquoise is similar to jade and pearl for the same reasons. Everyone appreciates it, and the gem always looks good however it’s used. Turquoise is the birthstone for December.

What is turquoise?
Turquoise is a soft, opaque gemstone, formed by volcanic rock reacting to copper deposits brought by water. Colour ranges from blue-green, to yellow-green with grey, black or brown veining.

Most non-green turquoise these days is dyed. Don’t believe otherwise! As genuine turquoise is expensive, reconstituted turquoise is common – crafted from real turquoise chips fused with other stones to cut cost.

Turquoise has been found in 5,000-year-old Egyptian tombs and the Tibetans used it as currency centuries ago.

North Africa and the Middle East hold large deposits, but most turquoise today originates from Burma and is carved in China. Turquoise didn’t reach Europe until the crusades when the name originated, meaning “Turkish stone”.

Ancient doctors thought turquoise prevented injury and ground it into a powder to cure stomach disorders, internal bleeding, and insect bites.

Turquoise has always been used to protect the wearer from danger, attract wealth, and warn as a talisman or good luck charm.

Some believe it will fade when danger or illness is near, or a lover is unfaithful. It’s also said to protect against pollution and strengthen the body.

See what can be done with starfish beads, by one of our creative customers’.

Looking After
Turquoise is porous, so contact with liquids, oils or even perspiration should be avoided. This is why it’s often impregnated with plastic, colourless oil or wax to improve colour and durability.

Turquoise jewellery should be removed before washing. Untreated turquoise will eventually turn green.

There are many different turquoise in the store, see at:


A like-minded group who meet once a fortnight at the United Reform Church Hall in Ipswich Road, Norwich, to do anything beady, chat, drink tea and coffee and just enjoy one-another’s company.

Some people enjoy Beadweaving, on or off-loom, some enjoy wire-working and some bead embroidery, while some dabble in all three and more. It is a chance to get together and share tips, ideas etc. For more details contact


See all the bead shows we have booked so far next year: Bead Fairs 2020

Free Shipping On All MrBead Orders

For free shipping with no minimum order key TURQUOISE at checkout now, as offer ends Friday 29th November.

No minimum order, but can only for used at or

For overseas customers, use the same code before 1st December for free airmail shipping, but the minimum order is US$20 at

See our beads at or


Key code FREEPOST anytime on UK orders over £30 for free shipping at

See our beads at or


2005 TO 2019

April 2019 is the 14th full year of the MrBead newsletters, and I thank you all for such enthusiastic comments and appreciation. To see the past newsletters click here.

To see all the original old newsletters click here.
To sign-up for the free newsletters click

See all our newley listed beads at or

Nigel's Personal Site

See Nigel's personal website at

See our beads at or

To see all What's New in our US store click or UK

To go to the US MrBead store click Or our UK shop at
To see all old newsletters click here