I started Bergamin Beads in January 2004, when I first became aware of lampwork beads and went to a class with Pauline Delaney here in Melbourne.
After that I went to several more classes with her, followed by classes with lots of other lampworkers mainly from America but also from Germany.
This lead onto me starting to make jewellery using my beads and simple stringing methods. I then decided to use some gemstone beads as well and eventually joined a lapidary club and began to cut my own cabochons. I also started going to workshops and learning how to solder silver and to cast silver and make settings for some of my cabochons.
Since then I have tried my hand at faceting stones as well.
I like to make my jewellery using everything I have made myself though I do use high quality commercial gemstone beads and other peoples' cabochons if I think they are different to anything I have made.
I strive to produce the best cabochons, beads and finished jewellery that I can and would never knowingly sell something I regard as second rate.
I attend several lapidary shows in Australia each year as well as two in America, one in February and one in June. This information can be seen on my "Shows" page.
These last few years I have been attending workshops with both Navajo and Hopi Native American jewellers as I enjoy making silver jewellery using their inlay and casting techniques. I have also been to week long 'intensive' classes which concentrate on various silver jewellery techniques.
I recently went to an enamelling master class with James Carter in Milwaukee and I am hoping to spend some more time enamelling now.
I would like to think that I will always be able to find something new and challenging to do with the media I have chosen and will continue to go to various workshops for as long as my brain, body and husband's patience hold out.
2020 has been a challenging year with most of the shows I usually attend being cancelled. Not only that but Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee has not only been cancelled for 2020 but is not going to continue at all! That was very sad news as I have made a lot of friends there in the thirteen years which I attended.
Well 2021 started alright. COVID numbers here in Australia were quite low and so there were two shows which I attended down in Tasmania. It was wonderful to be able to talk to people with similar interests again. We even went so far as to help organise a Combined Victorian Gem Clubs Show for July, but had to postpone and then cancel it altogether, due to COVID numbers rising and more lockdowns. Since then we have had no further shows this year. Hopefully, as more people get vaccinated the Lapidary community will be able to start organising shows again.