Friday, 28 October 2011

Introducing...Bo Hulley...and a giveaway!

It's been a while since I've done one of these, but I have a couple of exciting interviews coming up! Firt up, let me introduce a fellow Brit, Bo Hulley!(And make sure you read all the way down to the bottom, for a very special giveaway!) Bo makes beautiful ceramic beads on the Isle of Wight, a small island just off the south coast of England. I have never been, but I'd love to visit one day! I'm all about flying south in the hope of finding sunshine :-) And if you happen to be a regular Beads and Beyond reader, you'll have seen Bo's beautiful beads and buttons gracing their pages in my project for the current issue. So without further ado, I'll hand over to Bo.

Q1.How long have you been creating, and what led you to begin?


Well, like most people who make anything – I’ve been making and creating all sorts ever since I can remember. My parents were both in the theatre at various points of their lives and were also creative, although in different ways to each other, so I guess they both influenced me. I just loved drawing, painting, sewing, gardening, making peg dolls and clothes for my little plastic Troll, ( that really ages me! ) but I come from a generation of 3 TV channels! We had nothing like the amount of goodies today’s children have – if we wanted something new we had to make it, simple as that.
I didn’t make jewellery until about 5 years ago, it was a real light bulb moment and as soon as I had made my first stretchy bracelet I was hooked.

Q2.What do you get out of creating – be that emotionally, physically, mentally?


A good question, I wish I knew the answer!
I think creating anything is almost going back to nature, to a simpler time (although not necessarily a better time) where everything was created out of necessity. Now we can do it for pleasure it is a luxury to produce something from scratch. Maybe it just fulfills a primal instinct in all of us, I don’t know.
When something turns out as I’d hoped I get a real kick, it doesn’t have to be particularly good as I know it can hopefully be improved.
I don’t make as much jewellery as I used to, I’ve moved onto ceramic beads which I adore making. The most satisfying thing of all is opening up that kiln as you never know what you may find. That boring bead rack of chalky blobs is transformed into a veritable sweet shop of gorgeous colours, if all has worked well I’m happy for the rest of the day, sorting them into sets, taking pics etc..

Q3.What do you find inspiring?

Old painted furniture
Farrow and Ball paint colours
The sky and the seasons
Bright and light early mornings
Clarice Cliff
Patchwork Quilts
Antique textiles

Old silk saris
Vintage Laura Ashley
Cath Kidston colours
An old green Morris with cream hub caps at the traffic lights this week – the beads this inspired are on the bead rack in the photo!

Selling – then I am inspired to carry on!

Q4. Describe your workspace – are you lucky enough to have a studio set up, or are you like me and work in odd corners of your house


I work in different places, I have a small bead and jewellery shop in Ryde on the Isle of Wight. It is inside a pottery cafĂ© called Fired Arts, which is why I began making beads. Having access to clay and kilns was too good an opportunity to pass by. So I do a lot of work there, but I also work at home, at my kitchen table. It is a real luxury to be able to keep most of my jewellery goodies out of the way at work. I had a kiln delivered today though, so I think I will be spreading out at home………
In my last house I used to spend many afternoons at my dining table by the window, looking out on the world with a big glass of wine dreaming away while I made new designs. Bliss.

A full rack waiting to go into the kiln, the beads remind me of Edinburgh Rock, just dull and chalky.

Q5.What are your favourite materials to work with and why?

A5.I have always adored semi precious stones, particularly turquoise and amber. I have a couple of very old turquoise brooches, given to me by my Italian uncle when my aunt died in Italy back in the 70’s. Maybe that started me off, I don’t imagine I would have seen turquoise before. I love how stones come out of a hole in the ground and are transformed into something so beautiful. I love glass and admire the skill and tremendous patience of lampwork artists. And of course I love clay, which can become anything you like!

The same rack just fresh out of the kiln - this is the part that makes the last week of bead making worthwhile - it reminds me of a sweet shop!

Q6. Do you have a favourite bead or supplies shop you could share with us?

My first batch of beads and tools came from The Bead Shop Manchester, they were very helpful and I have bought a lot from them over the years.
Smitten Beads in Bath have some lovely things not found elsewhere,
E2S Supplies on Etsy for lovely findings.
Any number of fantastic bead shops on Etsy where I see things I’ve never seen before.

Q7.If you were to draw attention to a favourite designer or artist, who would it be and why?
I love your style, it’s how I think my jewellery should be, but isn’t, so I think it is just as well I have transferred my allegiance to ceramics.
The first ceramic artists who caught my attention were Jennifer Heynen for her sense of fun and colour, and Chinook Jewellery who use the most amazing textures and lovely colours.

Thanks so much Bo, for taking the time to share a bit about yourself and your work with me. I love your fun and cheerful beads! For me, it is always particularly exciting to find out that a bead artist that I admire is from the UK - shopping handmade AND local!
Please check out Bo's

Folksy shop

Now for the fun bit...Bo has very generously offered a $15 certificate for her shop, to whosoever can guess how many beads are on that UNFIRED bead rack! Leave a comment here, and whoever gets closest wins. Giveaway closes next Friday, 4th November. Oh, and if two or more folk pick the same number, whoever put it down first will have claim to the number, so make sure you read through any other comments first! Have fun.....


Lois Moon said...

Beautiful beads and a great interview.

I'm going to guess 139 beads.

Unknown said...

WOW what an awesome interview! My guess it 143!

Unknown said...

I guess 155 beads!

Cillaw said...

I guess 119

Malin de Koning said...

Thanks for a great interview Rebecca and Bo!

144 is my guess (I would have guessed 143, but that was already taken, so ...)

Lisa said...

They are gorgeous! You had a bracelet in one of your shops with a Bo Hulley heart, so I looked him up on Etsy that day. He makes some beautiful pieces!

My guess is 146. Going to look at his shop again! Fun post! Have a great weekend!

Lisa said...

If mine ends up posting twice, I apologize. Having trouble with this today. You have a bracelet with a Bo Hulley heart in one of your shops and the day I saw it, I looked for her on Etsy. Beautiful pieces!

My guess is 146. Hope you have a great weekend! Fun post, Rebecca!

Rebecca said...

Dana -153

kat said...

I'm so smitten with Bo's beads. Thanks for a great interview and fun contest! My guess is 154.

Anonymous said...

Bo's beads are so beautiful and such a great interview! I'll guess 126!

Unknown said...

My guess is 83, gosh the rack brings back memories if firing beads, love that rack. question, did the same # come out of firing that went in?

Marianna said...

great interview and beautiful work!! I guess 154!

bo hulley said...

In reply to Boot C, there are a few more beads on the fired rack, thanks for looking/counting, everyone!
Bo x

rockcreekcreations said...

I think there are 166 beads.

Heidi Post said...


Those are wonderful beads. Thanks for introducing us to another talented artist :D

SoulsFireDesigns said...

I'm going to guess... 150? I love seeing the before and after shots, so amazing the difference!

TesoriTrovati said...

I am guessing about 119. Love your style!

Enjoy the day!

Jo said...

I'm off to look at Bo's shop now!

Unknown said...

I am going to say 141. Lovely interview!!

moonlitfantaseas said...

I think there is 103 beads on the rack

Lucid Moon Studio said...

I think there are 153 beads, but since someone already guessed that, I will guess 152! Thanks for the giveaway!!

Debs said...

A lovely interview and lovely beads, I would really like to find out more about making ceramic beads. My guess would be 145 beads.


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