I’m Lesley McIver, lampwork artist – maker of glass beads, creator of jewellery that’s meant to be worn.
I make wearable art for women who want to express their individuality and uniqueness. For me it’s all about bringing colourful expression to your daily life in an authentic, sustainable and lasting way.
So tell me – how do you express your vibrant self?
I live in beautiful Golden Bay on the north western tip of the South Island of New Zealand and I love real-time visitors to the workroom I share with my partner Murray (Golden Bay Toys)in the main street of Takaka - Traders of the Lost Arts.
HAND MADE GLASS JEWELLERY
EACH PIECE OF JEWELLERY IS AN ORIGINAL WORK
Dotty About Beads
Yup - just plain crazy! From faintly formal to flippin' funky...
Oh how I love this shape! For every romantic...enjoy!
Calla Lilly Beads
Round beads with eight lily "flowers" in the glass. The centre of each flower is a trapped bubble of air which gives reflection right back into the centre of the bead. These beads make a lovely piece of jewellery, or are equally lovely hung in a window.
I have been a gardener since I was a child, so it seems logical that the flowers I love in the garden come alive in the glass. My "Roses" are a simple swirl of glass - sometimes in a single colour, and sometimes in many colours. The necklace roses are threaded hanging down with Swarovski crystal beads in their "throats" and "stems", a small sterling silver bead between, and finish in a single hanging flower at the centre. A very elegant and flattering style on any one, it can even be worn in your hair for special occasions.
This is a fabulous style for bridal or wedding jewellery!
Chakra Meditation Beads
Chakra Meditation and Worry Beads These beads are known by different names throughout the world – komboloi in Greece, mala by the Hindu Buddhists, masbaha by the Muslims (which means “I recite”), tasbih in Islam, komposkini by the Greek Orthodox church and the rosary in the Roman Catholic Church. Or just worry beads… These beads are made to represent the chakras, or seven healing or power centres of the human body – each chakra is represented by a colour, and it is said that having these colours around us keeps the body in balance. They can be used for meditation, too, and will help you to stay focused and centred.
Flow beads are made with the flow of the molten glass. Built up in layers, the glass doesn't mix in the same way that paint does, so the different colours colours of glass flow as and where they will. The flow of the glass is so like water, which was my inspiration.
Lazy Daisy Beads
Jazz up your day!
River Stones Beads
We spent a lot of time swimming in the river over summer - those long hot lazy days when the crickets are deafening! When I looked down through the water to the stones on the river bed, the multi-coloured stones just looked like a mass of beads.
Chakra Lotus Flowers
Like little lotus flowers, these beads are made up of five layers of glass to create interlocking "petals". Notice how the base glass colour affects the intensity of the finished bead colour.
I just love the fun and retro style of these beads. They just remind me of an old Doris Day movie or one of her polka dot frocks! Each colour seems to make a different style statement, too.
A subtle blend of many colours of glass, these beads reflect what I saw when looking into the sea. Greens, blues and purples combine to make a very wearable piece. Small sterling silver beads link the glass with New Zealand Paua shell nuggets.
This collection is based on the old embroidered samplers that were made in times gone by to many different stitches. So I have taken a maximum of four colours of glass and just made beads with whatever techniques come to me at the time. The result is a softly textured piece giving loads of interest and subtle variations in colour.
Raku is a type of glass that reacts in beautiful and sometimes unexpected ways in the flame, and I love to play with its effects in lots of different ways. I love its organic alchemy in the glass.
The Can Can
These beads are named for the movement of the cancan skirts in the dance - the rim of colour appears to "dance". The colours always affect the mood and style of the piece, too. I've always loved the brilliant "Mardi Gras CanCans" - the juiciest of my beads, but there's something about the soft greys and browns too.
Round beads with a coloured central core, heavily encased in clear glass then “written on” with colour, which is left slightly raised. The beads are spaced with Swarovski Crystals and small spacer beads in the core glass colour.
The effect is light and dainty – the transparent glass and crystals sparkle.
Leaves and Chillies
Beads inspired by nature.
These beads are like tiny paintings using only glass – I’m often asked if I’ve painted a glass bead – but, believe me, they are all glass. Built up slowly in layers I’ve come to know what to expect from the fiery glowing glass, and aim to place each drop to make small New Zealand scenes – always coastal, ‘cause that’s how I live. They always have blue skies, too, ‘cause I’m a “Pollyanna”! The centre of these beads begins with dense opaque glass and ends with soft transparent colours on the outer, so they have a feeling of depth and perspective. One of my signature bead styles.
This is an internationally recognized style of glass lampworking – I’ve built up layers and layers of glass to form flowers within - they may have tiny bubbles, aventurine glass or "vines" within. They remind me of antique china. Always a favourite and a lovely gift for a new baby or a bride.
These beads should really be called “Moeraki Boulders” as they are inspired by the magnificent and enormous boulders at a small area on the East Coast of the South Island of New Zealand. There it’s as though a giantess has scattered her huge (house size) beads along the beach.
People often find it hard to believe that these are made of glass – they are made using earth coloured glasses that react with one another to make a veined “sandstone” effect. They are beaten and etched, so have a matte finish.
These flat cube beads have a coloured core which is heavily encased in transparent glass then little “floating spots” are added to the outside of the bead. The pieces are finished with Swarovski crystals and etched glass beads.
The first of these were created in one of those magical alchemical moments in the studio – I had been playing with ivory and a grey/green glass and just for fun I decided to create a few cavities and fill them with transparent glass…and LOOK WHAT HAPPENED! All three glass colours have reacted together to form the look of Paua (rather like North American Blue Abalone, only more complex in colour) shells strewn on a Golden Bay beach. Check out the opalessence – this is a dream come true for me – I have been obsessed with Paua shells for years!
A core of two colours of twisted glass is encased in lots of transparent glass in smallish round beads – the effect is rather like an animal print – only I’ve played with the colours. My tigers are pink, purple, green….. Each bead is spaced with a small clear spacer bead and the pieces are finished with tiny Swarovski crystals so the beads appear to flow together.
One colour of glass washes over into the next in these beads under a layer of transparent glass.
Tiny stripey beads within a thick layer of transparent glass to draw lots of light to the colour play in these beads.
The Raindrops series was inspired by the gorgeous photo on the front of a seed catalogue of a sweet pea flower in the rain, hung with water droplets.
Some have etched glass beads to accentuate the sparkle of the unetched glass, and all are finished with Swarovski Crystal spacer beads and my signature sterling silver toggle clasp.
SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL & STERLING SILVER JEWELLERY
Exquisite and sparkly Christmas decorations made up in my designs in beautiful Swarovski crystals. Made on stiff jeweller's wire so they hang beautifully.
Rainbow Chakra Crystals
A fabulous colour run through the chakras in Swarovski crystal cubes bordered with sterling silver and tiny diamond crystals. As well as holding you in balance, this collection can be worn with anything - anywhere!
This style is the one everyone is drawn to in the cabinet.
The "Heather" design is made up of Swarovski Crystals in the bicone shape combined with floral sterling silver beads. The clasp is my simple but elegant sterling silver toggle and bar. The overall effect is one of strong colour and sparkle. This is a design that can be worn day or night - for business or evening.
This is a fabulous style for bridal or wedding jewellery!
Named for my dear friend Helen, who helped put this design together to go with her grandmothers Swarovski crystals, this collection is a simple and stylish combination of large (8mm) Swarovski Crystal Cubes combined with tiny bicones and curved liquid silver tube beads. This understated and elegant style will take you anywhere.
Available in Crystal AB, Jet (Black), Siam (Red), Light Rose Pink, Peridot (Soft Green, Erinite AB (Soft Greeny Blue) and Sapphire Blue. "Helen necklaces are usually made at 420 mm or 45mm – check the sizing and ask if you need another size.
This is a really lovely style for bridal or wedding jewellery!
I just love that movie “O Brother Where Art Thou”, and there’s a song in there called “The Big Rock Candy Mountain”...a parody of on old Shirley Temple number…anyhow here lies paradise for grown ups with more…shall we say...worldly tastes.
So these come from the Big Rock Candy Mountain – where girls get all their desires fulfilled!
The coloured styles are a soft mixture of three colours and are quite soft and subtle.
Total Swarovski Crystal sparkles finished with a gorgeous crystal button and loop clasp - Delicious!
This is a fabulous style forbridal jewellery!
This style is named for Denise – a gorgeous woman and dear friend who wears this style. 10mm faceted rounds of Swarovski Crystal spaced with bicones and silver balls, it can be finished in a dropped loop – a very flattering style. This one is a little longer and a more relaxed fit.
The subtlety of the Pastel Rainbow colour is a favourite, but so is the Jet Black and Grey, but then the red is also gorgeous...and there's pink, blues, greens...so many colours to choose from!
This is also a fabulous style for bridal or wedding jewellery!
Inspired by ancient Egyptian jewellery designs, this combination of round Swarovski crystals in oxidized sterling silver bead covers with wide sterling silver spacers and small bicone crystals makes for really classical pieces. The oxidizing on the silver gives an antique effect which really brings out the sparkle in the crystals. Completed with a sterling silver toggle and bar clasp.
Other Crystal Designs
Here I have combined all of the beads in my collection in various diverse designs. They may include my handmade glass beads, sterling silver, Swarovski Crystal Beads and Swarovski Crystal Pearls or Cultured Pearls.