Kin Kin Beads
Rob hand-makes beads using Venetian glass and traditional techniques. He began making beads around 2004 and was immediately captivated.
Rob has made solid beads since beginning lampwork but is currently exploring the possibilities of blown hollow glass beads.
His elegant beads are combined with quality sterling silver or gold-filled components to make a range of traditional and contemporary jewellery.
How long have you been making glass bead jewellery for?
I discovered lampworking glass about 9 years ago. It's such a fascinating medium and there is so much to learn. I wish I had found my calling 30 years ago!
How did you get started?
I was working for local and State government in a stressful role and my then partner had done a week long Summer School course in glass bead making. After watching her for quite a while, I had a go myself and loved it. I found that rather than having a few beers to calm down after work, I could make a couple of beautiful beads and be so relaxed. Glassworking can be a meditation, you need to be focussed on the now and what's happening in the flame. If you start thinking about other things, you can ruin the bead.
What is your greatest inspiration?
I find my inspiration in natural forms and colours especially the upper Noosa River and Great Sandy Straits. A trip to Venice a couple of years ago has inspired me to experiment with shaping glass beads and blowing hollow forms.
What is the greatest challenge to owning and operating your own business?
Two of my biggest challenges are ensuring potential customers understand I make my own beads and competing with jewellery made from low quality imported components.
What is the best experience owning your own creative business?
There are so many best experiences! Customers who come back time after time to buy my work, learning a new technique, being told by a customer that she received more compliments in 1 week of wearing my beads, than she had got in a year of wearing Argyle diamonds. Finding a new chemical reaction between different glass rods is also always exciting.