Interview with Teresa Hulley from Bo Hulley Beads and a Give-away

Bo Bulley Beads, new collection ceramic beads

For those of you who are following this blog or my facebook page, know I’m addicted to art beads; especially ceramic beads. And the beads from Bo Hulley Beads are definitely among my favourites. I was able to hoard a significant load of her bead candy in a really short period of time already. And she keeps on making new designs which are all wanna-haves, so I’m afraid we will have to consider buying a trailer so I have enough space to store them all.
Apart from her etsy shop  she now has her own website as well.
You can imagine how thrilled I was that Teresa Hulley agreed to do this interview.


Q: Were you always a bead artist?
A: No! I wasn't! I have done many many different things. My first job was as a hairdresser and manicurist. I won't bore you by listing all my different occupations except to say the BEST ones were managing a theatre bar for the summer rep season and managing a restaurant - best fun ever! About 3 years ago I opened a small bead shop in a Ceramic Cafe where I had access to clay, glazes, kilns….. the lovely owner Anne suggested I make a clay bead one day……

Q: Why did you choose the medium clay?
A: I love clay and always have, I adored Plasticine as a child, even when it went all muddy. I used to collect Art Deco china and have always loved ceramics. One of my ambitions was to throw a pot, which I did at last, last year, it's rather wonky and I haven't glazed it yet! I didn't really choose the medium - it just chose me I think. I have a lot to thank Anne for.

Q: There are several sorts of clay. Do you have a favourite to work with?
A: Up until very recently I have only used earthenware as my kiln really isn't suitable for stoneware and porcelain which need a much higher firing temperature, although it has been my intention for a couple of years to branch out. I have at last started using these clays and have a brand new shiny kiln arriving next month. I don't think I do have a favourite as I am realising and learning that different textures and glazes show different results on each clay, so it is the design rather than the clay which becomes a favourite.

Bo Hulley Beads, new collection ceramic beads

Q: Are you self-taught?
A: Yes - totally. I experiment constantly with various results which may not always see the light of day!

Q: Can you tell a bit about the early days of Bo Hulley Beads.
A: I can only say how totally totally thrilled I was by my first Etsy sale - thank you so much Lesley E! It really gave me the confidence to plod on and slowly but surely I became busier and busier. I realised I wanted to give up my bricks and mortar shop and concentrate on bead making from home. So I bought a kiln from ebay, closed my shop and off I went.

Q: What inspires you in your work?
A: Colour inspires me more than anything, I just love colour and always have. Vintage inspires me - I was always rummaging in antique / junk shops, in fact I bought my first thing from an antique shop when I was about 10 - a tiny glass book. I still have it and remember staring at it in the window and plucking up courage to go in and buy it with my two shillings pocket money. I am always looking for small vintage / antique pieces or buttons I can use to make moulds or textures with and most recently my friend lent me some sweet little vintage keys which have become pendants and bracelet bars. And of course - Nature! Who isn't inspired by nature? Flowers, leaves, seeds, all make fabulous moulds. Last but not least I am inspired by my fabulous customers, quite a lot of whom have become good friends.

Bo Hulley Beads, new collection ceramic beads

Q: Can you tell me a bit about the design process of a new bead? How do you start?
A: I might be inspired simply by the desire to make a pile of turquoise round beads! Although I never have time to make enough, I think I could just have a shop full of round spotty beads. But I usually start by something catching my eye, be it an old button or a lovely leaf. I will then make a mould so I can replicate it many times, I often don't know what colour I will use until it is ready to be glazed and sitting in front of me. I'm not a great sculptor but occasionally I will carve my own mould.

Q: Can you tell a bit about the work involved in making beads.
A: It is time consuming and very messy. Once a pile of beads or components has been formed or cut out from clay it is then left to dry for a day or more, depending on weather and thickness of the clay. In the summer a tray of beads left in the sun might dry in a couple of hours, in winter it might be a day or two. Each piece then has to be smoothed off - I hate this job as they are very fragile and can break easily. They can then be fired in the kiln for the first time and the kiln left to cool overnight before opening. Now they can be glazed with each piece normally requiring 3 or more coats of glaze, then back in the kiln to fire and cool overnight once more. The single best thing is opening a kiln full of finished beads, I never tire of the transformation of a lump of dull clay to all this colour!

Bo Hulley Beads, ceramic art beads before glazing

Q: There are a lot of bead artists. Is there a particular artist you admire or who you consider a role model?
A: The first ceramic beads I saw and loved were by Chinook, I adore her textures and colours, so soft and subtle. I also love Suburban Girl Beads and admire the owner Diana for her beads and her generosity. She offered to take some of my bicycle components to a big show in the USA this year which I thought was extraordinarily kind of her.

Q: Your beads sell the minute you list them on Etsy or on your website and they are used by many well know jewelry artists. You have achieved a lot in the bead world. Is there a next goal you want to accomplish?
A: What a question! I always used to wish I could make a living by producing something others would want to buy - I never really thought I would accomplish this goal. I'm so grateful beads came my way I won't push my luck by making new goals other than to hopefully keep working and experimenting with new designs and ideas. Actually - I've just come back to this question, I do have one goal. I would love a separate studio and am considering moving house to either have a garden studio or a bigger house to incorporate a studio.

Q: If you were not a bead artist, what would you be doing?
A: Oh I have no idea! Maybe I would still have my little bead shop and would have concentrated more on making jewellery. I have a 14 yr old and am so grateful I can work from home and be around for him.

Thank you Janine - I'm so touched you wanted to talk to me!

And thank you so much Teresa, for this lovely interview.

And this interview would of course not be complete without a Give-Away.
And it’s not going to be one, no there are TWO give-away’s. Yep, you heard that right: TWO.

The first is a Gift Voucher of 15 GBP so you can buy some genuine Bo Hulley Beads yourself. Thank you so much for your generosity Teresa!

Gift Voucher Bo Hulley Beads

The second is a necklace I made with a beautiful pendant and matching bead from Bo Hulley Beads, teamed up with a lovely lampwork bead from Liz Beads, Swarovski crystal and Czech glass in a lovely purple/bronze colour.

Esfera jewelry, necklace with handmade ceramic beads and pendant from Bo Hulley Beads


Esfera Jewelry, necklace with art beads from Bo Hulley Beads

Esfera Jewelry, necklace with art beads from Bo Hulley Beads

All you have to do to enter is comment on this post.

There are lots of ways you can increase your chances of winning too... Do any of the following and leave an additional comment each time and you will get an extra entry for each one:

·    Share this give-away on your own blog
·    Share this give-away on your Facebook pages, Google+, Twitter etc.
·    Subscribe to my newsletter
·    Become a new follower of my facebook page
·    Become a new follower of the facebook page of Bohulleybeads
·    Follow me on Pinterest
·    Like my Etsy shop
·    Like Bo Hulley Beads Etsy shop
·    Anything else you can think of to spread the word.

Don't forget to leave a separate comment for each method to maximise your chances though!

Please don't let the captcha scare you off. It is to prevent the spam robots enter this give-away as well.

The draw will close at 10am GMT on Sunday December 1, 2013 and I will randomly select and announce the winners later in the day.

The next artist in this series of interviews with Bead Artists will be Lesley Watt, well known from her jewellery TheaJewellery as well as her beautiful bronze and copper components she sells at TheaElements.

entry to giveaway

shared and liked


Just pinned to one of my boards.


Just shared your interview and the giveaway on twitter.


I love her beads and leaf dishes. Would love to win this giveaway.


Subscribed to your newsletter.


Shared your giveaway and interview on Facebook (through Katz jewelry).


I followd you on Pinterest.

I subscribed for your

I subscribed for your newsletter :-)

subscribed for your

subscribed for your newsletter

pinned as DESPINA

pinned as DESPINA VNT:


I tweeted:

I shared on Google+ as

I shared on Google+ as DESPINA VENETI

I follow you on Pinterest as

I follow you on Pinterest as DESPINA VNT

I like your FB page as

I like your FB page as Despina Vnt

I like Bo Hulley FB page as

I like Bo Hulley FB page as Despina Vnt

I like Bo Hulley shop , FB:

I like Bo Hulley shop , FB: Despina Vnt

I liked your ETSY shop: FB

I liked your ETSY shop: FB Despina Vnt

wonderful collection, and gorgeous giveaway :-)

shared on FB as Gloria

shared on FB as Gloria Grahame

I liked Teresa's shop on ETSY

I liked Teresa's shop on ETSY (FB: Gloria Grahame)

I liked your shop on ETSY

I liked your shop on ETSY (FB: Gloria Grahame)

I liked your shop on ETSY

I liked your shop on ETSY (FB: Gloria Grahame)

I am a follower of Bo Hulley

I am a follower of Bo Hulley page on FB as Gloria Grahame

gorgeous prize(s), thank

gorgeous prize(s), thank you!!!
I am a new follower of your page on FB as Gloria Grahame

I already follow you on Etsy

I already follow you on Etsy and look forward to your beautiful creations.

I just loved the interview

I just loved the interview with Bohulley beads, I have bought a few things myself including the lovely little houses she creates.


I'm also a fan of both of your Etsy shops and just signed up to your blog newsletter. Crossing fingers!!


I'm already following your and Teresa's FB pages. I've just started following you on Pinterest - if I managed to do it right!


Oh yes, me, please! I love Bo Hulley Beads. I bought my very first beads from her recently.

I've shared your blog post on my Facebook page. Thank you!

Love the beads, want

Love the beads, want some....

Not an entry

This is not an entry, but a regular old comment from a Bo Hulley fan! What I designed with her beads, the jewelry was an instant hit with customers who appreciate "making handmade with handmade".

I do too! Thanks for sharing this interview with Theresa!

Entry #4

Finally I liked your Etsy shop. You've got some wonderful things in there!

Bo Hulley Beads

I'm very happy to like Bo Hulley's Facebook page!

Giveaway time

I'm also following your Pinterest jewelry collection board!

Giveaway time

Thanks for the opportunity for these two marvelous treats!
I liked your Facebook page!

Loving the jewellery :-)

Loving the jewellery :-)


I shared this on my Facebook page.


I followed you on Pinterest.


I followed you on Twitter.


I am a big fan of Bo's work and so it was delightful to read your interview and to learn more about her. Thank you!

Giveaway entry - :)

I already follow your Etsy shop but have just favourited it too!

Great interview and giveaway!

As a FB fan of you both I found this so interesting. Thank you!

Giveaway Yippee!

Following you on Pinterest! :)

Interview with Teresa

Shared blog on my page :D

Interview with Teresa

Oh my, just stumbled on this blog post and love it!! Does that mean I am a bit stalkerish wanting to know more about the character behind the beads. I love the story especially the job history lol. Now what a fantastic giveaway Janine hats off to you, you have been a busy girl what with this and the Xmas catalogue amongst everything else, thank you for the opportunity xx

I found Teresa the week

I found Teresa the week before the Big Bead show when a bead shop shared a picture of her beads. I made a beeline for her stall first when we arrived and took gone handfuls of tasty beads, been hooked ever since I love the beautiful quality and colours she uses. Stunning necklace too! Beautiful design :) shared on FB

Love Bo's fb page. X

Love Bo's fb page. X

I am also a big fan of Bo

I am also a big fan of Bo Hulley Beads,. Everytime she makes new ones, she amazes me, and I am tempted to buy some!!


I have been a huge fan of Teresa's ceramics for among time, and use lots of them in my jewellery. Just today I finished a bracelet using her fabulous red poinsettia charm. I'm also already a fan of yours, Bo Hullley Beads and Esfera on Etsy, so the next thing I have to do is spread the word on my own FB page -

Entry to giveaway

Share your giveaway on twitter

Entry to giveaway

Liked Bo's FB page

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