Fiona Tranter

Letting off Creative STEAM


Hi, my name is Fiona Tranter, I am an engineer working in the environment, health and safety field and in my spare time I create beaded jewelry and sew as a form of stress release.

I first learnt to sew in Primary School, where I remember making a Queen Elizabeth I doll for a school display about the Tudor's. With encouragement from my Mum and a very talented and crafty neighbour I graduated to making my own clothes and once at university even made a few ball gowns for fellow students. I started quilting in 2000 when we moved and happened to live by an awesome quilting shop. Since that time I have designed and made numerous quilts for family and friends. I even manage to fit in the occasional sewn garment now and then.

A friend and I started making jewelry when we were still at school, ordering beads from one of the first Janet Coles catalogs, Worcester UK, which had black and white line drawings of each bead. I can remember when the company graduated to a colour catalog, what luxury. Our main goal was to make clip on earrings that looked like the pierced earrings our more progressive friends were wearing. I laugh now when I remember the contraptions we used for our creations, including vice like screw on earrings.

I took an off loom bead weaving class at Ayla's Originals in Evanston, USA and became addicted to small shiny beads. Beads so small they fit snugly into your handbag/ purse for the trip home and can be transformed into something beautiful. This first class was all about herringbone stitch, which is still my favorite off loom bead weaving stitch, but I have come to love other techniques such as Kumihimo braiding and have recently forayed into the world of lampworked beads.

Being an engineer there is lots of structure to my work but also an element of fun and I am fastidious about the quality and construction of work I give as gifts or sell.

Recently I have been passing along my skill by teaching friends and family bead weaving techniques, basic sewing and quilting and am happy to provide instruction on an individual basis or to small groups (2 to 3 people).