So... what exactly are
lampwork glass beads?
I make glass beads using a centuries old technique called lampworking.
The beads I make are formed in a flame using a burner which is fueled by propane and oxygen. I start by slowly warming the tip of a glass rod in the flame and heat it until it's molten. The molted glass is then wound around a specially coated steel mandrel,
this creates the hole through the bead. The coating on the mandrel is a ceramic based bead release that will allow the bead to be easily removed from the steel.
The bead is then decorated in the flame using a variety of techniques and materials.
When finished, the piece is annealed in a digitally controlled kiln.
Annealing the beads removes any stress from within the glass and will prevent them from cracking. This process can take hours.
When cooled, the beads are carefully inspected and cleaned of bead release.
The creation of a single bead can take anywhere from
minutes to hours depending on how intricate the design.
EACH ONE IS UNIQUE, MADE WITH LOVE, CARE AND LOTS OF CONCENTRATION!