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August 12, 2008
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A close-up of a Lampworker in the process of making a bead. The left hand holds the steel mandrel and rotates it as the right hand holds the raw glass rod. The glass rod is slowly introduced to the flame to avoid thermal shocking and shattering of the glass. Many a Lampworker has the scars to prove the love of their career! As the glass rod reaches a molten state, it is applied to the steel mandrel, coating a small section of it. More and more glass is melted and applied as the left hand twirls the mandrel counter-clockwise ensuring an even application of the glass. Once the basic bead has been made, a smaller rod of glass called a "stringer" is applied to make the surface decorations which can be highly detailed and quite intensive.
Step 1 [link]
Step 2 [link]
Step 3 [link]
Step 4 [link]
Step 5 [link]
Step 6 [link]

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Thank You for your interest in Lampworking!

WHAT IS LAMPWORK?


FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS, glass beads have fascinated people in cultures all over the world...


The earliest glass beads were reserved exclusively for royalty, and in medieval Europe, the techniques for working with glass were closely guarded within families. In America, glass beads were exchanged for furs, tobacco and sugar...In Africa, they were traded for slaves, ivory and gold. During the late 13th century, the Venetians went so far as to remove their entire glassmaking industry to the island of Murano, which effectively quarantined their artisans and secured the Venetian dominance of the technology.


Glass is no longer a precious commodity reserved only for the elite, although it does tend to make one feel regal when wearing it...


Glass used for beadmaking is typically sold in rods about 1/4 inch in diameter, although other sizes are also available. Glass rods come in a rainbow of opaque and transparent colors and filigrana rods have cores of opaque encased in clear glass. Dichroic glass, available in rods and narrow strips of sheet glass, has a thin, metallic-looking coating that shimmers when angled toward light.


The first step in making glass beads is to prepare one or more mandrels. Mandrels are stainless steel rods on which beads are constructed. Mandrels are available in various thicknesses,
and the size of the mandrel determines the size of your bead hole. In order to prevent the hot glass from permanently adhering to the metal, you must coat each mandrel with a compound called a bead separator.


The most important tool is a source of heat for melting glass. Many torch types are available and produce a variety of temperatures. An oxygen-propane torch produces a flame that is approximately 1700-1900 degrees farenheit hotter than the flame from a single-fuel torch. This hotter flame allows the glass to melt much quicker and is the method used by most lampworkers.


The glass rods are heated to a molten state with the torch and then wound onto the mandrels. The hot glass is then decorated using a variety of techniques. Some beads are decorated with dots, swirls, feathers, melted dots, twists, etc.


Once the bead has been formed, it is then put into a kiln to remove internal stresses and prevents fracture or breakage. Beads are kilned overnight and slowly cooled to preserve their beauty forever.

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Please feel free to Message me if you should have questions on my craft and visit my DA page [link] to view samples of my work.

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Proud Daily Deviation of August 12th, 2008

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Namaste,

Ti :heart: :frog:

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Photo courtesy of Glasshopper Studios, St. Louis Missouri [link] where I received my instruction.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconbloodykisses56:
BloodyKisses56 Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2008
It sounds like so much fun. I can't wait for my glass place to start the lampwork classes.
Reply
:iconajglass:
AJGlass Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2008  Professional Artisan Crafter
During the late 13th century, the Venetians went so far as to remove their entire glassmaking industry to the island of Murano, which effectively quarantined their artisans and secured the Venetian dominance of the technology.

     ...and finally prevented all of those nasty fires they kept having.

:lol:
Reply
:icontiannei:
tiannei Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2008
Amazing isn't it!?! I'm so glad that they finally decided to share!
Reply
:iconajglass:
AJGlass Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2008  Professional Artisan Crafter
Agreed! :)
Reply
:iconwolfesskiss:
WolfessKiss Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2008  Professional General Artist
this whole process is very interesting!

Do you do all of this for fun/pleasure or for work?
Reply
:icontiannei:
tiannei Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2008
Pleasure right now although I would love to be able to do it full-time as a career. I haven't given up hope yet, it can still happen! I'm 45 and I'd love to be 90 working with a hot flame. :frog:
Reply
:iconwolfesskiss:
WolfessKiss Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2008  Professional General Artist
haha!
so youd be a 'hot' 90 year old.
XD haha~ well youre very good at it, I dont see why you wouldnt be able to do it full time.
:]
Reply
:icontiannei:
tiannei Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2008
You're sweet for saying that. Thanks for the vote of confidence!!!
Reply
:iconwolfesskiss:
WolfessKiss Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2008  Professional General Artist
youre welcome
:cuddle:
Reply
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