'Lampwork' is an ancient technique of using a flame to melt glass. 'Lampworking' is a real art form and a very difficult skill to master! It involves the process of melting glass in a hot flame usually on to a steel mandrel. One end of the mandrel is first coated with 'bead release' this allows the completed bead to be removed from the mandrel once it has been annealed. In the making of a glass bead, the bead artist uses a torch (the 'lamp') flame to melt the glass. The glass comes in rod form. The molten glass is wound around the mandrel until the desired size and style is achieved.
Once a bead has been created there are several more steps involved before the bead is ready to be used in the making of fine jewellery. The bead is then placed in a kiln to start the annealing process. Annealing is the process of bringing down the temperature of the glass very slowly. Annealing makes a glass bead very strong, stable and durable. When a bead is removed from the kiln it is still attached to the mandrel. The cooled bead is usually soaked in water to soften the bead release agent. Once the bead is removed from the mandrel, the bead release is cleaned from the hole. The bead is now ready to be used in the production of handcrafted jewellery.
Lampworked glass beads are one of a kind, and no two beads are identical. If you own jewellery containing these beautiful works of art, you can be certain you own something totally unique. Really something to treasure.
All of the lampworked beads we use are handcrafted in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and the United States by the most amazingly skilled lampwork artists. Enjoy!
~~Some Examples of jewellery using glass lampwork beads.~~