Saturday, April 4, 2009
What is Lampwork?
So a lot of you reading this know what lampwork is, but I know there are a few that might not. It is the process of melting glass with a torch. Some people make sculptures, ornaments, beads, pendants, whatever. It's similar to glass blowing, but on a smaller scale. Whenever people give me an odd look when I tell them I like to make lampwork beads, I just tell them it's glass blowing. I know the two are different, but sometimes I get too lazy to explain.
When making beads, I wrap melted glass onto a steel mandrel and use gravity and tools to shape my bead. Then I add whatever decorations I want for that design. Often times I'll encase everything in a layer of clear to really magnify it. After that I put the bead directly in a kiln and hold it at 960 degrees. This removes any stress in the bead that would cause trouble later. Slowly the tempurature is lowered until the annealing process is done. I clean the beads, string them and photograph them.
Anyways, here's a few pictures of my studio and me making beads. Enjoy!