Creating beads this way is called “lampworking”, because they are formed by melting long, rigid, spaghetti-like strands of glass over an open flame. Years ago, the flame was from an oil lamp. Today, the “hot head” attachment screws onto a can of MAPP gas. There are more extensive set ups, but this is the simplest and least expensive way to begin.
Jane creates a basic bead form, then touches other stringers of glass to the base to create decoration on the bead. In the photo above, she used a type of special paddle to flatten the beads into square forms.
It takes a great deal of regular practice to get a nicely rounded bead — one that isn’t lopsided, or with sides that slide out to create a raindrop shape. Jane has been the only studio worker to devote the time to this craft, and her bracelets are works of art.
Her latest venture involves a tiny hammer and anvil, used to flatten and shape copper wire. The jewelry set above is the result. I recently posted more of her work on the Rowanberry website – visit us and see what’s new!
Use these navigation links to get to inside blog pages, where you can comment.