Lampwork Glass bead making is an ancient art that has been practiced for more than 3,000 years. This ancient process originally used oil lamp or wax to melt the glass hence the name lampworking. Today’s bead makers have replaced the oil lamp with the torch .
Each bead is created by melting glass with a torch to a temperature of about 1700 degrees. Once the glass becomes molten it is wrapped around a stainless steel rod (also called mandrel) and manipulated to achieve the desired look.
There are a multitude of techniques that can be used, and a variety of other materials can be added. These may include: silver wire, silver, gold, copper and/or paladium foil and/or leaf, enamels, crushed glass, dichroic glass, etc.
Once the desired design has been achieved, the bead is placed in a kiln where it is allowed to cool gradually.
Once the bead has cooled, it is removed from the stainless steel rod and it is throughly cleaned with a dremel tool.