Browse through the following pages and you will find a collection of one of a kind beads I have made using a centuries old technique known as Lampworking or Flameworking. By using a small torch, fired by propane and oxygen, I am able to melt small rods of glass which I wind around a stainless steel mandrel that was previously coated with bead release. As the bead forms I can add different colours, accent with Frit (crushed glass), Murrini (small piece of glass with design), or manipulate with different tools or presses for different shapes. Each piece is unique. When finished the bead is placed in a kiln to anneal. Why do flameworkers anneal? As glass is worked in a flame it becomes ‘stressed’, it expands when hot and contracts when cool. So if it’s left to cool too quickly the “stresses’ in the glass can break the bead, if not immediately then at some point in the future. By annealing, (a carefully controlled time and temperature), it gives the bead strength and longevity. Once cooled the bead is removed from the mandrel and cleaned of all the bead release. It can then be made into a a larger piece of jewelry if desired.


Beads by Liz 2012