Lampwork Beads

My newest and most enjoyed craft!


Turquoise, yellow, brown, and ivory swirly bead

My dear husband, Steve, bought me a lampworking kit for Christmas 2010 and I have burned glass at the flame nearly every day since.

My Setup (check back after July 1, 2012 for photos of my updated studio):

My wonderful husband also built me a beautiful craft room just off our garage. He converted an old storage closet by adding a window and craft counter/table, and insulating it. It is so nice! Now I just need to convince him to hook it into our ac so I can torch in the hot summer! You can see photos of my studio on My Studio page.

My Torch:

I am currently using a single-fuel torch. It uses MAPP gas, and is mounted to my work space using a L-clamp. I’ve mounted it in the corner of my L-shaped table. I really like it in the corner because it creates armrests!

The torch came in the Lampworking kit my husband bought me, and is supposed to be self-lighting, although it stopped working after about the third lighting. I have a hand-held welding torch striker which works great. I’ve read that the duel fuel torches (propane and oxygen) burn hotter and give a smaller, more percise flame. However, I’m not ready for that just yet. I’ve heard that the difference between the two types of torches is like the difference between cutting a steak with a butter knife and a steak knife. But the set up for the duel torch in more intense, not to mention expensive. So that will just have to wait for now. I’m burning just fine with what I have now. After watching several videos I can see that my torch takes longer to heat the glass to melting as compared to the duel fuel torches. But what I have works for now, and it’s teaching me patience (a much needed lesson indeed!).

My Glass:

Currently I’m working with Effetre 104 COE glass. I have ordered some Messy Colors (CiM) 104 COE rods but they haven”t arrived just yet. I love the extended range of colors provided by CiM; they have more pinks, reds and blues. I don’t want to get too stuck in a rut. I want to have an expanded collection to choose from, so if you know of great glass to use, please send me an email.




My Tools:

Most of the beads I’ve been focusing on lately don’t require anything more than the 3/32 mandrels and bead release. I’ve been trying to perfect my dots. However, I have a nice array of tools to use for other techniques. I have:

  • tungsten picks and rakes,
  • graphite paddles,
  • a torch mount, graphite marver,
  • 3/32 and 1/16 mandrels,
  • a flat masher,
  • a leaf pattern masher,
  • straight and angled tweezers,
  • needle nose pliers,
  • round nose pliers,
  • grooved marvers,
  • cutters and knives,
  • a growing collection of books,
  • Chili Pepper Bead Annealer.

I hope that you will take the time to visit my Lampwork Bead Gallery and Etsy store.

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