Lampwork Bead Artists Sell Quality Work

Lampworking was very popular in Italy in the 1300s. It differed from glass blowing in that glass was heated over small oil burning lamps instead of in a furnace. This art form eventually found its way all around the world. Today there are many lampwork bead artists who sell their amazing products at online stores.

Many of them prefer to work from their home studios where they painstakingly produce their unique creations. They are made one at a time using different colors, styles and techniques. Some have created their own recognizable style through many years of working with beads. They are so devoted to producing quality products that they have no hesitation in offering guarantees to customers.

The most commonly used types of glass are soda-lime and borosilicate. The first is soft and comes in many colors. Borosilicate is hard, more expensive and fewer colors are available. It also needs a higher temperature requiring use of larger torches and oxygen instead of air. However, it is less likely to crack.

This glass comes in rods and a hand held torch is used to melt it. Another torch may also be attached to a bench for a stationary flame. The molten glass is wound onto a stainless wire called a mandrel. A pick, graphite paddles and tweezers are just some of the tools used for shaping the beads and making the holes. A kiln is needed to anneal the glass.

A glass rod has to be slowly introduced to a flame so that it does not crack due to thermal shock. The mandrel is coated with a releaser like boron nitride so that the final product is easily removed. Both the glass rod and the mandrel are heated and the mandrel is rotated so as to wind the molten glass onto it.

Decorating and embellishing of the beads comes next with many different materials and techniques used for this. Gold, silver and other metals may be applied in forms such as metal leaf, mesh or wire. A technique called striking is used to apply colors with a silver base. The surface may have fibers of glass melted onto it.

Methods that work with glass in its cold state are called cold working techniques. Sandblasting, cutting, grinding, polishing and painting are some of these techniques, each offering an array of possibilities. Grinding wheels may are used to roughly facet it and an acid can be applied to the surface to frost it. The glass has to be cooled at a specific temperature in a kiln. If this is done too slowly, it becomes stressed causing it to crack. Many mass produced products do not go through this process or it is not done correctly.

Beads created one by one in this manner may be expensive but the quality is far superior to any mass produced product. Mass produced items are often not cleaned properly with releasing agent left in a holes and releasing hazardous dust. They may not be properly finished, leaving rough edges on holes so that stringing material is easily cut through. Quality beads create quality jewelry that can be sold at a higher price.

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