Additional Craft Information:
If you are interested in making lampwork bead, here is a list and explanation of the types of supplies you will need to get started.
DIY Craft Essential #1: Washi tape
DIY Craft Essential #2: Needle nose pliers
Lampwork beads are a type of artisanal bead made of glass. They can be poured into molds, cut and polished into faux gemstones, or stretched and pulled into any shape imaginable. The art of making lampwork beads is truly an artistic expression.
To make lampwork beads, the artist melts narrow rods of glass with the flame of a torch. The molten glass is then wound around a mandrel, which is a thin stainless steel rod. The mandrel produces the hole in the middle of the bead. By rotating and changing the mandrel's position, the artist and gravity begin to shape the bead. Tools can also be used to mold the lampwork bead into shape.
DIY Craft Essential #3: X-acto knife
DIY Craft Essential #4: Spray paint
Making lampwork beads is a skill and an art, and requires both patience and a lot of practice. In time you will learn how to work with the heat and the glass, learning how to apply the heat, how to shape the glass, and to work the bead into your desired shape.
You can make lampwork beads as simple or as ornate and decorative as you can imagine. You can use multiple colors, more than one layer, and different designs. There are infinite possibilities when it comes to designing your own lampwork beads.
Once a lampwork bead is formed, it is cooled in a kiln to prevent cracks and stress fractures formed if the glass cools too fast. The kiln is started at a high temperature and then gradually lowered to room temperature, in a process called kiln annealing.
If you are interested in making lampwork beads of your own, you'll need to ensure you have the proper supplies before you get started. At a minimum, you will need to have:
- Safety glasses
- Propane torch
- Bead release
- Glass rods
- Rod nipper tool
You'll benefit from getting yourself a comprehensive book on how to make lampwork beads as, well. Being prepared and knowing how to safely use the equipment is essential, before you get to the fun part of designing your own lampwork beads.