Frequently Asked Questions
What are “lampworked” beads?
They are glass beads that are “handmade”. Each bead is made individually by the artist using a torch to melt the glass and form it into the shape of a bead on a stainless steel mandrel. They are not machine made, so each is individual and very unique.
Why is it called lampworking?
Back in the seventeenth century, oil lamps were used to melt the glass. Now, a variety of torches can be used for the process.
Do you make your own beads?
I make all the beads. Some jewelry has purchased additions but all the glass beads are individually crafted.
Why are lampworked beads so expensive?
Each individual lampork beads is crafted using base color then each has additions using smaller rods of stringer to add each individual dot and line. This requires patence and a considerable time investment. Realistically each bead should be considered as a minute work of art. They are all made with quality materials and the skill involved requires education, practice and ongoing study. a
Since the beads are glass, do they break easily?
All of my beads are kiln “annealed” durabilty. The annealing process removes much of the stress in the glass that would cause it to crack more frequently. Keeping in mind they are still glass and extra bits and bobs added don’t take kindly to more impact. However they truly are stronger than one would think!
What kind of glass do you use?
The most frequent glass used in my beads is Effetre and Lauscha The Effectre glass is manufactured in Italy and the Lauscha in Germany. I have also more recently started to use some A.S.K. (US made), Kugler and Reichenbach glass all of these brands are considered “soft” glass.
How long does it take?
It really depends on the complexity of the design, but some of the larger beads and vessels can take up to 45 minutes to 1 hour!
What kind of torch do you use?
My torch is a mid range torch. A mini CC to be more specific which involveds an oxygen/propane set-up. I find this torch to be great for both big and small beads.
How do you make your jewelry?
All jewelry is created with quality findings. The metal used is sterling, Hill Tribe or Thai silver. The other beads and inclusions are swaroski crystals and pressed Chech glass.
Where can your work be found?
My work is sold through my website and through Ebay. I addition locally it can be found at Forbes and Friends on Main street in Grande Prairie, AB
Do you do wholesale?
No, I am not mass producing enough beads at this time to warrant this. I still enjoy creating one of a kind pieces. AND I still have my day job as a Speech-Language Pathologist.
Do you sleep?
This is posed more often than one might think! Yes I sleep. Yes I am married. Yes I have two great little boys and yes I do still have a day job….am I sane?? That is yet to be determined!