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LAMPWORK is a term that refers to "torch" made beads. Many years ago, before propane and oxygen torches, beads were made over small wick type lamps. That is where the term "lampwork" originated.

Lampwork beads are made with a type of soft glass or hard glass. This glass comes in rods about the thickness of a pencil. The rod is heated in the flame until it becomes soft, and then is manipulated on a metal rod called a mandrel into bead designs. The final step is a process called annealing which hardens the bead over several hours in a kiln. It's a time consuming and painstaking process that can take hours to complete depending on the complexity of the design.

The History of Lampwork Glass Beads
Lampwork is an ancient technique of using a flame to melt glass. Hot glass working skills came to us from a long history starting with the Syrians around 1700 BC, the Egyptians around 1450 BC, the Chinese around 550 BC, the Romans at the turn of the first millennium, and with the French, German, Italian, Indian and Islamic folks bringing us up to the present. The "lamp" in lampwork came from the oil lamps and blowpipes originally used in seventeenth century France and Italy. Blowing by mouth or with a bellows into an oil lamp flame with a small pipe makes just enough heat to soften and form the softer types of glass. I'm always amazed at what great work the early lampworkers were able to do with such a minimal amount of equipment.

The Lampwork Technique
Lampworking involves the process of melting glass in a hot flame on a steel mandrel. The molten glass is wound around the mandrel until the desired size and style are achieved. The flame used to melt the glass is produced by mixing gas, either natural or propane, and oxygen. Thus the flame produced is hot enough to melt glass. A torch is the primary tool for the flame. Once a bead is formed and the artist is finished with the actual creation process there are several more steps involved before the bead is ready to be used in fine jewelry. The bead is then placed in a kiln to start the annealing process. Annealing is the process of bringing down the temperature of the glass very slowly. Annealing makes a glass bead very strong and durable. When a bead is taken out of the kiln it is still on the steel mandrel. The cooled bead is soaked in water to soften the bead release agent. Once the bead is removed the holes are cleaned and filed. Artist made “Lampwork” glass beads are one-of-a-kind, and should be considered art work that is wearable. No two lampwork beads are identical.

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I design unique and unusual lampwork bracelets, which I hope you will love! I offer many styles and colors. I also offer unique, handmade lampwork glass bead, top quality gemstones, and sterling silver bracelets and wonderful designer earrings! My exclusive gemstone designer jewelry pieces, including distinctive earrings, bracelets and necklaces are also sure to please the most discerning tastes! The exquisite, one of a kind art jewelry makes for wonderful gifts for the special people in your life. Or, treat yourself to a beautiful, one of a kind wearable work of lampwork art. Find the handmade lampwork bracelets necklaces and earrings that are just right for you!