The job of a glass bead maker, consists of creating beautiful glass beads using a technique referred to as lampwork. It is a technique relative to blown glass. The glass rod is heated with the flame of a torch. The end melts and is placed on a support, then pulled and spun in a glass thread. Then the hot glass is spun in a liquid glass thread and fusion of different colors can take place. To realize a bead a steel or copper support is needed, on it the artist can place the drop of hot glass and spin it. This is the core of the bead, then small pieces of glass in different colors can be added, fused, melted to make the decorations that add variety to the beads. Once cooled this metal rod will be removed and will leave space to form the hole in the bead. The added glass comes from other rods, they can be opaque or transparent, and come in as many colors as the imagination can fathom. The process of making one bead can take a few minutes to more than an hour, depending on the complexity of the bead. The basic techniques are relatively easy to learn, the difficult part of the lampwork glass beads production lies more in the precision the artist can bring to it. It is easier to learn if guided by a professional who will show the budding glass bead maker the right way to do things. Materials used in lampwork glass bead making is not very expensive compared to other art glass work. Other techniques, like glass blowing, can also be used. Finally the bead is placed in an oven or kiln to improve its final appearance. Some artists still work on the glass beads when they are cold, by polishing or carving them.
2009-08-02 5:05pm PDT
That looks like a pretty nice way to play with fire. So you make the beads and let the wife make the necklace that could work at our house. Steve
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2009-11-11 7:29am PST