What exactly is lampworking?
Lampworking is an ancient process which originally used wax or oil lamps to melt glass... hence the name LAMPWORK. Today’s bead artist has replaced the oil lamp with a fuel & oxygen torch and each bead is created from the inside out, by first carefully heating the colored glass rods to temperatures up to 1700 degrees farenheit. Molten glass is then wrapped around a steel rod called a mandrel, color by color, layer by layer, beads are formed, decorated and finished in the flame, then placed in a high temperature digitally controlled kiln to anneal and cool slowly for many hours to ensure strength and longevity.
About my glass beads & such...
All of my glass beads & objects are handmade by me, one at a time, in my Credit River, Minnesota glass studio. I use a Carlisle Mini CC torch w/ propane & 2 oxygen concentrators and some really cool tools! :o) My beads are made of soft “soda lime” glass rods, mainly Italian Moretti and Vetrofond glasses. After each bead is finished, they immediately go from flame to a digitally controlled kiln where they’re annealed for strength, durability & safety. I clean out all signs of bead release & look them over thoroughly for any flaws or cracks.
I use various sized mandrels, depending on each bead’s proposed use. Hole sizes will be listed with descriptions. Most focals are made on 3/32” mandrels, earring pairs are made on 1/16” mandrels. European bracelet beads are made on 5/32” or 3/16” mandrels, depending on whether or not they have silver cores. I make even larger holed beads for dreadlock beads and other various & exciting uses. :o) (kaleidoscopes, etc)
HOW IN THE HECK DO I BUY YOUR WORK?
I'm always working on trying to find the balance it takes to do shows, retail AND internet sales, but it's been difficult. I'm planning on focusing more time to making my work available on the internet, whether that's or Etsy or Facebook. But for now...if you ever see an item that interests you on my website, Blog, Facebook, at a Show, in a publication or even something that my mother was showing off and you want to know where to find something similar for yourself, CONTACT ME, please! I do many shows, so I'm always building up stock & it's very likely I have just what you want just waiting for you to ask for it. I'm happy to email you photos of the options that are on hand. If whatever you're looking for is not available, I can make similar items just for you. They'll never be exactly the same, as each piece is made one at a time, but if you let me know what characteristics you like about a specific piece, I can make you something just for you.. I accept credit card payments directly or through PayPal & will take cashier's checks or cash (if I have to! LOL!) So don't forget, just click here...CONTACT ME, and I'll get right back to you. Be sure to sign up for my NEWSLETTER on my CONTACT page...I'll be sending out eMail updates once I start posting available work online. I wouldn't want you to miss out!
Although each bead has been annealed for strength & durability, remember that they’re still made of glass & can be cracked, chipped or broken if dropped or abused. Please discard if this happens.
Also, remember that little kiddos tend to be attracted to pretty / shiny objects... please keep beads away from small children, they can certainly be a choking hazard.
Do you enjoy what you’re doing?
You’re kidding me, right??? :o) I LOVE working with fire & glass. I’ve never done anything that was as instantly gratifying as making glass beads. If you’ve tried your hand at lampworking you know what I’m talking about... if not, think about giving it a try, if you dare! :o)
How do I get started lampworking, too?
There are many places that you can take a basic beginning lampworking class that can get you off on the right foot, not only on technique, but also safety, which is extremely important! Try doing an internet search for “lampworking classes in [your area]”. ISGB also has a listing of lampworking classes. Another good place to check out is Lampwork Etc (LE) , a lampworkers’ forum. Lots of great information (& awesome people!) on LE, too.
If you are up to trying it on your own, pick up a good lampworking book... my first “how to” books were “Making Glass Beads” by Cindy Jenkins, and “The Complete Book of Glass Beadmaking” by Kimberly Adams. Both are good books. Take the SAFETY section of these books seriously, working with torches & fuel, as well as the glass itself can be hazardous to your health. Follow all safety precautions.
You can find all of your lampworking supplies online, if you don’t have a glass supplier in your area. Some of my favorite suppliers are ABR Imagery , Arrow Springs , or Artco Inc.
The internet is a fantastic resource for lampwork education, too. I spent months before my first classes checking out the tutorials on Lampwork Etc . There are alot of fantastic artists out there that are willing to share techniques & information.
Are you a member of any lampworking or artists’ associations?
My glass associations/memberships are:
When, if ever, is it acceptable to sell or teach another person’s designs?
When, if ever, is it acceptable to sell or teach another person’s designs? That’s a question we hear frequently at Bead&Button, and it tells us that many of our readers care about the ethical and legal issues involved when it comes to the money-making aspects of beading. Unfortunately, we also have firsthand experience with beading’s darker side – the dishonest few who cause heartache and financial harm by cashing in on another person’s original work. And when unethical people profit from ideas that don’t belong to them, it hurts us all.
Maybe it was inevitable that as beading became more popular, people would look for shortcuts to exploit the growing number of lucrative opportunities, and maybe there is nothing one editor or one editorial can do to change that. So, it’s gratifying to know that my concerns about the ethics of beading are shared by the editors of other beading magazines, including Cathy Jakicic of BeadStyle, Marlene Blessing of Beadwork, Pamela Hawkins of BeadUnique, and Leslie Rogalski of Step by Step Beads. They will also be covering this topic in upcoming issues of their publications.
To address the question presented at the start of this editorial, Bead&Button’s position on copying designs is as follows:
1. It is unethical to copy an artist’s work to sell without the artist’s permission.
2. It is unethical to copy any work that has appeared in a magazine, book, or website and represent it in any venue as an original design.
3. It is unethical to teach a beading project that has appeared in a magazine, book, or website without the artist’s permission.
4. It is unethical to teach a beading project learned in another teacher’s class without the teacher’s permission.
If you agree, please help disseminate this message by including a copy of these statements with your class materials, your kits, and the pieces you sell. You can download a copyright-free version at beadandbutton.com .