Lampworking (flameworking) is an ancient art developed thousands of years ago. Lampworking is the art of melting rods of glass in the flame of a torch and winding the molten glass around a steel rod called a ‘mandrel’, which has a clay-based release agent on it to prevent the glass from bonding to the steel. The steel rod must be evenly rotated to center the hot glass.
The bead can be shaped and decorated using a variety of simple tools, all the while keeping the glass at a molten state by moving it in and out of the flame. Some of the tools used for intricate patterns, textures, and designs are called: frits, powders, stringers, and foils. The lampworked bead is then placed in a kiln and held at 950 degrees to anneal, which toughens the glass and reduces brittleness thereby making the glass bead stable. I then combine my lampwork glass beads with findings of sterling silver to complete each piece.
I am fascinated by the transformation of cold solid glass transformed into a molten state, the freedom it offers to mold it into my own unique designs, and the finished beads as they return back to a solid state encasing my creative expressions. Because this creative hot glass process must be completed in one sitting, I like to call it ‘frozen motion’.
I have long had a love and attraction to bright, bold colors. This passion for color has shown itself continually in other creative endeavors over the years. I find the shiny, high gloss, bright color combinations of my ‘lampwork beads’ appealing and just fun! I so enjoy the entire process, and it is my hope that this enjoyment carries over to each and every one of my customers.
I am always expanding my knowledge of beadmaking by attending several workshops and attending Penland School of Crafts where I love working with the ‘masters’!