Monthly Archives: July 2009

Another Weekend, More Handmade Lampwork Beads

Another weekend has passed, and I have more lampwork beads to show for it.  I wish I could do some lampwork during the week, but I rarely have time (except for maybe making twisties and stringers).  But on Saturday and Sunday...time to torch!

Autumn Sun Lampwork BeadsHere's something I want to make into a set.  I call it "Autumn Sun" because of the various yellows and oranges -- just seems to me to be fall colors.

And this bead was made with a twistie!  Yeah, I know -- it sure doesn't look like it.  But then again, I am always trying something new and different.

It's really prettier in person than in the photo, and please excuse the light reflections (I have to find my photo tent again...).  This bead is about 21mm in diameter, and between 7 and 8 mm thick.  I think when I make it into a set, though, I'll stick to the 18mm size, maybe even the 15mm.

Another bead from the weekend was made using shards.  Shards are very, very thin pieces of glass that when applied to a bead, give it an extra "omph".

Cosmic Storm Lampwork BeadThis one was a trial bead, to see if I like the shards enough to buy more and make a set.  I'm still kind of up in the air about this one.  I do like the effect (I call this one "Cosmic Storm"), but I'm not quite sure about the color contrast (i.e. is there enough).

This bead is very tactile; the fine silver gives it a texture that makes you want to holdit in your hand and fondle the bead.  I know, there are all kinds of jokes about "fondling beads", but it's true!  Once you have them in your hands, you want to keep looking at them and touching them.

On another note about texture and shape, I made a seashell bead this weekend and it actually looked like a seashell!  However, I want to get some more practice in before I show a picture -- maybe a "before" (this weekend's bead) and then an "after" (once I've made a few more).

Well, that's it for today.  In the meanwhile, I'll leave you with some handmade lampwork beads for sale, that all have the word "silver" in their title (thought I'd do something a little different).  But if you want a larger list of more than just the "silver" lampwork beads, [nmslink:lampwork beads SRA, here they are]!

Grace Lampwork Beads SRA 10306014 D Four Dark Ivory w Silver Pillow Beads
Grace Lampwork Beads SRA 10306014 D Four Dark Ivory w Silver Pillow Beads
$19.50
Time Remaining: 14h 42m
Handmade Lampwork Focal Bead Sonora By Soul Of Glass OOAK SRA
Handmade Lampwork Focal Bead Sonora By Soul Of Glass OOAK SRA
$9.99 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 8h 46m
Desert Roses Handmade Lampwork Glass Focal Bead w silver Betty Hanssen SRA
Desert Roses Handmade Lampwork Glass Focal Bead w silver Betty Hanssen SRA
$15.00
Time Remaining: 2d 9h 38m
DFJ Lampwork 5 USA Handmade Silver Glass Spacer Beads Gold Pink Aurora Fumed SRA
DFJ Lampwork 5 USA Handmade Silver Glass Spacer Beads Gold Pink Aurora Fumed SRA
$12.50
Time Remaining: 3d 2h 31m
Buy It Now for only: $12.50
Bali Handmade Lampwork Glass Focal Bead w silver Betty Hanssen SRA
Bali Handmade Lampwork Glass Focal Bead w silver Betty Hanssen SRA
$15.00
Time Remaining: 2d 9h 38m

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Handmade Lampwork Beads

Handmade lampwork beads are a thing of joy to behold.  They are also fun to make most days.  Then again, there are days that every bead is hard-won.  For me, that happened to be yesterday.

The Joys and Tribulations of Lampworking

Otherworld Handmade Lampwork BeadSometimes ideas, glass and coordination all line up and beads seem to make themselves.  Other times, coordination or ideas are lacking, making the lampwork beads a struggle to create.

I'm not exactly sure what was lacking yesterday (probably the coordination), but the beads didn't flow like they normally do.  Well, maybe I do know.  Half-way through my session I had to go and grab my reading glasses!  And let me tell you, it's not fun to wear two sets of glasses (the others being the AUR-92 for the lampworking).

But after I did put the reading glasses on, "Otherworld" (bead to the right) was born.  I was able to see well enough to lay down the goldstone and make it sparkly.  Once I got everything all encased, I then added the SIS on top.  I'm a lousey photographer, but the bead has some wonderful depth to it.

Blue PlanetI also ended up with "Blue Planet" (to the left).  Kind of the same general design as "Otherworld", but still somewhat different.  I liked this one so much that I went out today and made a set to go with it!  Right now, they are cooling down in the kiln.  Can't wait until they are cool enough to take out!

Handmade Lampwork Beads and Experiments

On days when I can't seem to make two beads the same (or even vaguely alike), I will many times make test beads.  By that I mean try different colors together, maybe a different shape or  size from normal.

I decided yesterday was a good time to run some tests!  So I played with some of the lampwork shards I've bought lately.  One, called "Dragon's Breath" holds some promise.  Another, "Cherry Blush" was pretty.  Two more I don't think I've got the hang of!

It used to be that when I was having a bad day at the torch, I would keep on trying to make my sets, regardless of how bad I was doing.  Now, I use my bad days to experiment and try new things.

In another month os so, I'll be opening back up my Etsy store, and will be listing beads here and there on ebay.  But if you are in need of beads right now, here are some pretty blue beads from ebay, for your viewing pleasure.

Grace Lampwork Beads Artisan Handmade SRA 10413611 Five Sky Blue Treasures Gr
Grace Lampwork Beads Artisan Handmade SRA 10413611 Five Sky Blue Treasures Gr
$17.00
Time Remaining: 1d 2h 54m
Lampwork Glass Beads Aqua Blue White Flower Swirl Handmade Craft Rondelle Spacer
Lampwork Glass Beads Aqua Blue White Flower Swirl Handmade Craft Rondelle Spacer
$7.99
Time Remaining: 27d 11h 14m
Buy It Now for only: $7.99
Grace Lampwork Beads Artisan Handmade SRA 10602411 Five Graduated Blue
Grace Lampwork Beads Artisan Handmade SRA 10602411 Five Graduated Blue
$48.00
Time Remaining: 4d 11h 25m
Buy It Now for only: $48.00
FAIRY FABULOUS amethyst purple over blue lampwork glass beads TANERES sra
FAIRY FABULOUS amethyst purple over blue lampwork glass beads TANERES sra
$9.00
Time Remaining: 26d 9h 57m
Buy It Now for only: $9.00
Grace Lampwork Beads Artisan Handmade SRA 10413411 Five Arctic Blue Shimmer G
Grace Lampwork Beads Artisan Handmade SRA 10413411 Five Arctic Blue Shimmer G
$19.00
Time Remaining: 3d 6h 19m

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Lampwork Pandora Beads

Lampwork Pandora beads go by many names.  Sometimes they are called Murano beads, sometimes glass beads.  Ah, but once you've seen artisan handmade lampwork beads, you may never want to go back!

Lampwork Glass Pandora Beads (Click for larger image)

Lampwork Glass Pandora Beads (Click for larger image)

Step right up and learn about the gorgeous handmade lampwork beads that await you!

First -- What Are Pandora Beads?

If you're not familiar with the term, Pandora beads basically means the beads have a large hole that will fit on a Pandora-style bracelet.  The minimum hole size is 4.4mm.

Beads that fit a Pandora bracelet will also fit the bracelets for other major manufacturers -- Biagi, Troll and Chamilla.  The reverse is true, except for Troll.  You see, the thread-end on the Troll bracelets is smaller, so it can accept a bead with a smaller hole -- around 4mm.  This means that a bead designed specifically for a Troll bracelet will not fit over the end of the others.

Naturally, similar bracelets that are not the official Biagi, Pandora, Chamilla or Troll abound.  And to be honest, I have both an authentic Pandora as well as an unnamed bracelet of a Troll-style; I wear and enjoy them both.

Why Artisan Lampwork Beads?

I am definitely showing my bias here, seeing as I make handmade lampwork beads.  But in all honesty, the artisan-made lampwork beads are hands-down a better value.  Why?
Artisan Handmade Lampwork Bead, Pandora-Style

Artisan Handmade Lampwork Bead, Pandora-Style

If you look on the official websites for the bracelet manufacturers, you'll see that they start at around $25 per bead and go up from there.  The beads are nice enough, but worth $25?  Let's put it this way; I have middle-of-the-road prices on my handmade beads, and I would only charge about $7 for a bead the official sites charge $25 for.  They are small, plain beads that can be made quickly.

For between $10 and $25, you can get a larger, more intricate and/or more colorful lampwork bead.  And yes, I did make the beads in the photos above; these are in the $14 range.

I know of other lampworkers who make the simpler beads, who sell them for less than $10.  Sometimes you can get lucky and get a lovely one for under $5.

I also know of some fellow lampworkers who make extremely detailed, extremely gorgeous artisan lampwork beads for between $25 and $50.  These are truly works of art, and I catch my breath whenever I see them.

So those are a few reasons to choose the artisan lampwork Pandora beads over the official beads.  And like I said before, the official beads are nice enough, but pale in comparison to the quality lampwork beads.

Of course, you are welcome to visit my store for artisan handmade lampwork beads, Pandora-style and more!

I thought I would leave you with some beautiful handmade lampwork beads shown on ebay.  I'm sure you'll agree that there are some true beauties there! 

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