Lampwork Beads

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]!

BLACK SILVER DROPLET NUGGET Beads  Lampwork Glass sra tiny faceted rocks
BLACK SILVER DROPLET NUGGET Beads Lampwork Glass sra tiny faceted rocks
$12.00
Time Remaining: 27d 6h 58m
Buy It Now for only: $12.00
BLACK SILVER DROPLET NUGGET Beads  Lampwork Glass sra tiny faceted rocks
BLACK SILVER DROPLET NUGGET Beads Lampwork Glass sra tiny faceted rocks
$12.00
Time Remaining: 27d 6h 58m
Buy It Now for only: $12.00
IVORY SILVER DROPLET NUGGET Beads  Lampwork Glass sra tiny faceted rocks
IVORY SILVER DROPLET NUGGET Beads Lampwork Glass sra tiny faceted rocks
$12.00
Time Remaining: 27d 7h 44m
Buy It Now for only: $12.00
IVORY SILVER DROPLET NUGGET Beads  Lampwork Glass sra tiny faceted rocks
IVORY SILVER DROPLET NUGGET Beads Lampwork Glass sra tiny faceted rocks
$12.00
Time Remaining: 27d 7h 44m
Buy It Now for only: $12.00
SJC Lampwork 22 handmade silver glass barrel  donut beads SRA USA
SJC Lampwork 22 handmade silver glass barrel donut beads SRA USA
$24.95 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 3d 9h 50m

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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.

Lampwork Glass Flower Beads Raised Petals Blue 15 mm 4 Beads a33bbb
Lampwork Glass Flower Beads Raised Petals Blue 15 mm 4 Beads a33bbb
$6.99
Time Remaining: 23d 18h 41m
Buy It Now for only: $6.99
Handmade Lampwork Glass Beads Octopus Blue Color 19 mm Lentil Shape 4 Beads
Handmade Lampwork Glass Beads Octopus Blue Color 19 mm Lentil Shape 4 Beads
$5.99
Time Remaining: 10d 19h 28m
Buy It Now for only: $5.99
Lampwork Glass handmade Love Heart Beads White Blue Pink Green Black Smoky
Lampwork Glass handmade Love Heart Beads White Blue Pink Green Black Smoky
$2.61
Time Remaining: 25d 20h 35m
Buy It Now for only: $2.61
Lampwork Glass Flower Beads Raised Petals Blue 15 mm Round 4 Beads a33b
Lampwork Glass Flower Beads Raised Petals Blue 15 mm Round 4 Beads a33b
$6.99
Time Remaining: 22d 19h 40m
Buy It Now for only: $6.99
Handmade Lampwork 19 mm Lentil Glass Beads Green Blue Dragonfly 4 Beads
Handmade Lampwork 19 mm Lentil Glass Beads Green Blue Dragonfly 4 Beads
$7.99
Time Remaining: 12d 19h 18m
Buy It Now for only: $7.99

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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! 

Authentic Pandora Lampwork Glass Bead Blue Green Flowers 925 ALE European
Authentic Pandora Lampwork Glass Bead Blue Green Flowers 925 ALE European
$50.00
Time Remaining: 5d 8h 16m
Buy It Now for only: $50.00

Making Beaded Jewelry

Making beaded jewelry has been part of my life so long.  And when I realized I'd been feeling kind of blue lately, I remembered that I hadn't made anything in a few months.

Bright Lampwork BeadsHorrors!  Can it really be that long, at least 3 months since I've had beads in hand?  No wonder I have felt out-of-sorts.

But here's the problem -- what should I make?  It always seems to be the same way for me -- either I have too many ideas and can't decide what I want to do first...or no ideas at all!  Do you ever find that happening to you?

I decided to get out some photos of my lampwork beads and see if they could give me inspiration.  And you know what's funny?  Of the hundreds (and probably thousands) of lampwork beads I have made, I probably have....maybe a dozen to call my own.

Making Beaded Jewelry

If you've been making beaded jewelry for any length of time, you know what bead paralysis is.  You have beads of all kinds - lampwork, gemstone, crystal - and findings galore.  Got beading cord or string?  Check.  Are the tools handy?  Yep.

Then....so much to choose from and so little time to bead it all up!  How to choose what to make first?

Lampwork Beads, TasminannWhen I am totally stumped, I make a bracelet.  It's faster than a necklace but involves me a little more than most earrings do.  And you know what's funny?  I tend to make jewelry that I don't have anything to wear with!  I mean, I see a color combination to die for -- I make something up and then realize nothing I have coordinates with it.

Ever have that happen to you?

So now I am staring at the few remaining of my own lampwork beads that I have in my possession.  I'll need to root around some, but I should be able to find my Swarovski and my sterling beads.  Findings...that may be tough; hopefully I have at least one clasp floating around in my stash.  If not, I have a lot of silver wire, so I can improvise.

Decisions after beading decisions...

OK, so let me go and see what I can come up with, as far as making beaded jewelry.  Meanwhile I'll leave you with some beady pictures of other lampwork artists on ebay (my other source of inspiration).

Catch up with you later!

Wholesale Mixed Handmade Lampwork Glass Loose Beads Heart Oval Round Mix 15pcs
Wholesale Mixed Handmade Lampwork Glass Loose Beads Heart Oval Round Mix 15pcs
$4.93
Time Remaining: 4d 21h 11m
Buy It Now for only: $4.93
OliveStuart Handmade Lampwork Beads 33 red green white Christmas
OliveStuart Handmade Lampwork Beads 33 red green white Christmas
$28.99 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 2h 9m
Lampwork Handmade Glass Christmas Santa Beads 5
Lampwork Handmade Glass Christmas Santa Beads 5
$7.99
Time Remaining: 29d 4h 28m
Buy It Now for only: $7.99
TWO POUNDS ASSORTED VENETIAN INSPIRED MIX LAMPWORK GLASS BEADS LOT BD 34
TWO POUNDS ASSORTED VENETIAN INSPIRED MIX LAMPWORK GLASS BEADS LOT BD 34
$19.01
Time Remaining: 11d 22h 33m
Buy It Now for only: $19.01
Lampwork Glass Rondelle Beads Christmas Color VIII 5
Lampwork Glass Rondelle Beads Christmas Color VIII 5
$4.99
Time Remaining: 2d 8h 4m
Buy It Now for only: $4.99

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