Lampworking, Glass Beads and Jewelry

I enjoy lampworking, when the weather isn't too hot.  Lampworking, if you don't know, is the art of making glass objects (in my case, beads) with a torch.  In other words, I take rods of glass, heat them in the flame of a torch until they melt, then make beads.

Here's one set that I made.  The beads are about 18mm tall and wide, and about 11 mm thick at their widest.

I mentioned that I prefer to make beads when it's not too hot.  You see, my studio is in my garage, and I live in South Florida.  As you can imagine, between May and September, the weather is hot and humid.  Since being in the garage seems to make it hotter (especially with the torch and kiln going).  So it will be another month or so before I'll start up again.

You know what's funny?  I make all these unique glass beads (and trust me, they are unique; it's rare that I can make two exactly alike) and I rarely make jewelry!  I tend to sell them faster than I can hang onto them.  However, sometimes buyers want me to make bracelets for them, so I get a chance to play then.

Seed Beads

Before I got into lampworking, I did make jewelry -- from seed beads, mostly.  Although I did also like to include keshi pearls, gemstones and Swarovski crystals.  I learned most of the stiches, but my absolute favorite was making organic jewelry.

Based on the Peyote StitchHere's a bracelet that I made which is an example of the kind of work I enjoyed.  It's made mostly with size 11 seed beads, but I also utilized size 15 and size 8 in places.  Oh, and turquoise chips here and there as well.

I always got tons of compliments when I wore it, but when people would ask the price, they would flinch since I'd quote $100.  It takes so long for me to make a bracelet like this, that I wanted to earn at least minimum wage, after the cost of the materials.

I also delighted in making organic watch bands.  My biggest problem was trying to find the right style of watch, so that I could make bands that would attach and detach (in case something happened to the watch itself.

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