lampwork jewelry

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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Making Beaded Jewelry – When You’ve Run Out of Supplies

Making beaded jewelry is fun, unless you have run out of supplies.  And if in today's economy you can't afford more at the moment, what do you do?

As for me, I take a look at what I've made and rarely worn.  Time to disassemble and create something new!

What to Choose?

As I mentioned, the first thing I do is look for jewelry that I made and have only worn once or twice (or in some cases...never).  No, I don't particularly like taking apart my "babies", but on the flip side -- I love creating something new!

And honestly, if I don't wear it (and don't really expect to in the future), why not take it apart?  It's doing no good sitting in the jewelry box.

When you are hungry for beading supplies, it can be a treasure-trove.

(Re) Making Beaded Jewelry

OK, I have two necklaces that I am eying.  One is primarily pearls and Swarovski.  The other has gemstone beads, sterling spacers, gemstone chips and Czech beads.  I've rarely worn one of them.  The other I used to wear a lot, but haven't put on for at least 5 years.  I'd say they are ripe for redux.

So, let me take 'em both apart.  I'm probably create just one necklace out of the two.  I will add in a few of my lampwork beads that I just found this morning (whoo-hoo!). 

So, I'll post what I come up with -- let's see if I can manage to make something interesting.

Meanwhile, if you do have some spare change for more beads, here are some you might like.

Lampwork Glass Novelty Evil Eye Beads 75 8mm Round Dark Blue 20
Lampwork Glass Novelty Evil Eye Beads 75 8mm Round Dark Blue 20
$2.65
Time Remaining: 17d 14h 16m
Buy It Now for only: $2.65
Glass Eye Pendant with Claw lampwork Blue Boro Focal Bead Oil Dabber Mazet VGW
Glass Eye Pendant with Claw lampwork Blue Boro Focal Bead Oil Dabber Mazet VGW
$65.00
Time Remaining: 15h 25m
Buy It Now for only: $89.00
Lampwork Glass Flower Beads Raised Petals Blue  Yellow 15 mm 4 Beads 333y
Lampwork Glass Flower Beads Raised Petals Blue Yellow 15 mm 4 Beads 333y
$6.99
Time Remaining: 24d 2h 56m
Buy It Now for only: $6.99
6 Handmade Lampwork Blue AB Finish Twist Leaf 32x25mm Glass BeadsDDD46
6 Handmade Lampwork Blue AB Finish Twist Leaf 32x25mm Glass BeadsDDD46
$1.25
Time Remaining: 26d 13h 34m
Buy It Now for only: $1.25
G3093L Blue w Gold  Silver Foil Handmade Lampwork Glass 24mm Oval Beads 10 pkg
G3093L Blue w Gold Silver Foil Handmade Lampwork Glass 24mm Oval Beads 10 pkg
$8.20
Time Remaining: 17d 8h 38m
Buy It Now for only: $8.20

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Blessings Bracelet, Part 2

The blessings bracelet that I spoke of in the last post is done now.  It's in shades of purple and green, with accents of pink and a kind of butter-cream ivory.

So here are the supplies, the finished product and the general technique.

Blessings Bracelet Supplies

blessings-bracelet-suppliesAs you see in the photo, the supplies are kind of eclectic.  I have seed beads, lampwork beads, Swarovski in bicone and cube.  Sterling silver is in the bunch, as is gemstone beads in malachite, rhodochistite and jasper.

The clasp is a sterling toggle.  I used Soft Flex beading wire for the main part of the bracelet, and Fireline 8 lb. in crystal for the stranding portion.

The Finished Product

As you can see, I don't necessarily favor being symmetrical.  As in my lampwork, I prefer to be a bit of a free spirit and favor organic designs.

blessings-bracelet-doneOne thing that's very important in this particular bracelet is that you have to measure carefully, but you also have to keep it very loose for the main part of the bracelet.  You'll see why when I talk about the construction technique.

General Technique

First, using the Soft Flex I beaded the main portion of the bracelet in a single row.  Between the lampwork beads I put seven size 6 seed beads.

I kept the construction very loose at this point, with beading wire showing.  The reason is that I will be moving my needle between and around the seed beads, and I need some slack.

Once I had the main part of the bracelet done and crimped, I started with the stranding section.  I tied my Fireline (doubled for strength) between two beads on the "outside" of the lampwork beads.  I then threaded the needle through the beads until I came out through a lampwork bead.

At this point, I put random beads on my string and threaded them around and through the size six seed beads.  The reason I chose this size seed beads is because they have a very large hole, and can accommodate many passes through of the thread and needle.

And that's basically it.  I just added beads until (in this case) I ran out of thread.  You could do that, or create a more symmetrical stranding and stop sooner.

I hope you've enjoyed this, and so I'll leave you with some lampwork that's awfully pretty to look at. 

Grace Lampwork Beads SRA Glass Heart 11832805 Sable Celestial Heart
Grace Lampwork Beads SRA Glass Heart 11832805 Sable Celestial Heart
$9.00
Time Remaining: 8h 4m
Handmade Lampwork Focal Bead Marengo By Soul Of Glass OOAK SRA
Handmade Lampwork Focal Bead Marengo By Soul Of Glass OOAK SRA
$9.99
Time Remaining: 13h 26m
Buy It Now for only: $19.99
Handmade Lampwork Focal Bead Parral By Soul Of Glass OOAK SRA
Handmade Lampwork Focal Bead Parral By Soul Of Glass OOAK SRA
$9.99
Time Remaining: 13h 35m
Buy It Now for only: $19.99
Grace Lampwork Beads SRA 11839102 Iris and Critter Lentil Focal Bead
Grace Lampwork Beads SRA 11839102 Iris and Critter Lentil Focal Bead
$13.00
Time Remaining: 11h 50m
CELINE Artisan USA AQUA BIG HOLE BEADS pandora lampwork beads SRA
CELINE Artisan USA AQUA BIG HOLE BEADS pandora lampwork beads SRA
$29.99
Time Remaining: 19h 53m
Buy It Now for only: $38.99

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Do You Have a Blessings Bracelet?

My friend Jennie mentioned the concept of a "blessings bracelet" to me a few months ago.  It's a bracelet that, whenever you look at it, it reminds you of your blessings.

I know, in today's world it's hard to come up with anything to consider a blessing -- sometimes it all seems so bleak.  But a blessings bracelet serves to remind us that life can be good, if we'd take the time to remember the little things.

Jennie's Blessings BraceletCount 'Em Up

I thought that a bracelet would be a good idea, so I started on something simple that I could wear every day.  I got about half-way through and then realized that if it was too simple, I wouldn't notice it.  And if I didn't notice it...how would I remember to count my blessings?

So, back to the drawing board.

Meanwhile, Jennie was working away at hers.  Periodically she'd ask how mine was going and tell me the status of hers.

Then there was the day the photos came.  Wow!  (FYI - you can click on the photos to see a larger image.)

Jennie's Blessings Bracelet CloseupIn case you haven't followed along, Jennie and I live at opposite ends of the country, so photos are all we have to go by.  And when she sent me the photos of hers I felt so bad that I hadn't worked on mine.

So here are the photos of Jennie's bracelet, and I will be hard-pressed to come up with something even half as nice.  I'm staring at my pile of lampwork and Swarovski (in purples and greens -- how's that for a color combo) and trying to think of what I can do.

Hmmm, the sterling beads have gone into hiding somewhere in this room, but I did find some toggle clasps.  And yes, I have beading wire...oh no!  I just realized that wherever my sterling beads are, that's where all my crimps are.

Yes, this is going to get interesting.

Well, off to locate the silver beads and wayward crimps.  Once I have them all together, I'll take a photo of all the "fixings" so you can see the supplies before...and the finished bracelet after.

In the meanwhile, I'll leave you with some ebay eye candy to peruse - enjoy!

One Random Pattern my choice Spoon Bracelet You Choose Size Clasp Quantity
One Random Pattern my choice Spoon Bracelet You Choose Size Clasp Quantity
$15.00
Time Remaining: 23d 8h 13m
Buy It Now for only: $15.00
Pet Memory Stretch Bracelet Paw Heart  Gemstone Rainbow Bridge Bracelet
Pet Memory Stretch Bracelet Paw Heart Gemstone Rainbow Bridge Bracelet
$15.00
Time Remaining: 15d 2h 4m
Buy It Now for only: $15.00
Random Sets Of 12 multi Color Bracelets Nepal bracelet Roll On Bracelet
Random Sets Of 12 multi Color Bracelets Nepal bracelet Roll On Bracelet
$18.00
Time Remaining: 15d 6h 35m
Buy It Now for only: $18.00
Random Sets Of 12 Solid Color Bracelets Nepal bracelet Roll On Bracelet
Random Sets Of 12 Solid Color Bracelets Nepal bracelet Roll On Bracelet
$18.00
Time Remaining: 15d 6h 33m
Buy It Now for only: $18.00
LeStage Convertible Bracelet 4MM Thin
LeStage Convertible Bracelet 4MM Thin
$89.00
Time Remaining: 24d 6h 36m
Buy It Now for only: $89.00

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