What is Lampworking?

Lampworking is the art of melting down glass with a torch to make beads, pendants, sculptures, and more. An extraordinary amount of work goes into each piece. After creation, each hot glass item is put into a hot digitally-controlled kiln to soak and cool down over an extended period of time. This process is called "annealling." Annealling allows the bead to cool uniformly, which strengthens the bead and prevents cracking. After the beads have cooled they are thoroughly cleaned. Because of the difficulty in making lampwork beads, the expense of the tools, materials, and supplies, and the time involved in making each piece, handmade artisan beads are much more expensive than "mass produced" beads. Beads that are mass produced tend to be inferior in quality and rarely annealed; therefore they break easily. The more durable nature and the beauty of handmade lampwork is worth the cost.