Lindsay lampworking

Lampworking is the process of manipulating molten glass in a flame by melting, shaping and layering the glass to create miniature works of art such as beads. Every bead is unique since they are created one at a time in this process.

I begin each bead by melting the tip of a glass rod in the flame of a mixed gas torch until it becomes soft and pliable like honey and I can wind the glass onto the mandrel to create the base of the bead. Once I've added the desired amount of glass, I then use the heat from the flame to melt the bead into a round shape.

Once the base of the bead is ready, I then begin to decorate it by applying different colors of glass onto the surface to create interesting patterns and designs. Each time I apply a new layer of glass to the bead, I have the ability to either leave the design raised up on the surface of the bead by heating it just enough so that it fuses to the base, or I can change the design by melting that layer into the surface of the bead with more heat from the torch.

When I am pleased with how the bead has turned out, I place the hot bead into a pre-heated kiln so that it can slowly bring the bead down in temperature at a controlled rate to give it strength and durability. After about 8 hours in the kiln the beads are fully annealed and only require minor finishing before they can be used for making jewelry.