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tiny pinkThis is another of our FAVORITE items in the shop -- a gorgeous strand of delicate pink, natural untreated Peruvian Opal beads. They are faceted for a delightful sparkle! Each is approx. 6 mm.
and there are 90 beads on a 17" (approx.) strand.

Break them up and use a touch of gold for earrings, or string them together for a stunning necklace!

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lampworked beadOne of my favorite types of bead is the 'lampworked', or 'flameworked' bead.  Though such beads have an incredible history, as discussed below, today beadmakers use single or dual fuel torches, typically propane fueled, to heat a rod of glass and spin the resulting thread around a metal rod covered in bead release. When the base bead has been formed, other colors of glass can be added to the surface to create multicolored decorations with different colors, effects, and textures.  After this initial stage of the beadmaking process, the bead can be further fired in a kiln to make it more durable.

In the 19th century, large quantities of beads were produced in the Venetian industry.  At that time, the core of a lampworked bead was produced from molten glass at furnace temperatures, a large-scale industrial process dominated by men. Then it was left to women, working at home with an oil or spirit lamp, to reheat the cores and add the decorations using wisps of colored glass.  The women were paid by the piece for these creations, not unlike the many women artists of today -- though such artists today generally 'own' the entire process.

The variety of lampworked beads appears to be endless, and as in the art and craft of clay, new methods, designs, textures, colors and creations are constantly emerging.  While normally I would say nothing can rival the beauty of natural gemstones, I must admit that many of these beautiful beads come very, very close.  I am humbled by the talent of these modern-day craftswomen and artists.  On the Etsy.com site, Renee Richeson offers the necklace with the lampworked pendant pictured here.  Don't forget to view our very special lampwork bead offerings here at The Bead Collection and on our Etsy site as well:  http://tinyurl.com/atcs2p3

Also, see my earlier blog post on Passing the Flame, an incredible and inspiring book for bead artists everywhere.

 

Comments   

0 # Vintique Jools 2013-07-02 03:15
What a fabulous post! I never really knew the history behind lampwork beads...just knew how much I loved them! This was fascinating to read. I love how your blogs are so informative and a joy to read~~~looking forward to the next one!!

Ellen
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0 # Sheila Mclaughlin 2013-07-02 14:23
Quoting Vintique Jools:
What a fabulous post! I never really knew the history behind lampwork beads...just knew how much I loved them! This was fascinating to read. I love how your blogs are so informative and a joy to read~~~looking forward to the next one!!

Ellen


Hi Ellen,
Thank you so much for your always-kind comments -- I do love lampworked beads -- I fantacize about getting all the equipment and setting up and developing/honi ng skills for this, but then I realize it's so much easier (and cheaper) to just sit back and admire all the incredible artisans out there. I am just blown away by the things they come up with -- and often want to buy -- too many -- ! ;-)) If you're ever on Pinterest I've posted quite a mind-blowing collection of beautiful lampwork on my 'Beads and Pendants' board -- check it out if so. That reminds me I need to see if you have a board on there...here I go... Thanks again!!
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