All the Daughters of Eve
By now I think that most jewelry artists have been able to see a lampworking demonstration if you've wanted to. The next question is whether or not you want to do it yourself. It's possible to learn how to do it yourself, using the books and online information available (some is included below), but I really recommend taking an introductory class or learning from a practicing friend. There are so many mistakes you'll be able to avoid by having someone guide you at first.
I’ve been making lampwork glass beads for years and years, but there is always something new to learn. By the way, I didn’t say that I was any good at it, just that I’ve been doing it a long time. If you want to gape over some gorgeous work, take a look at some of the artists who've done profiles for us over the years.
Here's some information to help you make your decision to melt or not to melt...
Frequently Asked Questions about lampworking
An Introduction to lampworking by Ann Scherm Baldwin
An excellently photographed introduction to the steps involved in making lampworked beads.
My favorite books on the subject
Scroll down to the "Bead Making" section.
My very favorites are Cindy Jenkins's Making Glass Beads, Kimberley Adams's The Complete Book of Glass Beadmaking, Jeri L Warhaftig's Glass Bead Workshop, and Karen Leonardo's Creating Lampwork Beads for Jewelry. Another book that I would really like to own is Corina Tettinger's Passing the Flame.
I've always been particularly fond of Cindy Jenkins's book because it was the first one I ever read. It's got tons of great information, but the part on annealing leads you to believe that you can anneal beads with a fiber blanket and/or warm vermiculite. If you are going to make glass beads, you will need a kiln to anneal them. Or you'll need access to a kiln. Annealing can NOT be done with vermiculite and a hot plate, so please factor in the cost of the kiln when you're making your decision.
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