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Antique key and lampwork necklace - part one

Finally, this design has pushed its way to the top of my work table!

Materials & tools

Antique skeleton keys (if you don't have real ones, try these)
Fine steel wool
Lampwork glass bead equipment and materials

1. Wrap fine steel wool around the shafts of the antique keys you wish to use.  I used a small paint brush to apply rings of bead release around the shafts.   

2. Melt your glass rods in the torch flame and make rings around each key.  I got better at this as I went along...the key on the right was the first one I did, and you can see that the rings are much thinner and wobblier than my last attempt on the left.  They are not perfect, but they don't need to be for this project.

3. When the glass has annealed and cooled, carefully remove the steel wool.  Use your reaming tool to clean the release off the insides of the rings.  I made some additional small spacers and other beads to use in my final necklace design.

Next week - how to make a finished necklace

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Copyright 2012 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.


Hi Cyndi, Thanks for the tutorial! I agree that a more rustic look for the glass rings works well with the vintage esthetic of this project. I have some late 1800's dogon ring trading beads in my personal collection and your rings remind me of those. Nicely done!
Cherie Burbach said…
Once again, I would have never thought to do this! Very nice.
Wow - just wow! When I saw the top photo, I thought, "I don't see any lampwork beads". You made glass rings!!

I hope you'll be submitting this to some magazines. It's outstanding!