Friday, June 17, 2011

Bead Spotlight: Lampwork Glass Beads

When thinking of beautiful lampwork beads, the word versatile might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it is a fitting description. After all, art glass beads are used by beaders and jewelry designers of all styles and mediums. They pair beautifully with seed bead weaving, metalwork, wire wrapping, macramé, and leatherwork.

Assorted Lampwork Glass Beads

Zanzibar Boro Lampwork Bead Set - Huggy the Frog Lampwork Bead Set - Beige and Turquoise Tabular Lampwork Beads

Golden Rustic Lampwork Sand Dollar Beads - Siamese Kitty Handmade Lampwork Bead Trio - Gold Foil Turquoise Round Glass Pendant

Cameo Roses on Green Handmade Lampwork Bead Set - Giant Earthy Octopus Lamspwork Pendant - Gold Foil Black Zig Zag Murano Glass Pebble Bead

The term lampwork comes from the original method of heating the glass. Before gas fueled torches, glass artists used oil lamps for melting. Today, some people refer to the art as flameworking or torchworking.

The most popular and celebrated lampwork designs come from Murano, Italy, where glasswork has been practiced and perfected since the 1300’s. Today, beaders can choose from a huge variety of lampwork bead styles, including individually made artisan beads, and slightly more affordable factory made glass beads, from around the world.

Beautiful Handmade Jewelry with Lampwork Glass Beads

Tigers Eye and Amazonite Bracelet - Show Me the Love Necklace - Orange Sorbet Brass Bracelet

Cottage Garden Lampwork Bracelet - Lemon Meringue Bracelet - Blue Green Lampwork and Bali Silver Bracelet

Lampwork Bead and Copper Earrings - Delicate Purple and Black Glass Bracelet - Blue and Clear Glass Heart Bracelet

Lampwork beads are versatile not only in beading mediums, but also in how they are used. These beads work equally well as single focals, or as the main components of a design in larger quanities.

Do you like to use lampwork beads in your designs? What materials and techniques do you like to pair them with?

Copyright 2011 Inspirational Beading and Friends
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  1. What a wonderful collection of Lampwork glass beads, truly inspiring.

  2. What a colourful post! Thanks for using my blue lampwork bracelet as part of it!

  3. You always post the most wonderful blogs, Mortira! Am honored you included a pair of my earrings in this one! Thank you so much . . . Catherine (Shadow Dog Designs)

  4. Thanks everyone! This collection was fun to make, but the choices were tough! There are just so many wonderful styles of lampwork beads, and I had to remember to pick a variety, not just the ones I loved at first sight.

  5. I love to work with lampwork beads, especially those from Beads & Botanicals because of the quality, colors and shapes available. I use them with gemstones and wire wrapping techniques because, just as you say, they are so versatile.

    Thanks for the etymology lesson on why they're called lampwork beads; I love to know the origins of different words and I can't believe I never even wondered about this one before, especially since it turned out to be so interesting.

    The Huggy the Frog beads are so charming; I'm certain every one of them is a Prince!

    FaerieKat on Etsy

  6. I love lampwork beads. I'm drooling over all of these!



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