Art Glass Jewelry Gifts
Hundreds of years ago artisans made glass beads by heating the glass using oil lamps. This became known as lampwork or flamework art glass. Today, art glass artists use a special blowtorch fueled by a mixture of oxygen and propane to create lampwork beads in temperatures above 2500F.
In my studio, I create all my glass beads by hand with a blowtorch. I use a torch to melt both glass and silver. I start the beads by melting the glass around a steel rod called a mandrel and decorate the bead using thin threads of glass. I create the beads shaped by constantly rotating the newly formed bead in the flame. I love the way glass transforms from a solid cold form into a molten liquid state, easily manipulated and cooled to solid again to create unique designs. Finally, I put the bead in the glass kiln and fire it overnight at 960f, slowly decreasing the temperature for added strength and durability.
My favorite themes to create in my studio are ocean scenes and sea creatures. I pull my own Murrine cane to resemble different fish and use them to create intricate Aquarium beads. I also create Turtle pendants, Octopus pendants, Implosion pendants that remind me of sea anemones and glass blown jellyfish pendants. Living by the sea there is no shortage of inspiration.
Another fascination of mine are eyes. I love the different colors that go into just one eye. I also need to pull Murrine to create the iris of the eye. Some people refer to these eye pendants as Evil Eye Pendants. Many people believe the evil eye brings protection and good luck from any negative energy. I just like making eyes that look realistic, and glow from the silver in the glass. Maybe I just like creating freaky pendants in boro glass for a perfect gift for someone unusual.
On many pieces I use silversmith techniques to fabricate my mountings and settings to hold my unique one-of-a-kind art glass lampwork creations. I have also cabbed stones to go into my sterling silver settings. Sometimes I just crave working in sterling silver and I create fidget rings, spinner rings and spoon rings made from old sterling silver utensils.
I love working in both glass and sterling silver to create small treasures that are wearable - perfect for gifts.