Hundreds of years ago artisans made glass beads by heating the glass using oil lamps. This became known as lampwork. Today flamework 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 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 create beads with flowers, murrini fish, and many other patterns. Finally, I put the bead in the kiln and fire it overnight at 960f, slowly decreasing the temperature for added strength and durability.
On many pieces I have silversmithed the settings to hold my lampwork creations. I have also cabbed stones to go into my sterling silver settings. I love working in both glass and sterling silver to create small treasurers that are wearable. These make great gifts for your loved ones.