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I am a glass bead maker and fuser. I have been creating jewelry since I was a child (mud beads, anyone? 😂) and melting glass to make beads and small sculptures since 2003. I started fusing in 2019.
My husband constructed my studio, which features an active ventilation system, stainless steel workbench, and 3 kilns. I use a Carlisle Mini CC propane-oxygen torch. My propane is piped from outside (with 4 safety valves/stops) and I use oxygen generators for my oxygen source. I also have a mini propane-oxygen jeweler’s torch for doing torch enameling and soldering for my enameled metal pieces.
I also have a mini propane-oxygen jeweler’s torch for doing torch enameling (melting and fusing powdered glass to metal) and soldering for my enameled metal pieces.
Lampwork gets its name from the days when an oil lamp and bellows was used to melt glass. All of the beads on this site are made by me using a propane-oxygen torch. Once the glass becomes molten, I shape it, then the finished bead goes in the kiln to slowly cool over 8 hours.
The slow cooling process is called annealing and helps reduce internal stress and strengthen the finished bead.
I love the ever-changing colors and shapes that appear when lampworking. My biggest inspirations are color, nature, and animals. If you have any questions about the glass bead making process, please feel free to contact me.
Each piece is created using a propane-oxygen torch and placed immediately in my digitally controlled kiln to cool and strengthen for 8+ hours after creation. I clean each bead with a diamond Dremel drill bit and inspect each piece to ensure the highest quality glass pieces.
Unlike lampwork, glass fusing is done at high temperatures (>1400F) in a kiln. The glass is typically in sheets versus rods, and after each piece is cut and assembled, it goes into the kiln to melt and fuse together. Subsequent kiln firings are used to add additional elements and shape the glass, such as the cap on a mushroom lamp.
One of my favorite things is to blend lampwork with fusing to create new designs that would be difficult to accomplish on their own, such as leaves and swirls.