Monday, December 17, 2012

Beautiful Lampwork Glass Pendants

I resurrected the old laptop to track down some photos of projects I made years ago and came across some photos of my most favorite glass pieces.  These are made with a bench-mount torch on steel mandrels and annealed in the kiln for hours to strengthen them.  The torch-work is so fun, and satisfying, but it takes a lot of time and the set-up is a bit elaborate.  I have to be in just the right frame of mind (and have hours of uninterrupted time) to really have a successful day at the torch.  I'm hoping for a day like that soon!  The hardest part of the glass for me is photography!  I can't quite seem to get the lighting right - they end up looking flat and 2-D.  It's frustrating, so I usually don't post very many photos of the glass, but you can have a peek anyway!

Above is a "lollipop" shaped transparent bead made with amber-colored glass.  I've made a pattern with opaque glass that looks like avocado halves or fish eggs.  This is one of my favorite pendants!  I also make it out of clear glass and it's beautiful.  Below is an organic hand-shaped bead with silver foil and cobalt blue glass shards that are melted into one solid bead.

This is a necklace/earring set made with a beautiful copper and pink glass frit along with silver foil.  The necklace focal bead is also "lollipop" shape.

And here is a vibrant blue and green frit "lollipop" bead.  Frit is little pieces of colored glass that I roll the bead in to give it color and pattern - it is the same material that glass-blowers use but is on a smaller scale.

This is an opaque lollipop bead.  I've made the pattern by melting dots of blue colored glass over ivory glass that has been wrapped in silver foil.  The silver reacts with the metals in the glass causing organic looking patterns and that dark edge around the blue dots.  This is a very fun combination of glass to play with.  The reactions are so cool, it's kind of mesmerizing just thinking about it!

Here is a square focal bead that I made using a bead press.  You get the glass nice and hot on your mandrel and then shape it in a brass press.  Most of my work is shaped by hand (well, actually, it's done by tools because the glass is WAY too hot to touch!), but I occasionally like to play around with some of the fun technology that's available to glass-workers, such as bead-presses.

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