The Alchemy of Flamework
Every creation is crafted by hand using traditional, artisan glass and metalwork techniques.
Flamework is the ancient art of crafting small glass objects using a flame, gravity and graphite tools.
Contemporary lampworking in the States can be traced back around 40 years to American glass artists that toured Venetian foundries and secured apprenticeships. During their stay these artists learned techniques that had previously been kept secret for the last four hundred years. These American artists would later help found the International Society of Glass Beadmakers.
The process used today is mostly unchanged from centuries past. A dual fueled torch that uses a mixture of oxygen and propane melts the glass rods. The most popular glass used today is the same Soft Glass favored in the mid-15th century in Venice. This Italian Soft Glass melts at a relatively low temperature which allows the bead to stay warm while being manipulated without the risk of cracking.
Once molten we use different color glass to add patterns and depth. We add additional elements such as silver, gold, copper leaf and glass frit to decorate individual pieces. Once finished, each bead is annealed in a digitally controlled kiln to slowly cool beads and ensure durability. Beads are held between 940-1050 degrees until the glass reaches its stress relief point. After which, beads are slowly cooled to avoid thermal shock.