Brief History of Lampwork Glass Beads

31 Oct

Lampworking is an ancient artistic technique that today utilizes a flame to melt glass around a steel mandrel to create beads.

The origins of lampwork beads can be traced all the way back to the Syrians around 1700 BC, the Chinese around 550 BC, the Egyptians around 1450BC.  The Romans were creating them at the turn of the first millennium, with the Italian, Indian, Islamic, French and German folks bringing us up to the present day.  Today individual artisans from all walks of life create lampwork beads on both a large and a small scale.

France and Italy were using blowpipes and oil lamps in the seventeenth century, which is the origin of the “lamp” in lampwork.   This was done by blowing thru a small pipe, by mouth or with a bellows, into an oil lamp flame.  This created just enough heat to soften the softer types of glass to create beads with.  We have come a long way with the tools available to us today to create even more amazing unique pieces of art with which to create stunning pieces of jewelry.

Remember each lampwork bead is handmade and unique unto itself.
To read more about the technique of lampwork, check out our other blog post on Blogger.

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