TreeBlaskted Oak

Glass Bead Making

  1. The Torch
  2. Essential Tools
  3. Other Useful Tools
  4. Supplies

Glass:  For lamp work using a Hot Head™ torch, the glass used is a relatively low melting point glass called soda-lime glass.  Within this overall type of glass you have different types with different coefficients of expansion (COE) meaning that they expand at different rates during heating.  If two glasses with different COEs are combined in one bead, then the bead will break as it cools down, since one section is contracting faster than the other.  Typically, glass commercially available for bead making is one of two COEs, either 90 or 104.  Two main brands of these types are Bullseye for COE 90 and Effetre (Moretti) for COE 104.   Most glass workers I know use COE 104 glass, so that type has the most versatility if you are hoping to share with other glass workers.

Starter Kits: Many companies offer beginner beadmaking kits, which contain everything you need to get started apart from the fuel itself. MAPP gas is easily available at most hardware stores for about $10 per cylinder. The following are two different recommended kits. Kit from Delphi Glass and Kit from Devardi Glass

Frit: Crushed pieces of glass, often combined into sets of colors that go well together. This glass can be used to give interesting dots or can be swirled through the glass using a bead rake to give interesting patterns of lines and swirls

Frit Powders: Sometimes called glass paints this is glass ground into powder. It can be swirled through to give interesting colors and effects.

Pixie Dust:  Colored metallic powder can be added as a coating to glass beads, since the powder is not made of glass it can be used on any type of glass, regardless of COE.  It will burn off if it gets to hot, so it is recommended that it be used towards the end of the lampworking. 


Copyright © 2008-2013 Naomi Hampson.