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Category: lampwork

Heart of Glass

Heart of Glass

One of the things I love about the SCA is the opportunity to learn crafts that might otherwise cost significant money for lessons. In March of this year, at Gulf Wars 2017, I decided to take several lampwork glass classes. I’ve been fascinated with glasswork since I was a kid (especially glass blowing) but never had the opportunity to learn. The lampwork classes are generally pretty popular and fill up quickly, since there’s usually a maximum of 5-6 people permitted. I ended up spending a lot of time in the glass tent, making beads and working on the techniques I learned.

First lampwork class
My first beads!

My first beads were… well, first beads. I quickly began to experiment with making dots (as seen in the bottom left of the above image), swirling, and even played with putting wings on a cylinder and crimping them. It actually looks decently like a bee, although the wings are pretty fragile and one broke. Superglue is my friend.

Second bee effort

Triskelion class efforts

I started to get a feel for things and moved on to a triskelion class. I had fun learning how to manipulate colors together and even playing with some of the transparent colors.

Of course, as can happen at these sorts of things, the bug bit me and I ordered some basic equipment a few days after going home.

Home setup


I ended up making several rose-themed beads for a small A&S competition. It involved a few new-to-me techniques (creating micro-rods, twisting two together, and layering clear glass on solid glass on a mandrel). I made mistakes, but I also had some victories. I need to take some photos of the final products to upload here, but in the meantime, you can see one of the rose beads I made.

At King’s College of this year (2017), I took an advanced lampwork class with Mistress Bea. She encouraged me along; I ended up learning a lot and definitely stretching my skill set!


Hollow bead

My hollow bead was barely technically hollow, but it still counts. Two disks and careful folding create this bead.

Tiny amphora

A tiny amphora I made! I’m actually pretty pleased with this, despite it’s hilarious wonkiness. It required three new-to-me skills to make (making a disk, folding glass, and making handles).

Blown bead

And, finally, my first-ever blown bead. This requires a marble marver and a hollow mandrel. 

I’m currently in the process of unpacking all the boxes in my garage so I can (finally!) set up my lampwork station here at the new house.