Friday, March 26, 2010

Lampwork Beads and Beaded Jewelry

Lampwork beads are one of my personal favorite beads to use because of their radiance and luster. They seem to have a depth not found in other types of glass beads. There are several popular types of lampwork:

Fiorato Beads: These are a variation of Murano and Venetian glass beads created using melted glass to “paint” flowers and decorations onto the surface.

Foil lined: These beads contain either white gold foil, 24K gold foil, or .925 sterling silver foil submerged beneath the glass brightening the color and producing a radiant glow.

Millefiori Beads: Variation of Murano and Venetian glass beads hand-created by working slices of millefiori glass canes into each bead. Millefiori means “thousand flowers” in Italian.

Sommerso beads: These beads are created using a technique in which the glass artisan submerges different colors beneath clear glass. Small copper flakes (called aventurina) are then worked into the clear glass giving the bead a look of depth and a rich luster.

Borosilicate (boro glass): Borosilicate glass is different from the "soft" glass that is normally used for beads and other items such as paperweights, ornaments, etc. It is far stronger than "soft" glass often used for other glass items. Expert torch work can meld different colors and hues to create incredible depth and vibrant beads.

I found these cherry red Czech lampwork beads at and used them to create the matching antiqued brass necklace and pair of earrings pictured.

Antiqued Brass Cherry Bomb Earrings $24.00
These antiqued brass earrings have gorgeous red cherry bomb lampwork glass beads that glow like bright little lanterns. Lampwork rondelle beads are accented with antiqued brass bead caps. They swing freely on a few links of antiqued brass chain. Antiqued brass earring wires. Drop is 1 3/4 inches.

Antiqued Brass Cherry Bomb Necklace $18.00
This antiqued brass necklace has the same gorgeous red cherry bomb lampwork glass bead as the earrings above. Lampwork rondelle bead is accented with antiqued brass bead caps. Suspended on antiqued brass chain. Measures 18 inches. Pendant adds another 1 1/2 inches. Lobster claw clasp closure.

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