Lardworks Studio Glass beads are all hand sculpted using Italian & German soft glass as well as some helix glass and reduction frits.
No two beads are exactly alike and each is a wee work of art. While I do make some round accent beads for necklaces and earrings, my favorite beads to make are sculpted animals, flowers and leaves.
I sell loose beads in the studio, however the majority of my beads are finished into my jewelry designs or used as accents in my felted scarves, capes, pins and handbags.
I have been sculpting my own beads since 2003 and on occasion teach a bead sculpting or beginner bead class at the John C. Campbell Folk School. Bead making is referred to as 'Lampworking' and is a very old craft.
Many lampworkers use hard glass or Boro (aka. pyrex) to sculpt. Boro holds a tacky texture while sculpting making it easier to work with, however Boro colors are limited and Boro requires a hotter flame to work with. Soft glass has such a wonderful variety of colors and frits available it really lends itself to endless possibilities. The sacrifice is sculpting with soft glass is very challenging as the glass becomes liquid quickly and will crack easily if not kept hot enough. Many of my first alpaca beads ended in the 'dead glass' pile as I learned to keep the beads evenly heated while sculpting details. It is a dance between fire & gravity with the beads.
All of my beads have been kiln annealed in a
digitally controlled kiln for strength.
If you would like to order a custom bead please contact me - Holly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can either make just the bead or finish the bead into a necklace, earrings or pendant. Love a challenge, what kind of critter do you want?