What’s So Special About Lampwork Beads

Lampwork and Sterling Silver Bracelet

Lampwork and Sterling Silver Bracelet

The beads I use are made by a Fort Worth Artisan, Lynda Chambers. The lovely one-of-a-kind beads in the above photo have been acid etched to a frosted finish.

Lampwork can be purchased from arts and crafts stores, but don’t be fooled by the pretty colors and low prices. These beads are usually lower quality and can hurt you. Many are made quickly in factories in India and China and are not kiln annealed due to the extra expense and time. The cheaply made beads crack very easily and lack the beauty of the beads made one at a time in America. It wouldn’t be nice of you to drop them on the floor, but if you happened to, you’d notice that they chip and shatter easily. Drop your American Lampwork beads on the floor, nothing happens to them. Often I whack the beads I buy hard to show my customers how durable they are. It tends to freak people out. I think if you are going to pay several dollars for each bead they had better last!

Furthermore, if you take a close look at cheap lampwork beads. The holes have grey material that has not been washed from the insides and there are sharp edges that can cut through the material on which they are strung. If you buy lampwork beads or jewelry made with lampwork beads, please consider buying lampwork beads directly from an artisan or from a jeweler who uses only artisan made beads. If you are in Fort Worth, you can find quality beads and helpful advice at the Artful Bead on Granbury Road. And please let them know them I sent you!

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