Inspiration & Glass


Lampworking, also known as flame-working, is a glassblowing technique that allows artists to create intricate designs by melting glass rods with a torch. It has been used for centuries to craft beautiful and functional objects, ranging from intricate beads to vessels and sculptures. Lampworking enables artists to express their inspiration and creativity, resulting in unique and stunning works of art.

For me, there's nothing quite like the beauty of spring to spark my creativity. With its vibrant colours and fresh energy, this season is the perfect time to experiment with new materials and techniques, especially when it comes to glass beads.

That said, inspiration is everywhere I go.  It's in the patterns on a butterfly's wings, the colours of a sunset, and the shapes and colours of flowers in a garden.

Each bead is created as a reflection of the beauty I see in the world around me.  But it's not just the natural world that is inspiring, there is inspiration from people and their causes.  A great example is the pink ribbon and its cause, breast cancer, just to pick one close to home.  Others include beads made to hold a loved one's ashes.

Most beads are created by some sort of inspiration and that's what make glass beads so special.


How many times do you remember saying "this reminds me of ..." I must admit I am constantly relating colours around me to the glass rods I have in my stash! Sound weird? Well it isn't weird, atleast not in my world. I find that a lot of the beads I create are inspired by a colour. This could be a colour I've seen while on the internet or something I've seen while I'm out. The first thing I think, and sometimes say out loud is .. "I have glass that colour!"

I will sit at my torch with all these great colours I've seen or thought about, laid out before me and I'll just start melting the glass. Generally it will be a small round bead just to get me started, then it will be something a little more advanced, like dots or swirls. Then before I know it I'm making something actually usable. By usable I mean something I could use in a piece of jewelry or a beaded gift.

There are times that I need to create the colour or shade from scratch, the colour I was so inspired by is in my head but not in my glass inventory, so I will have to blend and mix various glass rods to achieve the colour. Those beads will sit proud on my mandrel block so I can see how the bead will look when it cools down.

One of the things about lampworking is that you are in charge of your glass melting session. You could sit down at your torch, with a great selection of glass infront of you, and say to yourself "hmmm, now what?" but in most cases it will only be a minute and you'll have picked up a rod of glass and started making something.

Lampworking is not entirely about making beads. There are a number of artists that can't make a round bead to save their lives. These artists tend to be awesome sculptural makers. This is where they are most comfortable and while I think you should try all aspects of lampwork, I do think you need to find your niche, you're happy place when you're at the torch.

I still remember when I set up my studio. I had a basic kit, a little bit of glass and an annealing blanket. I couldn't wait to get home each night and work on my bead making skills. It wasn't long before I realized I had logged somewhere in the neighbourhood of 100 hours at my torch. I was able to produce a bead that made me happy and I felt was worthy of working into a piece of jewelry.

There are endless design possibilities when working with glass.  Good things come from INSPIRATION.