Ah- finally a question that I can answer.
In addition to my silver/gold jewelry, I also make lampwork beads
and small sculputural pieces in Italian (soft) as well as
Your first stop should be the International Society of Glass
Beadmakers Forum (ISGB)and website: www.isgb.org
You don't have to be a member to join the forum.
Buy the following books (both available at Amazon as well as every
glass vendor I know of)
Everything you Always Wanted to Know About Glass Beadmaking by James
Kervin & Making Glass Beads by Cindy Jenkins
As for vendors, hands down the best place for supplies as well as
answers to technical and not so technical questions is Frantz Art
Glass. Their website (www.frantzartglass.com) is down until the end
of August for rehab, but you can call them for a catalog at
1-800-839-6712. They are absolutely fantastic people to do business
Other vendors that you can look are as follows:
Sundance Art Glass www.artglass1.com
Arrow Springs www.arrowspings.com
Glasscraft Inc. 1-888-272-3830
There are many more vendors. THere are also a few other forums that
you can go to but by far the best for anything you could ask may be
found on ISGB.
Be forewarned, it's an expensive proposition. You will need another
torch, you cannot use your jewelry torch for this. Alot of tools can
be had at any hardware store, but the specialized stuff can add up.
And did I mention that you really need a kiln as well?
This isn't to scare you off, just to prepare you.
Check on ISGB for people that may be in your geographic region and
take a weekend class before you jump in. The classes will give you
an idea what you are in for. Best to try it first before you spend
the dollars. And if you enjoy it, watch out. You'll want every color
of glass, frit, enamel, dust, foil and leaf. It's a disease that I
know no cure for.
You can also email me off list if you have any other questions that
I haven't answered.
But take a class. I am self taught due to the fact that I live here
in Singapore and I am the only person in the country that I am aware
of that is working in lampwork hard and soft glass. I am sure that
alot of the things that I have made and promptly tossed in the bin
could have been avoided if I had some formal instruction.