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Making glass beads - resources

I am interested in finding an outlet to learn more about making
glass beads. I am currently working with a glass artist and find
that it is in too large of a scale. I am wondering if there are
online instructions anywhere…

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
Borosilicate/Pyrex(hard) glass.

Your first stop should be the International Society of Glass
Beadmakers Forum (ISGB)and website:

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 ( 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
Arrow Springs
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.

Have fun.

    Be forewarned, it's an expensive proposition. You will need
another torch, you cannot use your jewelry torch for this. 

I take exception to this - I use my jewelry torch for lampworking
and jewelry making. i have a little torch, and i use the rosebud tip
for the little torch when i make glass beads. i have been very happy
with the results, using both moretti and stained glass scrap. i
cannot, however, make large beads with moretti, but with the stained
glass scrap i can. eventually i will get another torch just for
glasswork, but for the past three years, i have been quite content
with my little torch.

susannah wiseman

also, there is a lot of on another board mostly populated
by glass bead artists: Follow this link:

Sorry, I should have qualified my statement about torches and
lampwork glass.

You cannot use an oxy/acet. set up to do lampwork. The acet. will
create dirt/dust that will be incorporated into the glass as you are
working it.

You can indeed produce smaller scale pieces with a propane or
propane/oxy set-up. If you want to do larger beads or sculptural
works you are better off with a torch specifically designed for that

Also, if your jewelry torch is single fuel, you will only be able to
work stained glass or Italian/Czech/Japanese glass. If you wish to
work in hard/Boro glass you will need a propane/oxy set-up. Propane
alone will not be hot enough to get the job done.


When I wanted to start making glass beads to coordinate with my
enamels I used a Mapp gas torch. OK, this isn’t what you want to do
full time professional work but it great for the beginner who wants
to see if this is right for them and learn basic skills. I also
worked largely with stained glass scraps instead of expensive Moretti
which I moved to later. My set up cost for tools…torch tip &
supplies to start. Just under $100. What a deal.


carree, how do you anchor your little torch while you handle the
glass rod and mandrel?

jean adkins